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Late free throws lead Tribe past Wildcats

Lead Summary

     In the third and final of three games at the Patriot Center Saturday night, the Hillsboro Indians flexed their muscles in the first half, and held off a strong attack by the Whiteoak Wildcats in the second half, en route to a 55-52 non-league victory.

     The win gave the South Central Ohio League a win in the SCOL vs. SHL (Southern Hills League) Showdown at 2-1 in the three game event.

     “Whiteoak played us hard,” Hillsboro head coach Tim Davis said. “They went after the boards and went after the ball on the floor.”

     But the win was anything but easy for the Indians against their county rival, as Whiteoak outscored the Tribe 36-27 in the final two quarters. In the first half the Indians outscored the Wildcats 28-16, with a second quarter of 15-10.

     “The second quarter has been hurting us all season,” Whiteoak head coach Tom Wessner said. “We were down 12 at the half and I need to make better adjustments in the second quarter. We need better execution in the second quarter and we need to be more consistent.”

     After a 13-6 first quarter where Airic Steagall sank a 3-pointer at the 5:31 mark to put the Indians ahead 5-0, the Indians jumped out to a 7-2 advantage with a bucket from Colt Coates. The HHS lead went to seven points after Emanuel Turner scored on a fastbreak, leaving 1:53 in the opening quarter.

     In the early stages of the second Dawson Barreras made layup, and back-to-back buckets from Caleb Wilson put the Tribe in the lead at 19-8.

     Whiteoak’s Jerry Stuckey scored a put back bucket, followed by a free throw by Ben Barnett. Stuckey made it a 7-0 run when he nailed a 3-pointer with 1:47 left in the first half, but on the next HHS possession Turner equaled the feat with a 3-ball for the Indians. Turner then sank a inside basket as he drove his way through the defense of Whiteoak for the two point basket.

     Coates ended the first half with two put back buckets, the final one at the buzzer for a 28-16 lead.

     The ‘Cats came out fast in the third scoring nine straight points, with Ethan Hawkins taking two charges within the first three minutes of the quarter. The scoring began with Mike Carraher knocking down a 3-pointer, followed with another 3-ball at the 6:31 mark to put WHS down six points. Carraher then came back with a layup off a fastbreak caused by an HHS turnover. Hawkins followed with a corner jumper at the 5:15 mark of the quarter.

     The scoring by WHS stopped with inside points from Coates. Stuckey answered with more points off Hillsboro turnovers and Hawkins tied the game at 30 as he forced his way to the hoop with 4:05 left in the third.

     After WHS took the lead at 33-31 with transition points from Stuckey, Aric Carroll scored his first 3-pointer of the contest. HHS extended its lead with a layup from Daniel Hicks.

     Joe Michael brought the Wildcats within one point of the Indians and Barnett sank a long range jumper to put WHS in the lead (39-38) with 7:26 left in regulation. Wilson put the Tribe back into the lead, but the score was tied at 40 with a free throw from Barnett.

     “I thought our energy was down,” Davis said. “We were looking for an energy burst and we got it from a few people, but we didn’t have the energy and intensity that we wanted to see.”

     Steagall scored five straight points late in the fourth, followed with a 3-pointer by Carroll nearly one minute later to put the Indians ahead 51-42.

     Ethan Eyre and Michael combined for four consecutive points to make the score 51-48 with .49 seconds remaining.

     HHS was 6 of 8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

     Turner came up big for HHS from the free-throw line late as he made 4 of 6 shots. WHS had one last chance to take the win, but the Indians intercepted the final pass by WHS to seal the win. Turner and Michael each had the game-high in scoring with 13 points.

     Coates netted 11 and Steagall finished with 10 points for the Indians.

     Barnett scored 12 points for the Wildcats, and Carraher ended the game with 10.

     “Our three most experienced players made big shots for us when we needed them,” Davis said. “Emanuel, Aric (Carroll) and Airic (Steagall) were clutch and that is the type of leadership we are looking for from our guards.”

     Wessner wants his team to play better inside the post.

     “We didn’t shoot enough free throws against a team like Hillsboro,” Wessner said. “We need to work better inside the post.”

     The win drops WHS to 4-4 overall. The Wildcats are 1-2 in the SHL. HHS stands at 2-5 overall.




HHS – 13 15 10 17 – 55

WHS – 6 10 19 17 – 52



HHS (55)

D.Hicks 1 2, Da.Barreras 1 2, C.Coates 5 1-2 11, E.Turner 3 (1) 4-6 13, Dy.Barreras 1 2, A.Carroll 0 (3) 9, A.Steagall 1 (2) 2-2 10, C.Wilson 3 6. TOTALS: 15 (6) 7-10 55.


WHS (52)

J.Stuckey 3 (1) 9, B.Barnett 5 2-4 12, J.Michael 6 1-4 13, E.Eyre 2 4, E.Hawkins 2 4, M.Carraher 2 (2) 10. TOTALS: 20 (3) 3-8 52.

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