The youth of the Hanover High boys' basketball team gained some valuable experience Saturday night in the championship game of the Hanover Nighthawk Tip-Off Tournament.

Despite losing to a more experienced and athletic team in Columbia, 57-41, the Hanover coaching staff could not be more proud of the product they put on the floor this weekend.

"It was a great experience for everybody," head coach Nate Myers said. "No one on the floor really had a lot of varsity experience coming into the tournament, but I thought they did a great job against some really good teams. We just need to learn from our mistakes, correct them, and get better as a team."

Many of the Nighthawks' turnovers were forced by the swarming Columbia fullcourt press, something that gave Hanover fits all evening.

"It is hard to mimic that kind of full court press in practice," Myers said. "For a team that has not faced that before, we struggled some but did some things well with it too. We are learning and taking steps in the right direction."

Hanover fell behind midway through the first quarter and was unable to come back.

Olajuwon Michael and Mike Ryder were the beneficiaries of the early Hanover turnovers by converting them into easy points. Michael finished the first quarter with eight points and Ryder finished it with seven. The quarter was capped by Michael's 3-pointer as time expired.

Columbia outscored Hanover in all four quarters, but the Nighthawks continued to fight.

Not only did Michael, who had a game-high 18 points and was named tournament MVP, hurt the Nighthawks with his 18 points, but he also manufactured opportunities for his teammates by driving to the hole and finding the open man.

"We did not do a good job of keeping them out of the middle of the paint," Myers said. "They kept attacking the rim with their dribble drive. Olajuwon is very difficult to cover and he creates a lot of things for his teammates. We knew that coming in and we wanted to keep them out of the paint. We did it in spurts, but there were also spurts where he got going and created some for his teammates."

The Nighthawks defeated Littlestown on Friday by hitting eight 3-pointers. On Saturday, they altered their game plan and only hit two.

The Nighthawks were led by sophomores Dylan Krieger and Jacob Rhodes both on the glass and in scoring as each had a team-high nine points.

"Our guys kept fighting," Myers said. They didn't hang their heads. They made mistakes but kept going forward. That is all things we hope will serve us well down the road. It is only game two. We have a long way to go. Hopefully we learn from it and improve and continue to move forward."

Krieger and freshman Kyle Trout were named to the all-tournament team

In the consolation game, Shippensburg defeated Littlestown 68-25. The offensive woes continued for Littlestown, who was limited to three first-quarter points. Thunderbolt senior center Braden Becker was named to the all-tournament team.

Shippensburg was led on the night by Mac Miller's 17 points. Miller hit five field goals, including a 3-pointer, and went 6-for-6 from the free throw line to lead the way for Shippensburg.

mrubin@eveningsun.com; 717-637-3736, extension 143. Twitter: @michaelrubin6.

  

LITTLESTOWN (25)
   Garrett Trout 4 2-4 11, Towner 2 1-3 5, Alejandrez 1 2-3 4, Hildebrand 1 0-0 3, Kehr 1 0-0 2, Strevig 0 0-0 0, Becker 0 0-0 0, Jeff Reed 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 5-10 25.SHIPPENSBURG (68)   Mac Miller 5 6-6 17, Spencer VanScyoc 3 1-5 10, Johnson 3 2-2 8, Singhas 3 1-1 7, Hastings 1 2-2 5, Katar 2 0-2 4, Hastings 2 0-0 4, Thrush 1 0-0 3, Seth Frey 1 1-1 3, Bake 1 1-2 3, Shannon 1 0-1 2, Wray 1 0-0 2, Springer 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 14-22 68.
Littlestown    3    8    7    7 -- 25
Shippesnburg  11  14  16  27 -- 68

   3-point goals -- Littlestown 2 (Hildebrand, Trout); Shippensburg 6 (VanScyoc 3, Thrush, Miller, Hastings).

  

COLUMBIA (57)   Olajuwon Michael 7 3-4 18, Mike Ryder 4 2-8, 10, Kreiser 2 4-4 8, McIlwain 3 1-2 7, Wansley 2 3-4 7, Moore 2 0-0 4, Helton 1 0-0 3. Totals 21 13-22 57.
HANOVER (41)   Krieger 4 1-2 9, Rhodes 3 3-4 9, Krout 3 0-0 8, McQueen 1 2-2 5, Bosserman 1 2-4 4, Brown 2 0-0 4, Sheaffer 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 8-12 41.
Columbia  17  14  10  16 -- 57
Hanover  11  10    9  11 -- 41

   3-point goals -- Columbia 2 (Michael, Helton); Hanover 3 (Krout 2, McQueen).