By, Drew Peltzman
January 24, 2023

Following an electric underdog victory on Friday against Ewing (16-1), Hamilton West carried their momentum into a statement 54-39 victory against Hightstown (9-7).

Entering Tuesday’s matchup, Hamilton West’s record was only 1.5 games better than Hightstown, yet they set their eyes on widening that CVC conference standings margin from the moment the ball was tipped. Playing through captain Hyshon Cannon’s quick decision making, the Hornets were set on sharing the ball.  Cannon (11) joined junior Devyn Wright-Myles (14), senior Ben Bouffard (13) and junior Tyler Barber (10) in scoring double figures.

“We’re starting to gel. We’re starting to play basketball the right way,” Hamilton West head coach Brandon Johnson said. “Basketball is a beautiful game when played the right way – hopefully we keep building off that.”  In addition to consistent ball-movement, Hamilton West locked down the paint, from both a defensive and rebounding perspective. Hightstown struggled to diminish Bouffard’s offensive rebounding prowess, ultimately providing more opportunities for the Hornets to either run the clock, or run up the score.

Wright-Myles tallied a team high nine rebounds in what was a complete game for the bench wing. His fastbreak slam in the third quarter reestablished the intensity that gave his team a 14 point lead at halftime. Then, in the fourth, a critical layup that stopped a mounting Hightstown comeback effort.  “We’ve been doing an excellent job making teams uncomfortable, going to their second, third, fourth options,” Johnson said. “We’ve been doing much better rebounding the basketball than we were in the beginning of the year.”

Having played two of the top teams in the conference last week, Trenton Central and Ewing, Hamilton West (12-6)  has found their identity. Sharing the basketball offensively and securing the boards.  Postgame, Wright-Myles said, “When we’re moving the ball, we play great. We don’t play selfish ball, we play as a team.”