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Published February 16 2010

Collins: Hawley tied for 1st in HOL after 8-game streak

The argument over who is the best boys basketball team in the Heart O’ Lakes Conference just got a little more confusing.

Hawley has shoved itself into the conversation, riding an eight-game winning streak to move into a first-place tie with Breckenridge and Perham.

“We’ve been doing all right,” said the understated Jon Hinrichs, Hawley’s head coach. “We’re getting contributions from a lot of different places, and it’s working right now.”

Hawley’s hot streak has also made the Nuggets the highest-scoring team in the HOL, and only Perham allows fewer points per game.

The winning streak hasn’t been against a bunch of pushovers, either. In that span, the Nuggets knocked off both Breckenridge and Perham, as well as rival Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.

The toughest part during the run was a three-game stretch – against Breckenridge, Wadena-Deer Creek and Perham – where Hawley was without starter Andrew Regnier, who was sidelined with an ankle injury.

“When Regnier went down and we had that stretch coming up, we thought ‘Now we’ll see what we’re made of,’” Hinrichs said. “It was a good sign to see them respond.”

Hawley is led by Taylor Harms, but the Nuggets have gotten double-digit scoring nights from a handful of other players, Hinrichs said.

“Taylor and Jacob Bjornson are our leading scorers, but we’re getting one or two other guys into double figures almost every night,” Hinrichs said. ‘That makes a big difference.”

The Nuggets are 14-4 on the season, but they haven’t gotten blown out in any of their four losses. That quartet of setbacks is by a combined total of 16 points.

Hawley has lost to both Breckenridge and Perham, and had a comeback come up just short at Park Christian – which is ranked in the top five in Class 1A. The Nuggets were also without Harms for the majority of the game because of an injury early in the first half.

Their biggest loss of the year was a six-point setback at West Central Area on Jan. 15. They haven’t lost since.

“We talk about doing things correctly, and how those little things can make a difference in close games,” Hinrichs said. “In all of those games we learned something, because there was something that we could’ve done differently.

“We look at those games and say ‘Here it is.’ We can focus on those, and hopefully, it makes a difference.”

It’s made a difference lately. During the winning streak, the only close game was a three-point win at Perham. The rest have all been by double figures.

Wadena-Deer Creek’s Reed has huge game

Wadena-Deer Creek’s Jordan Reed scored a school-record 46 points in the Wolverines’ 85-63 win over Crookston on Friday.

The 6-foot-5 junior was dominant all night, scoring 23 points in each half. WDC is 9-11 on the season.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548