Pictured are Hillsboro's Ethan Watson (12) and McClain's Kobe Penwell during the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic Saturday night at the SSCC Patriot Center. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
Pictured are Hillsboro's Ethan Watson (12) and McClain's Kobe Penwell during the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic Saturday night at the SSCC Patriot Center. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
In the final game of the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic that didn’t end until around 11:30 p.m., the Hillsboro Indians pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat Highland County rival McClain by a 56-36 score at the Southern State Patriot Center.

The Indians — who are 2-0 to start the season — won the Frontier Athletic Conference opener by outscoring the Tigers 21-5 in the final eight minutes, taking a six-point lead after three frames and turning it into a 22-point victory.

After Hillsboro built a 37-31 lead at the conclusion of the third frame, the fourth quarter turned the game into a whole different scene with the Indians scoring their first points of the fourth off a layup from Phillip Mycroft, who maneuvered around the Tigers defender for the two points with 6:40 left in regulation at the Patriot Center.



The Tigers answered with a 3-pointer by Dalton Mischal 16 seconds later for a 39-34 score. With the Tigers having issues with their defense and unable to put the ball in the basket other than Mischal in the second half, the Indians broke away for nine straight points with help from Ethan Watson, Mason Swayne and Mycroft for a 48-34 lead with 3:14 left in the game.

After two points from McClain’s Devin Carter at the 2:46 mark of the fourth, the rest of the scoring for the game was all Hillsboro with Watson sinking a 3-pointer, Mycroft making a put-back basket, Josh Keets with a layup and a 3-pointer by Jakwon Clark for the win.

The Indians had a total of six players reach the scoring column in their first FAC game of the season. Leading the way was Mycroft (who was also named the Player of the Game) with 16 points. Mycroft totaled seven two-point field goals and was 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.

Both Swayne and Watson each scored 11 points. Swayne made three two-point baskets with one 3-pointer and a 2-of-2 performance from the free-throw line. Watson made one two-point basket, two 3-pointers and finished 3-of-4 in free throw attempts.

The Tigers (1-1) were led by Mischal with a game-high 24 points. He made five two-point baskets, four 3-pointers and was 2-of-4 from the free-throw line. In the third frame, he collected 11 of his 24 points, including three 3-pointers.

The first three quarters equaled a much closer played game with McClain leading after eight minutes at 10-9 as Mischal began the game with a jumper, only to see Mycroft equal the scoring with points in the paint. Mischal was there once again with a jumper at the 4:50 mark, and from there the Tigers had a layup by Carter at the 3:47 mark of the quarter, forcing the Indians to call a timeout.

Following the break in play, the Indians responded with a 3-pointer by Watson, only to have Mischal connect with yet another jumper. The Indians scored the final points of the quarter with a shot by Watson with less than two seconds remaining.

The Indians outscored their Highland County rival 17-8 in the second, beginning by scoring eight straight points within the first 1:40 of the quarter. The quick-paced scoring started off with a 3-pointer by Hayden Haines, followed by a trey by Swayne and a layup by Keets for a 17-10 lead and forcing the Tigers to call a timeout.

The Tigers scored first following the timeout with Mischal taking the ball the length of the court for a layup. The Indians answered with a 9-0 run, which included a 3-pointer by Clark, a layup by Swayne, a jumper off the glass by Haines and a layup from Mycroft to increase the Indians’ lead to 26-12 with 3:38 on the scoreboard.

The Tigers came back with two free throws by Clark and four points from Mischal for a 26-18 deficit when halftime arrived.

McClain won the third frame at 13-11 with the Tigers getting to within five points of tying the score with 2:54 left in the quarter following a 3-pointer by Mischal. The quarter began with a jumper by Kobe Penwell, and from there Mischal scored all the McClain points from around the 4:30 mark of the third to the 2:46 mark of the fourth.

As for the HHS scoring in the third, Swayne, Keets and Mycroft contributed the 11 points scored.

Next for the Indians is a non-conference game at Georgetown on Tuesday, Dec. 5. The Tigers will face Jackson on Friday, Dec. 8 in an FAC matchup.