Hillsboro's Jakwon Clark drives to the basket against the Washington Blue Lions, Friday at HHS. Clark totaled nine points in the FAC win. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
Hillsboro's Jakwon Clark drives to the basket against the Washington Blue Lions, Friday at HHS. Clark totaled nine points in the FAC win. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
HILLSBORO — Following their Frontier Athletic Conference victory over the Washington Blue Lions, Hillsboro head coach Miles Burton said the game was “a business trip.” In four quarters of play, the Indians never lost the lead, and they defeated their FAC counterpart by a 74-49 score, as Hillsboro took care of business and gained the conference victory.

The Indians also did something Coach Burton was pleased with, and that was getting off to a strong start to begin the game. The Indians led by 10 points at the end of the first frame, while they also held their opponent to single-digit scoring in the opening eight minutes for a 19-9 lead at the conclusion of the first quarter.

Hillsboro (3-1, 8-2) gained the early advantage with the first four points of the game when Brad Miller and Ryan Scott each scored points in the paint for the early advantage. Washington came back with two points by Tanner Lemaster, who scored seven of the nine points by the Blue Lions in the opening frame.

Scott led HHS with 19 points, and Miller totaled 10 points with seven rebounds.

“Brad is the workhorse of the team, and without him we struggle in a lot of areas, and he covers up a lot of our flaws,” Burton said. “I was super proud of Brad. He also rebounded well and had the tough matchup tonight guarding Lemaster, and I thought he did a good job.”

The Indians answered with the next eight points as Scott knocked down two 3-pointers, and following a Washington timeout, it was Hunter Price adding two points in the paint — off a Washington turnover — for a 12-2 Indians lead with 4:07 left in the first quarter. Price totaled 17 points and six rebounds in the win.

Washington’s Lemaster sank a 3-pointer, but the Indians didn’t blink as they added two points from Miller with a put-back basket, followed by a jumper by Price and a 3-pointer by Nick Lewis for a 19-5 advantage with 1:16 left in the opening quarter. Lewis had nine points for the game.

“Nick works hard every single day,” Burton said. “His minutes are up and down, and no matter how many minutes he gets, he makes the most of it. He works extremely hard in practice, and for him to hit a couple shots tonight shows how hard he’s been working in practice.”

Washington scored the final two points of the first quarter with a basket by Lemaster and two points near the end of the frame by Traeton Johnson.

“I liked how we moved the ball early on, and our screening was better, which is something we emphasize,” Burton said. “I’m proud of the guys, and we haven’t started well many games at all this year, and that is something we’ve emphasized at practice and during our walk through that we wanted to come out and start well. I’ll give the guys credit, they did that.”

The second frame saw the Tribe outscore the Blue Lions, 20-14, for a halftime lead of 39-23.

Jakwon Clark began the 20-point scoring quarter for the Indians with a 3-pointer at the 6:42 mark of the second, and after two points by the Blue Lions, the Indians had a free throw by Price and a jumper from Quintin Captain for a 25-11 lead for Hillsboro with 5:35 left in the first half.

The quarter continued with the Indians having points scored by Miller, Price, Scott and Clark, as Clark and Scott each had a 3-pointer in the final 1:18 of the second quarter.

Following halftime, the Indians had a strong third frame on their side of the scoreboard with a 21-point output, while the Blue Lions scored 12 points, leaving Hillsboro ahead 60-35 after three quarters.

Miller scored first in the third with two points, as the Indians opened the third quarter with a 14-0 run, keeping the Blue Lions scoreless until the 2:21 mark of the quarter.

“I was super happy with how we guarded (Friday), and we’ve guarded well in stretches this season, but we haven’t been able to put it together for as long as stretches as we were able to tonight. So I was super happy with the effort, and the guys are locked in right now,” Burton said. “They know every game — especially every league game — is important moving forward. This was a business trip, and they came in here and took care of business, and I’m proud of them.”

Before Washington’s 3-pointer by Johnson, the Indians’ run of points following Miller’s bucket included two points by Scott (with the assist from Captain). Next came a layup by Scott, who took the basketball the length of the court.

Following a Washington timeout, the Indians had a jumper by Captain, a 3-pointer by Lewis and two points in the paint from Price for a 52-23 advantage. After a three-point play by the Blue Lions, the Indians had a 3-pointer from Clark, then as the quarter came to a close, Hillsboro’s scoring included a layup by Scott for what eventually became a 25-point lead at 60-35.

In the final quarter, Hillsboro added 14 points with a basket from Miller — off a no-look pass by Scott — plus points from Price (who scored six straight), Coltin Hunter (a three-point play) and a 3-pointer by Ethan Parry to conclude the HHS scoring.

Also in the game, scoring points for the Blue Lions were Raleigh Haithcock (three) and Macai Claggett (13 points).

For HHS, other final scoring included Captain (four), Hunter (three) and Parry (three).

As a team, the Indians were 4-of-5 from the free-throw line, and Washington was 2-of-3 in their free-throw attempts. For the game, the two teams combined for nine fouls, with HHS having just three fouls called on them in four quarters.

In JV play on Friday night, the Indians defeated the Blue Lions, 36-28. Leading the Indians in the JV scoring column was Ethan Parry with 14 points, while Korbin Williams scored seven points. Other final scoring included: Jayse Middleton (four), Jack Roades (five), Shane Sullivan (five) and Bryce Parsons (one). There was no freshman game played.

Next for the Indians is another home FAC game on Tuesday, Jan. 19 as the Indians will host Highland County rival McClain in freshman, JV and varsity action.

“We’ll be ready,” Burton said of Tuesday’s upcoming game. “It is upsetting not to have a game Saturday night (Saturday’s game at Miami Trace has been postponed and moved to Feb. 2). But that gives us another day to get ready.”