The Hillsboro boys broke through a night of offensive futility with a burst in the fourth quarter that carried them to a 33-23 victory over Marion Tuesday night in Marion. In the early game, the Hillsboro girls improved to 6-0 with a convincing 52-21 victory over the Warriors (2-2).
GIRLS? GAME — In a game where the outcome was not in doubt for long, the Trojans used their depth to secure the largest victory margin of the season against a team thin on numbers.
After Tena Loewen scored an old-fashioned three-point play 43 seconds into the contest, Marion?s Whitney Gordon responded with a basket a minute later. Hillsboro pushed that 3-2 lead to 9-2 before Emily Hett nailed a three-point bucket at the 2:30 mark. The quarter ended with Hillsboro ahead, 14-7.
The second quarter became decisive as Hillsboro launched a 13-0 run over the final 5:30 of the half to take a 29-11 lead into intermission. By the end of three quarters, the lead was 41-15 and grew to as much as 32 midway through the final quarter and again at the end of the game when Emma Heyen scored with 7.5 seconds left.
Loewen finished with 16 points and Allie Faul added 11 to pace Hillsboro. Gordon led Marion with six. As a team, Hillsboro shot 43 percent (22-51) from the floor while Marion struggled to hit 22 percent (7-32), thanks in part to a Trojan defense that contributed to 30 Warrior turnovers.
BOYS? GAME — For three quarters there were doubts that either team would break 25 points as aggressive defense combined with cold shooting led to an 18-15 Marion lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Dane Purkeypile scored twice in the first two minutes of the game to give Marion a 4-0 lead. But after that, points were hard to come by for both teams. At the end of the first quarter, Marion led 8-3 and Hillsboro had yet to score a field goal in eight attempts.
The Warriors then returned the favor in the second quarter, going 0-for-8 from the floor, enabling Hillsboro to slip into a 10-9 lead at halftime when Grant Shewey drained two free throws with 22.7 seconds left. It was Shewey who ended Hillsboro?s field-goal drought when he drove the lane and scored in the opening minute of the second period.
At the break, Hillsboro was shooting 12.5 percent (2-16) from the floor and Marion 15.8 percent (3-19).
Hillsboro pushed its lead to 13-9 when Caleb Hilliard hit a free throw and a fast-break layup midway through the third period. But Purkeypile hit two baskets in the paint and Jordan Hett nailed his first two shots of the night — a back-to-back two-pointer and three-pointer — to catapult the Warriors to the 18-15 lead at the final break.
When freshman point guard Brett Weinbrenner finally broke his personal scoring drought with back-to-back buckets to start the final period, the shackles seem to fall off the Trojan offense. Hilliard followed with his first three-pointer of the season to put HHS ahead by four. Marion didn?t score another field goal the rest of the game as the Trojans pushed the final margin to 10 points.
Hillsboro recovered enough in the fourth quarter to finish the game with 31 percent shooting (10-32) while Marion finished at 17.5 percent (7-40). Hillliard led HHS with a season-best eight points while Hett managed a team-high nine points by game?s end.
With the win, the Hillsboro evened its season record at 3-3 while Marion dropped to 1-4.