The Hillcrest Academy boys basketball team had their first live action of the new season Monday when they hosted eight teams for their annual jamboree at Dwight Gingerich Court in Kalona. The Ravens faced off with defending class 1A state champion Montezuma in the nightcap and fell by a 34-19 score. Grant Bender led the Raven offense with 11 points. After the half of action, Hillcrest Academy head coach Dwight Gingerich talked about his takeaways. “I thought we closed out better. We didn’t give up penetration quite as much, later. It was good to see guys like Jace Rempel settle in and knock down some shots. Noah got more comfortable as time went on and Grant Bender did as well. He did a nice job of staying aggressive and finishing as the game wore on. This is a starting point for us. It didn’t go the way we were hoping, especially early on but I felt like our guys responded better as the night went on, and I like that.”

The Ravens have another scrimmage scheduled Wednesday afternoon when they travel to Washington to meet the Demons. The Hillcrest Academy boys officially open their season November 30th when they travel to Mediapolis.