Hillsboro passes over Clearwater, 69-49

Playing their strongest game as a team so far this season, the Hillsboro boys used double-digit scoring from three players Saturday to claim a relatively easy 69-49 win over Clearwater, taking home the third-place plaque at the Cardinal Classic in Cheney.

The Trojans took control from the start. Clay Shewey knocked down a 3-pointer and David Loewen added a put-back 30 seconds later for a 5-0 lead barely a minute into the contest.

Clear?water responded with an 8-0 run, but Hillsboro struck back with a decisive 15-4 burst over the final 3:42 to post a 20-12 lead after one quarter.

The Trojans pushed the margin to 38-25 by halftime despite making only two of six free throws, including two misses on the front end of a one-and-one.

Clearwater scored the first four points of the second half to cut the lead to nine points, but by the end of the quarter the Trojans were sitting comfortably atop a 56-39 spread. Six Trojans contributed baskets during the 18-10 surge.

Hillsboro finished the game with an 8-3 advantage over the final 3:32 to settle the final margin at 20 points.

?It was a great win for us,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?We came out and picked up the pace, and I thought we played really hard tonight.

?Offensively, execution was much better?we moved the ball much better than last night and it got us some good open looks.

?The other thing we did well is we got to the rim offensively, and did a really nice job of rebounding on both ends of the court.?

For the game, Hillsboro made 28 of 54 (52 percent) shots from the floor, including a season high seven 3-pointers.

Loewen led Hillsboro with 17 points, Daniel Jost added 14 and Shewey finished with 11. The Trojans also got strong bench minutes from Ben Bebermeyer, Jesse Allen and Taylor Hagen, who combined for 15 points.

?I thought Dave just really played an outstanding game,? Knoll said. ?He got on the boards, dove for loose balls, played the passing lanes a few times?it was just a strong performance.?

Cheney?The Trojans let a close game slip away in the final minutes, falling to the home team 51-45 on Friday.

Hillsboro led 8-7 after one quarter and 28-26 at halftime. By the end of three quarters, Cheney had slipped into the lead at 40-38.

The Trojans enjoyed their last lead at 43-42 when Ben Bebermeyer banked in a 3-pointer with 4:40 left in the contest. After that, the Trojans began to unravel, committing five turnovers, plus enduring a couple of questionable calls by the officials. It enabled the Cardinals to expand their lead to as much as 51-43 in the final minute.

?We just made some silly turnovers and defensively we had a couple of breakdowns,? Knoll said about the last four minutes. ?But defense wasn?t really the problem. We did everything defensively to give ourselves a chance to win.

?We just didn?t score down the stretch and it was mostly due to some of our silly decisions.?

Both teams shot 42 percent from the floor?Hillsboro making 16 of 38 shots while the Cardinals made 19 of 45.

David Loewen was the only Trojan to break double figures, finishing with 13 points.

?The guys played really hard tonight and we were extremely disappointed that we lost this game that we really thought we could and should win,? Knoll said.

Smoky Valley?A 12-0 Hills?boro run over the last 2:20 of the first half proved to be the difference in the Trojans? 50-39 home-court victory over the Vikings Tuesday.

Hillsboro took an early 6-0 lead. But Smoky Valley, fueled by Chase Dippel?s seven points, established a 13-10 lead by the end of the quarter.

The game remained razor close with the Vikings leading 19-18. But a rebound and put-back by David Loewen at the 2:20 mark ignited Hillsboro?s decisive surge and gave the Trojans a 30-19 lead at the break. Sophomore Ben Bebermeyer came off the bench to hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 54 seconds to cap the explosion.

?We did a really nice job of getting the ball inside-out, and Bebermeyer knocked down those two shots really well, so that was nice to see,? coach Darrel Knoll said.

The two teams battled evenly the entire second half, vacillating on either side of Hillsboro?s double-digit lead, but the Trojans maintained their poise down the stretch to secure the win.

Loewen led Hillsboro with 17 points, Daniel Jost added 14 and Shewey finished with 11. Hillsboro made 21 of 47 shots from the floor (45 percent) while Smoky Valley cashed in only 15 of 49 (31 percent).

?We had times when we followed the game plan and got the ball into Dave,? Knoll said. ?Dave was pretty solid in there against what they had, and they were doubling him really hard.?

Jost, Shewey and Beber?meyer combined to hold the high-scoring Dippel to a below-average 16 points on 7-for-19 shooting from the floor.

?I thought the real key tonight was how hard Daniel and Ben played on Dippel,? Knoll said. ?He had to work really hard for everything he got, and most of his shots were transition baskets.?

Coming?Hillsboro (2-2) will close out its pre-holiday schedule this week with a home game against Nickerson Tuesday and then a road game versus Sterling on Friday.

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