Bart Hiscock said he regularly gets knocked around by his teammates in practice. The Bennington junior appreciates that very much.
“Austin (Rischling) guards me most of the time. He’s a big guy. He pushes me around,” Hiscock said. “That’s really helped me improve as a player. I hope I do the same for him.”
Intense practices are typical at Bennington, coach Luke Olson said.
“And I think Bart has been the beneficiary,” he said. “He gets guarded harder in practice than he does in some games.”
Whatever his teammates are doing to him, it worked last weekend.
Playing in Bennington’s holiday tournament, Hiscock scored 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 73-64 win against Boone Central/Newman Grove, which opened the season ranked fifth in Class C-1. The next night against Adams Central, which is ninth in this week’s Class B rankings, Hiscock scored a career-high 35 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in a 67-53 win.
“The other teams weren’t too big inside. My teammates realized that and got me the ball,” said the 6-foot-6, 220-pound junior, whose season high was 22 points before last weekend. “It just kind of worked out.”
The weekend wins increased Hiscock’s season averages to 19.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He’s shooting 57 percent from the field and 77 percent from the foul line.
“He’s done a really good job of just letting the game come to him,” Olson said. “He’s taking good shoots, is really aggressive at the rim and the other guys are doing a good job of finding him in the best position to be successful.”
Bennington, which returned four starters from last season’s 15-9 team, is off to a good start. The Badgers are 6-2 and ranked fifth in Class B.
They can give a lot of opponents problems with their size in the paint. In addition to Hiscock, Austin Rischling and his brother Riley are 6-4, while Zach Westfall, who is second on the team with 10.5 points per game, is 6-5. Point guard Eric Fritch is 6-1.
“Anyone can get points on our team,” Hiscock said. “Everyone can score. It’s just a matter of who has the hot hand.”
Hiscock started for the first time as a sophomore and showed the type of scorer he could be, averaging 15.9 points and 11.6 rebounds. During the summer, he worked on his game by playing with other metro-area standouts on the OSA Crusaders.
“I think it kind of slowed the game down a little for me,” Hiscock said. “Summer games are a little faster-paced. And it also gave me the chance to guard guards instead of big guys. That helps our school team because we have enough big guys that we need people to guard guards.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Badgers. They host Class B No. 7 Elkhorn South at 7:30 p.m. Friday before going to Class C-1 No. 3 Wahoo Neumann for a 5:15 p.m. game Saturday.
“Those are really good tests,” Olson said. “We’ll see how we stack up on back-to-back nights.”
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