HHS stays on roll

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Josh Flickinger/Beloit Daily News Hononegah's Nick Pierson passes to a teammate during the Indians' victory over Auburn Wednesday.

ROCKTON - The Hononegah boys basketball team wasn't satisfied with beating one first-place team down the stretch.

Wednesday night, they decided to make it two.

Fresh off last week's victory over Boylan, the Indians absolutely dominated Rockford Auburn 66-40 to drop the Knights from the spot they shared atop the NIC-10 with Boylan.

With the win, Hononegah moved to 8-5 while the Knights dropped to 10-3 with three conference games remaining for each team.

Auburn was missing three rotation players due to ineligibility and fell victim to a frenzied Indians defense that allowed just 14 first-half points. If the Knights thought the first half was tough, it was nothing compared to what the Indians rolled out with a 24-14 advantage.

Hononegah used a blend of 3-point daggers, fearless dives to the basket and tenacious defense to outscore the Knights 30-13, the lone stain on a nearly perfect eight minutes of basketball being a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the Knights.

Hononegah's two stars, senior Kameron Kolberg and emerging junior point guard Caleb Donaldson did much of the damage, with Donaldson scoring 16 of his game-high 20 points in the third.

Miller said while the Indians certainly benefited from the absence of some core Auburn pieces, his team continued to show what they are capable of.

"I think where it really hurt them was their depth," Miller said. "Anytime you lose three guys, it's going to have an impact. But I thought we did a great job ob (Yahmir) Muhammad. We were physical with him and made things difficult for him. We were active with our hands and we executed our game plan to a T. When you do that, good things are going to happen for us. I just love the way we're playing right now."

Muhammad, who entered the game averaging 16.1 points per game, was held to eight points, with just one in the second half.

Donaldson, a varsity player since his freshman year, continued his rapid development as the Indians' pace-setter. He nailed a pair of 3-pointers to go along with effective penetration during a 22-2 Hononegah run that began late in the first half and extended through the majority of the third quarter.

"Caleb right now is everything you'd ever want out of a point guard," Miller said. "The other night against Harlem he had nine assists and one turnover. I don't know what his stats were like tonight, but I know they were good. He's been the best point guard in the league over the last month. He's got the game on a string right now."

Kolberg, the Indians' leading scorer at over 14 points per game, said it took the team a while to gel, but they are peaking at the right time.

"A lot of our success has to do with chemistry,:" Kolberg said. "Everybody on the team knows exactly what their role is going to be. We know what other players like to do, and when we can get people the ball so they can do what they like to do, it works out for us."

The Indians have an excellent opportunity to close the season strong. They are scheduled to play at 8-13 Guilford Friday before hosting 5-18 Freeport next week. They will close the regular season with a stern test against Rockford East, but there simply isn't an opponent out there that the Indians fear.

"We respect every team we play and prepare the same way," Donaldson said. "We are confident right now, but we're not overly confident. We are going to go out there and play as aggressive as possible."

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