The Hillsboro Indians (8-15) kicked off their tournament run against Jackson on Monday night and, although there was some excitement in the end, were able come back home with a 42-41 victory of their opponents.
The game started and ended the game on top. In between however, there were some ups and downs for the Indians.
As the game got underway, the Indians racked up a 14-11 lead at the end of one quarter.
In the second quarter, the Indians went on a run. Hillsboro started the quarter with a two-point basket from DJ Brown to make it 16-11. That was followed by a two pointer from the Ironmen to bring the score back to within three points. From the 4:43 mark until the 2:05 mark, it was nothing but the Indians as they went out on a 10-0 run with baskets from Logan Kibler, DJ Brown, who also had an old fashion three point play, and Phillip Mycroft. Jackson ended the quarter with a three pointer and a two, but Hillsboro still held a 26-18 lead going into halftime.
In the third quarter, Jackson started to make a little comeback that would peak in the fourth quarter. They were able to score 14 points, their most in a quarter on the night, and hold the Indians to just nine, to bring the lead back to wear it was after the first frame (three points) to 35-32.
The Indians started the fourth frame with a made free throw by Mycroft but after that, Jackson, like Hillsboro in the second quarter, made their own run. From the 7:26 mark until 4:33, the Jakson Ironmen went on a 9-0 run to take back the lead and were up on the Indians by five, 41-36.
Neither team scored for just over a minute but then Marshall Ward hit a huge three pointer from the top of the arc to bring his team back to within just two points. With 2:42 left in the game, Mycroft made a free throw to bring the Indians back to within one point 41-40.
with time running out, neither team seemed to be able to find an open shot to make for the next two minutes. With 54 second left, DJ Brown, who had went to the locker room earlier with an injury and wasn’t expected to return, grabbed a rebound and went back up but was fouled and sent to the line. He sunk both of the free shots to put Hillsboro back up 42-41. The Indians played tough defense the remainder of the quarter, and even though Jackson was able to get a couple shots off in the final seconds, the Indians made sure they were highly contested and none of them went in. Hillsboro was victorious at the final buzzer sounded.
“Tonight was a little ugly but we’ll take it,” said Hillsboro Head Coach Bruce Miles after the game. “It’s survive and advance and we did just enough to do that tonight. The gameplan tonight was to get the ball inside. We knew coming in to tonight that we had a size advantage down low. DJ [Brown] and Phillip [Mycroft] were doing some business there early, which really got us out to the lead that we were hoping for. As the second half started, [Jackson] is sitting in a zone and, for whatever reason, we stopped attacking and moving the ball. We kind of got a little stationary with it. Credit Jackson for getting back in the game. They never stopped, so hats off to them.
“They had shooters and we lost some guys with some missed assignments and had some late closeouts so that hurt us. They made key shots when they needed to.
“DJ was hurt there late and I was told originally that he was not coming back into the game. Whatever our trainer Nick did to him back in the hallway, he deserves a medal. DJ was basically on one leg and he had a huge rebound there late and made two big free throws and that was the difference in the game.
“Marshall Ward had a big three there towards the end of the game. He’s had some struggles with his outside shot this year but he made a huge three there when we really needed it. I thought he did some really good things tonight. Attacking the basket under control and getting into the lane. That’s where he’s at his best.
Matthew Ryan got the assignment there at the end of the game to guard their best player which is something he’s done all year for us. He did a good job of walling up there at the end. I told the guys in the timeout [right before that final sequence] that it’s not the first shot that beats you, it’s the second. It’ll be the biggest rebound of your life. Probably the smallest guy on the court, Logan Kibler, was able to come away with it and that was a huge rebound for us.”
Hillsboro will move on now to play Washington Courthouse on Wednesday, February 17 at 8 p.m.
“[Washington] got us twice this year,” said Miles about their next opponent. “It’ll be an opportunity for us to play one of the better teams in our sectional. They’re talented. We have to slow their transition down and figured out what new defense we’re going to play against them. We’ve tried everything under the sun, but we’ll work on something tomorrow I have that I think might slow them down.”
HHS – 14 12 9 7 – 42
JHS – 11 7 14 9 – 41
Hillsboro: Brown 4(1) 4/5 – 15; Ward 3(1) – 9; Mycroft 3 2/6 – 8; Kibler 2 2/2 – 6; Ryan 1 – 2; Keets 2/2 – 2. Totals: 13(2) 10/15 – 42.
Jackson: Donaldson 2(3) 2/4 – 15; Spohn 2(3) 1/1 – 14; Speakman 2(1) – 7; Spires 2 – 4; Neal 1/2 – 1. Totals: 8(7) 4/6 – 41.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.