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Crews Control: Hilliard pulls away to roll into boys hoops title game

The Hilliard Red Flashes will play for the 1A boys basketball state title on Friday.
The Hilliard Red Flashes will play for the 1A boys basketball state title on Friday. (WJXT)

Nearly 40 years later, Hilliard made amends.

The Red Flashes’ first state basketball semifinal appearance since 1979 was a dominant showing on Wednesday, with Jacob Crews and the Red Flashes thumping Vernon 80-59 in the Class 1A game and rolling into the championship game.

Hilliard will play either Paxton or Hawthorne on Friday at 7 p.m. for the title.

The last time that Hilliard (23-3) reached the final four round, it was Vernon that it faced.

The Red Flashes lost that game 56-54 and hadn’t been back to the state semifinals since.

Consider the score settled.

Crews, Hilliard’s sensational senior wing, had a double-double (29 points, 13 rebounds) and helped the Red Flashes pull away with a stellar second half and reach their first title game since 1965.

Hilliard took control in the fourth quarter.

Up just 52-47 early in the period, Crews, Shemar Melton and Trey Rush ignited an 18-2 blitz over the next three minutes to extinguish Vernon’s hope of a win.

Melton followed with 15 points, while Jelan Jones and Rush added 13 apiece for Hilliard.

Crews, a UNF signee who has scored more than 2,000 career points in his Hilliard career that began in eighth grade, had six points in the fourth.


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