A strong start and a strong finish were the name of the game for the Hillsboro Indians on Friday night as they hosted South Central Ohio League opponent East Clinton, winning the game with a final score of 58-46.
The Indians got off to a quick start on Friday, scoring the first six points of the game before the Astros could even get anything going. In fact, East Clinton only made one field goal the entire first frame, their other four points coming from free throws.
In the second quarter, East Clinton flipped the table on the Indians, holding them to only six points, but only scored 11 of their own, so the Indians held on to a 24-17 lead going into halftime.
The third quarter proved to be no better for the Hillsboro squad, as East Clinton was able to keep chipping away at the lead, even tying the game at one point at 32 a piece, but two clutch, back-to-back three pointers from Cameron Reed to close the quarter pushed the Indians back in front 38-34.
In the fourth quarter, the Indians took back control, just as they had to begin the game, scoring 20 points in the eight minute frame and holding the Astros to just 12 to pull even further ahead and as the final buzzer sounded, the Indians were the winner at a final of 58-46.
“We talked to the guys before the game about coming out early and playing with energy, and I think they did a great job of doing that,” said Indians’ coach Bruce Miles after the game. “We kind of had some lapses there in that second and third quarter where we let them get back into the ball game. They made some shots, and some offensive rebounds hurt a little bit, but then in the fourth quarter we were able to clamp down.
“I think Matthew Ryan did a outstanding job on the Floydd kid. He’s a really good player. Each night, Matthew has the assignment of guarding the other team’s best player and I think he did a tremendous job keeping him contained because he hurt us in our first meeting.
Cameron [Reed] is starting to get back to where he was in the preseason before he got hurt. I like bringing him in off the bench because it’s instant energy, and instant offense. He got going there for a stretch and we were trying to do whatever we could to get the ball to him. He was getting himself into some good positions and getting his feet underneath him. He’s a nice weapon to have come off the bench for us.”
The Hillsboro boys will now hit the road to play Clinton-Massie on Tuesday, January 19.
“Massie licked us pretty good the first meeting,” said coach Miles. “They’re big and physical so we have to be able to fight through that, play our game and match their physicality.”
HHS – 18 6 14 20 – 58
ECHS – 6 11 17 12 – 46
Hillsboro: Reed 1(3) 2/4 – 13; Kibler 3 4/4 – 10; Mycroft 3(1) 0/3 – 9; Ryan 3 2/3 – 8; Brown 3 2/3 – 8; Ward 2 3/4 – 7; Keets 1 1/1 – 3. Totals: 16(4) 19/22 – 58.
East Clinton: Floydd 6(1) 3/10 – 18; Blair 1(3) 4/4 – 15; McCarren 2 – 4; Barnes 1 1/2 – 3; Campbell 1 – 2; P. Luttrall 1 – 2; Jenkins 2/2 – 2. Totals: 12(4) 10/18 – 46.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.