Hillsboro beats Marion in sub-state semi-finals

Hillsboro’s Wes Shaw scores to give the Trojans a 30-24 lead during the third quarter Thursday. Shaw led all scorers with 25 points in Hillsboro’s 59-53 win. Karrie Rathbone / Special to the Free PressIn an intra-county battle in a Class 2A sub-state semifinal game, Hillsboro defeated Marion, 59-53, Thursday.

The Trojans came out firing, draining three three-pointers in the first quarter—including two by Caleb Potucek—to build a 15-7 lead by the end of it.

In the second quarter, Eli Hett and Sam Zinn hit back-to-back three-pointers, allowing Marion to close the gap to 17-15. Later, Potucek’s third trey extended Hillsboro’s lead to 26-19. Noah Dalrymple made a two-pointer for Marion as time expired in the first half, giving Hillsboro a 26-21 advantage at intermission.

With Marion unable to hit shots in the third quarter, Hillsboro took advantage. Wes Shaw scored 10 of his game-high 25 points in the third quarter, and Potucek sunk his fourth three-pointer to give Hillsboro a double-digit, 37-27 lead. The period ended with the Trojans in front, 42-31.

The fourth quarter set off a furious Marion rally, capped by a three-pointer by Dalrymple at the 2:40 mark to bring the Warriors within 48-46. Shaw and Matthew Potucek hit back-to-back baskets, allowing the Trojans to maintain their lead.

The teams more or less traded scores after that. Marion drew within four a few times, including when Evann Heidebrecht hit a three-pointer with 30 seconds left, but Hillsboro went 7-for-10 at the charity stripe in the fourth quarter to help solidify the win.

“For three quarters, I thought we were really good tonight,” Hillsboro coach Darrel Knoll said. “Fourth quarter, I’m not sure what happened. We just quit executing and missed some shots. When Wes got his fourth foul, things really changed a little bit at that moment. That was a turning point for a little bit, and then fortunately, we were able to kind of regain our composure and made enough baskets to win.”

Shaw led all scorers with 25 points and recorded 11 rebounds. Caleb Potucek scored 15 points. As a team, the Trojans shot around 42 percent from the field (22-for-53).

Meanwhile, Sam Zinn and Dalrymple each scored 13 points for Marion. Chase Stringer scored 12. The Warriors made about 40 percent of their field goal attempts (23-for-58).

With the win, Hillsboro advanced to the sub-state finals, while Marion concluded its season with an overall record of 15-7.

“The only way that you win the last game is you place first or third,” Marion coach Terry Edwards said. “That wasn’t meant to be tonight. … We had some ups, and we had a heck of a stretch. Unfortunately, I guess, it’s come to an end. Tonight was our night. The ball just didn’t bounce right. We didn’t help ourselves at the free-throw line, where we have been through the entire winning stretch there.”

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