The Hillsboro boys broke through a night of offensive futility with a scoring burst in the fourth quarter that carried them to a 33-23 victory at Marion last Tuesday night.
For three quarters, it was doubtful either team would reach 25 points. Aggressive defense, combined with cold shooting, led to an 18-15 Marion lead heading into the fourth quarter.
?We battled all night and it was kind of a helter-skelter game?a lot different than any game we?ve played so far,? Hillsboro coach Darrel Knoll said.
Dane Purkey?pile 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 while Hillsboro was without a field goal after eight attempts.
In the second quarter, the Warriors returned the favor, going 0-for-8 from the floor, which enabled 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 scored on a drive to the basket 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).
?I was really surprised by our lack of movement on offense and wished we would have executed a bit better,? Knoll said. ?But Marion played hard and had a lot to do with that.?
In the third quarter, Hillsboro pushed its lead to 13-9 when Caleb Hilliard hit a free throw and fast-break layup midway through the period.
But Purkeypile countered with two baskets in the paint and Jordan Hett, Marion?s top scorer, nailed his first two shots of the night after an 0-for-7 start. Hett?s back-to-back two-pointer and three-pointer catapulted the Warriors to the 18-15 lead as the quarter ended.
When freshman point guard Brett Weinbrenner broke his 0-for-5 shooting 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 nudged the final margin to 10 points.
The fourth-quarter boost in shooting accuracy enabled Hillsboro to finish the game with 31 percent success (10-32) while Marion finished at 17.5 percent (7-40).
?One thing I was pleased about is that we kept battling and gave ourselves a chance,? Knoll said.
Hilliard led HHS with a season-best eight points while Hett and Purkeypile each finished with nine to lead Marion.
Containing Hett was one of Knoll?s goal coming in.
?For the most part we did a pretty good job on him. He can score and does a really nice job,? he said.
Knoll praised Purkey?pile and his teammates in the paint.
?Their inside guys battled really hard for them,? he said. ?Rebounds were tough tonight and it was a physical game.?
With the win, Hillsboro evened its season record at 3-3 while Marion dropped to 1-4.