Hillsboro overcame a 29-point scoring exhibition by Marion?s Jordan Hett to claim a 67-54 victory Tuesday in the Trojans? home opener and pre-holiday finale.
With the win, the Trojans enter the break with a 4-2 record while Marion slipped to 2-3.
Though Hett?s performance caught the attention of fans, Hills?boro coach Darrel Knoll thought his team played its best offensive game of the season.
?I was really pleased with how we got the ball reversed and didn?t hang on to it long,? he said. ?We drove at the right time, got the ball to the shooters and they made shots as a result. I hope we can continue that trend.?
Breaking its recent pattern of starting slowly and playing from behind, Hillsboro built a 20-10 lead after one quarter and spent the rest of the evening battling to keep Marion at arms? length.
Brett Weinbrenner hit two three-pointers and scored eight points to fuel the Trojans? strong start. Hett completed an old-fashioned three-point play to score the very first points of the game, but the Trojans shut him out the rest of the quarter.
But Hett was not to be denied. The senior stepped up in the second period for 10 points. When he drained a three at the 2:29 mark, Marion was within five at 28-23.
Christian Ratzlaff responded with a three for Hillsboro with 1:44 to go and, after a Warrior turnover, Luke Moore came off the bench to drain another three to help HHS build its lead back to nine by intermission, 34-25.
Marion scored the first four points of the third period, but Hillsboro launched a 10-4 surge over the next four minutes to lead again by 12, 46-34, on the way to a 50-38 margin at the final break.
The two teams traded baskets in the fourth quarter until a score in the lane by Wiley Lundy and a three-pointer by Jacob Harper drew Marion to within nine points.
Wiebe responded with a basket in the lane on a nice feed from Weinbrenner, but Hett banked in a three from the top of the key with 2:35 left to make the score 59-52.
Hillsboro stepped up with two free throws apiece from Wiebe and Shaq Thiessen, followed by a basket by Ratzlaff to squelch Marion?s final comeback effort.
Weinbrenner led HHS with 17 points and Wiebe added 12 as the Trojans shot 51 percent from the field (25-49) and a season-best 59 percent (5-9) from behind the arc.
?Brett did a good job of getting himself space?it was by far his best game this year,? Knoll said of his sophomore point guard. ?We got a lot of good contributions from a lot of people.?
For Marion, Harper added 16 points to Hett?s 29 as the Warriors shot a better percentage than Hillsboro at nearly 54 percent (21-39), but managed 10 fewer shots.
Knoll praised Hett?s ability to score even though he was guarded aggressively.
?He?s just really quick, and he?s got a nice knack for putting the ball in the basket,? Knoll said. ?I thought he had a great game.
?At the same time, we were able to force him to work really hard for his points. I was able to get a few different guys on him to try to keep some fresh legs on him.?
Entering the holiday break, Knoll is upbeat about his team.
?I?ve liked our team all year,? he said. ?In terms of our overall quickness and effort, I think we have that all working for us. The offensive end is where we?ve been struggling in terms of our rhythm, movement and passing the ball to each other on time.
?I think we?ll continue to improve that, and we still have a few adjustments to put in over the Christmas break,? he added. ?But I think we?re a pretty solid team.?