Hillsboro's Ethan Watson and Chillicothe's Vincent Roper are pictured awaiting a rebound. Watson led HHS with 11 points. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
Hillsboro's Ethan Watson and Chillicothe's Vincent Roper are pictured awaiting a rebound. Watson led HHS with 11 points. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
The Hillsboro Indians had no answers for the near-perfect shooting of the Chillicothe Cavaliers on Tuesday night. Completing the first half of the Frontier Athletic Conference schedule, the visiting Cavaliers rarely missed as they made 13 three-point shots en route to a 64-37 defeat of the host Indians.

Not only did the Cavs make 13 3-pointers in the win, including 11 in the first half, but the visitors also had seven blocks in the game, including five in the first half as they have seven players listed on their roster at 6-2 or taller, with three players as tall as 6-4, 6-6 and 6-7. The Cavaliers also had a total of four three-point plays in the win.


 
Chillicothe head coach and McClain High School graduate Eric Huffer was proud of the way his team played offensively.

“Our challenge to our players was to let it come naturally, let it come through our offense and at the different sets we were running,” Huffer said. “(Tre) Beard, that’s one thing he does really well. He does a lot of things well, but one of his specialities is really being able to space the floor for us.

“He did a phenomenal job of that. We were able to get him in spots and different actions where he could get that shot off. The challenge in the second half was just allowing it to come through the offense, and I thought in the first half we did a good job of that, and really, the whole game.”

Huffer also spoke about the defense of his team, as they held the Indians to under 20 points in the first two quarters.

“It goes back to my roots that defense is the thing we’re going to hang our hat on. There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t practice some one-on-one defensive drills and keep guys out of the paint and take pride in that,” Huffer said. “I thought we did a good job. I thought Hillsboro did a really good job in the second half of really attacking. One of our musts tonight was protecting the paint and taking pride in really stopping the ball. Hillsboro did a much better job in the second half of getting to the paint.”

As of the game itself, Hillsboro was first to score off a steal and layup from Mason Swayne 45 seconds into the contest.

Then, after one minute of action, the Cavaliers — who are tied for first place in the FAC with the Washington Blue Lions at 4-1 — scored the next 12 points off a three-point play by Jayvon Maughmer, followed with a three-pointers from Chris Postage, Brandon Noel and Tre Beard for the 12-2 lead with 2:29 left in the quarter.

Next for the Indians was two points by Ryan Scott, but the Cavs ended the first with a layup from Vincent Roper and a second 3-pointer by Beard for the 17-4 lead.

Beard was on fire for the Cavaliers against the Indians, finishing the game with a team-high 19 points, including making six 3-pointers in the win. He was also 1-of-2 from the free-throw line.

The second quarter included the Cavs starting the frame with four straight 3-pointers with the first one from Maughmer, followed by three straight treys by Beard, who put the Cavs up 29-4 with 4:53 left in the quarter.

The Indians broke the run of points with a three-point play from Ethan Watson, but CHS was again scoring points from downtown with a 3-pointer by Maughmer — who totaled 13 points — and then points in the paint with a two-point basket by J’Quan Harris.

Following a timeout by the Indians, Watson — who led the Indians in scoring with 11 points — took a charge, but the Cavs continued with a layup by Harris, along with a 3-pointer by Postage. HHS came back with two points by Watson, but the Cavs were again connecting from beyond the arc with a basket from Noel and then a three-point play by Noel as well, for a 45-9 score in favor of the visiting Cavs with 1:15 left in the first half. Noel finished with 17 points for the game.

Hillsboro answered with a 3-pointer by Jared Thompson, followed by two free throws by Watson and two free throws by Temple, which left the score at 45-16 at halftime, as Chillicothe outscored the Indians, 28-12 in the quarter.

“They did an extremely great job of shooting the basketball tonight. We knew we wanted to run some zone there early, and for the first few possessions, we got what we wanted. We just didn’t clean up the glass,” Hillsboro head coach Bruce Miles said. “They’re so big and long, and we had a hard time of checking out and securing the basketball. They just caught fire there.

“That really was the difference – their shooting ability early and then our inability to handle their pressure. They’re so physical. We just did not handle ourselves well with taking care of the basketball, spacing the floor, being physical. Matching their physicality was obviously an issue, right from the start. Their hot start shooting and then our inability to even get shot attempts – when we weren’t turning it over, it was hard for us to even get a shot up.”

In the second half, CHS outscored the Indians, 16-8, but in the fourth frame the Indians outscored Chillicothe, 13-3.

Hillsboro in the third had four points from Watson, two points from Gavin Temple and two points from Brad Miller. The Indians’ fourth quarter had four points from Miller, a 3-pointer by Jarrod Thompson and two points each from Temple, Nick Lewis and Ryan Scott.

“[At halftime] we challenged them for sure. That’s one of those gut check times where you’re getting your brains beat in, so to speak, and we’re going to challenge you to see what your pride is all about. We’re on our home court, we’re getting our butts kicked, and I told them ‘guys, listen, we’ve got to go out and try to win the second half.’ I think we did that,” Miles said. “We did a much better job of handling in the second half. It was one of those deals where you can control two things – your attitude and effort – and that’s all I ask out of the guys every time.

“I thought in the first half, we really got down on ourselves. They had such a big lead, and we started feeling sorry for ourselves, and you can’t do that in this game. We talked to them at halftime about that. I definitely saw our kids did not quit. They came out and played extremely hard.”

Chillicothe in the third had eight points from Noel (including a 3-pointer), four points from Beard (including a 3-pointer) and four points from Maughmer. In the fourth, the Cavs had three points from Courtland Duncan.

Next for the Indians is an away FAC game on Friday, Jan. 11 at Washington.