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Indians pressure way to rivalry win over Tigers

Lead Summary
     Using perimeter defense to force the McClain Tigers to take shots at the basket with a defender pressuring them with each attempt, the Hillsboro Indians gained the South Central Ohio League win Wednesday night as they scored 17 or more points in each of the final three quarters for a 61-45 win over rival McClain High School.

     The Indians, who had to forfeit their first three 2009-10 wins this week due to a rules infraction with the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA), gained what is now their first “official” win of the season and first SCOL win of the year.

     But the Indians didn’t let the negativity from earlier in the week dampen what remains of their season as they scored 20 points in the second quarter alone, along with back-to-back 17 point efforts in the third and fourth quarters.

     “Our guys played hard and we took pride in our defensive effort (Wednesday) against McClain,” Hillsboro head coach Tim Davis said. “Our energy was outstanding again.”

     For the Tigers their night shooting wasn’t up to their usual performance from this season. MHS (2-2, 3-3) was 0 of 19 from the 3-point line and 17 of 58 from the floor for a shooting percentage of 27 percent.

     “We had a cold night shooting,” McClain head coach Brent Eaton said. “We got away from what was working for us. We were working well inside, getting the ball to Kameron (Mace) and Lucas (Polley), but we have to learn not to play to our opponent’s advantage.

     “Hillsboro doesn’t have many weaknesses, but their perimeter defense isn’t one of them. We wanted to keep going inside, but we didn’t.”

     McClain led 12-7 after the opening quarter, but it was the Indians who started off the game with the first points as Colt Coates sank a jumper for the early 2-0 lead. Mace equaled the points of Coates with a basket of his own, and senior Caleb Gregory put MHS up 4-2 with a stand-up jumper.

     After HHS senior Emanuel Turner put the Tribe ahead 5-4 with a combined three points on two trips to the Hillsboro hoop, the Tigers scored the next eight points for a 12-5 advantage with 40.1 left in the first quarter. L.T. Walters, Logan Wise and Mace contributed to the 8-0 run in a span of under two minutes.

     HHS held the Tigers to six points in the cross-county matchup’s second quarter, who knocked down 20 points of their own to gain a lead of 27-18.

     Coates brought the Indians within two points of the Tigers’ lead with a 3-pointer to open the second quarter. Dawson Barreras tied the game at 12-12, but Polley battled and maneuvered his path to the hoop with 5:03 left in the quarter for a 14-12 McClain lead.

     Gregory put the Tigers in front 16-12 with 4:32 and the Tigers wouldn’t score again until the 1:29 mark of the same quarter.

     During the same time span the Indians (1-3, 1-5) scored nine consecutive points, with Aric Carroll knocking down a 3-pointer with 2:24 left in the first half. Also scoring in the 9-0 run were Steagall, Dawson Barreras and Dylan Barreras. Walters stopped the HHS scoring spree with a put back basket with 1:29 left on the clock. The Indians ended the first half with points from Coates and Steagall (a 3-pointer) for the 9-point advantage.

     Steagall hit his second 3-pointer of the game early in the third quarter, after going 2 of 2 from the free-throw line to start the third, to put HHS up 12 points at 32-20.

     Polley and Mace answered with consecutive buckets, but Steagall answered with a retro-style three-point play by scoring the inside basket while being fouled, then finishing the play off with a converted free-throw.

     McClain junior Zach Matracia took a charge with 1:44 remaining in the third, and on the next Tiger possession Polley brought MHS within nine points of tying the game with a free throw at the 1:04 mark. Steagall and Carroll scored the final points in the third quarter. Carroll, who returned from an injury, sank a 3-ball.

     The MHS duo of Zack Mullikin and Matracia scored back-to-back buckets for the Tigers to bring MHS within 10 points of the lead to start the fourth.

     With 4:59 left in regulation Steagall, again, was solid from beyond the arc, connecting for his third 3-pointer of the game. The HHS senior finished with a game-high 26 points, finishing a perfect 9 of 9 from the free-throw line.

     “Airic (Steagall) is a great player,” Davis said. “He steps up his play in big games. When it is crunch time, he produces.”

     Eaton spoke of the play of Steagall following the game.

     “(Airic) Steagall was the difference,” the MHS head coach said. “We had a difficult time guarding him. If we went away from him he would score, and if we focused on him, that left other players open.”

     Mace scored on a steal and fast break to the hoop to bring MHS within eight points of the Indians at 49-41. Mace scored a total of 14 points against HHS. He was 6 of 6 from the foul line.

     Toward the end of the game HHS had consecutive points from Coates, Steagall and Carroll to seal the SCOL win. Coates sank two 3-pointers in the game, finishing with 10 points.

     Each team has 31 rebounds, with Polley leading the Tigers with 17. Polley also finished with nine points and three assists. MHS tallied 18 turnovers, with the Indians being forced into 13.

     HHS shot 21 of 47 for 45 percent from the field, making seven 3-pointers.

     McClain will play again on Dec. 29 as they travel to face the Fairfield Lions in a non-league, Highland County rivalry matchup.

     The Indians will play again on Jan. 2, at the SSCC Patriot Center, when they face the Whiteoak Wildcats.

     In JV play McClain defeated the Indians 53-34. Jared Loftis led MHS with 16 points. Ta Captain led the Indians with 12.

     In freshman action HHS defeated MHS 44-41 in overtime. HHS was led by J. Hart with 22 points. Brent Shannon led the Tigers with 11.




MHS – 12 6 12 15 – 45

HHS – 7 20 17 17 – 61



HHS (61)

Da.Barreras 2 4, C.Coates 2 (2) 0-1 10, E.Turner 3 1-3 7, E.Hogsett 1 2, Dy.Barreras 2 0-1 4, A.Carroll 0 (2) 2-4 8, A.Steagall 4 (3) 9-9 26. TOTALS: 14 (7) 12-18 61.


MHS (45)

K.Mace 4 6-6 14, L.Wise 1 0-2 2, L.Polley 2 5-9 9, C.Gregory 4 8, L.Walters 4 8, A.Pryor 1 0-2 2, Z.Mullikin 1 2. TOTALS: 17 (0) 11-19 45.

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