The Indians had managed the keep the lead for most of the game, and were looking for a win in the fourth quarter — but an unexpected 28-point gain from the Adena Warriors in the last few minutes sent Hillsboro home with a 56-51 home loss Tuesday night.
Hillsboro came out of the first quarter with a 1-point lead after being down by 4 points with 3:31 on the clock. Ethan Watson brought it back around with a combination of 2-pointers and a free throw that took the first-quarter score to 11-10.
The second quarter saw Adena tie the score at 16-16 with four minutes on the clock. Josh Keets took the lead for the Indians with a 2-pointer 30 seconds later, and the Indians kept the lead for the rest of the quarter. Keets was the high-scorer for the period, making three 2-pointers and two conversions from the freethrow line.
By the half, the score was 22-19 with Hillsboro still ahead.
The Indians came out of the locker room with some intensity, scoring 15 points for the quarter against Adena’s 9 points. Watson was the star of the third quarter, putting up two 2-pointers, a long 3 and a free throw for a combined 8 points.
In the fourth quarter, Adena made a quick comeback with no warning. The lead changed four times in the second half of the final period, with both teams going head-to-head in what turned out to be the end of the Indians’ court domination. Watson put up two 3-pointers for Hillsboro, Keets put up a 2-pointer and two free throws and Ward threw in two 2-pointers, but Adena was unstoppable.
By the buzzer, the Indians had taken the loss at 56-51.
“We didn’t get the benefit of a couple shots around the basket that didn’t go our way,” said Hillsboro head coach Bruce Miles. “We did a good job of contesting shooters. They have a couple guys who really shoot well, but we missed some rotations and they made big shots.”
Watson and Keets led scoring for the Indians with 21 and 16 points, respectively.
The Indians will travel to Lees Creek Friday night to take on the East Clinton Astros.
Adena — 10 9 9 28 — 56
Hillsboro — 11 11 15 14 — 51
AHS: J. Postage 1-4/4-6; T. Postage (4)-4/4-16; Blevins 2-4; Fach 2(1)-7; C. Postage 1-1/2-3; Dawson 5-1/2-11; Foglesong 1-1/1-3; Bakenhaster 3-0/2-6
HHS: Reed 1-2; Ryan 1-2/4-4; Ward 3-6; Watson 5(3)-2/4-21; Anderson 1-2; Keets 4(1)-5/7-16
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @SportsWrighter.