Hillman Looks to Continue North Star Dominance
HILLMAN – The Hillman boys basketball team is continuing to prove its doubters wrong.
Despite capturing the program’s first regional championship in 2014-15, many doubted Hillman’s ability to continue its dominance in the North Star League.
Those doubters had plenty of fuel to back up their claims, as the Tigers graduated eight seniors from that 2014-15 squad, including the program’s all-time leading scorer and seventh all-time scorer.
Hillman didn’t listen, though, and went on to win its first 22 games of the 2015-16 season before falling to eventual Class D state quarterfinalist Onaway in a district final.
"I think we wanted to prove that our program is more than just a few years, we wanted to show program stability, and I think the guys really bought into that,” Hillman coach Eric Muszynski said. “Losing eight guys, everybody just basically said we’re not going to do anything, we’re going to be average, maybe .500.”
"It was definitely an awesome season last year, ripping off 22-straight games."
Hillman graduated four seniors from last year’s 22-1 team that fell to Onaway, 58-57, in a Class D district final.
"We had been the three-time district champion and I think we really want to bring that back to Hillman, because there was a sour taste last year and it’s something that, you know, we want to bring back,” Muszynski said. “First things first, we got to win the league."
Winners of three consecutive North Star League titles, the Tigers own a 45-game league streak. Since 2009, Hillman has won four conference championships and six district titles.
"That was one of the best experiences of my life, and I don’t want to stop it just after one year,” senior Brandon Banks said. “I want to continue that throughout my whole career."
Muszynski says Whittemore-Prescott and Rogers City are the biggest obstacles standing in the way of Hillman and another conference crown.
The Tigers (3-0) return to the court on Tuesday, Jan. 3, hosting Posen.