The Miami Trace boys came to Hillsboro knowing they were going into a tough game — historically, Hillsboro High School has been a tough play venue for the Panthers — and the Hillsboro Indians put up the expected fight. However, despite an energetic first three quarters from the home team, the Panthers turned up the heat in the fourth and snatched the win at 69-56.
Hillsboro jumped out to an 8-5 lead when Ethan Watson put up two 3-pointers in about 20 seconds before the clock hit three minutes in the first quarter. In the second tie of the game, Miami Trace came back with a long three that took the score to 8-8 in the next few seconds. The Panthers stole the lead from Hillsboro at 2:37 with a 2-point shot that took the score to 10-8 Miami Trace. Josh Keets made the third tie of the quarter with two from the freethrow line at 2:18, bringing the score to 10-10. Miami Trace went on a scoring run after that, keeping Hillsboro at 4 points for the rest of the quarter while scoring 8 for themselves. The first quarter came to a wrap with the Panthers up by two at 16-14.
The lead changed four times in the second quarter, beginning with Keets throwing a long three that changed the scoreboard to favor the Indians in the first 30 seconds of the quarter. Cam Reed made Hillsboro’s lead a little more comfortable with a 3-pointer at 6:11 that brought the Indians up by four at 20-16, but the Panthers crept back into the lead. Marshall Ward put a stop to it with a quick 2-pointer at 3:15 that tied the score at 24-24, and two freethrows from Kelton Anderson took the score to 26-24, giving the Indians the lead again. Miami Trace responded with a long three at 1:29 that brought the Panthers into the lead to end the quarter.
By the half, Miami Trace had held it together at 29-26.
Keets was the star of the third quarter, putting up a free throw and two 2-pointers in a row, taking the Indians into the lead at 38-37 before the clock hit three minutes. After that, the teams traded the lead seven times and tied the score once before the quarter ended with Miami Trace ahead by one point at 47-46. Hillsboro scored 21 points in the third quarter against Miami Trace’s 17.
After a physical third quarter, the Indians were looking for a win in the fourth, but it was not meant to be. Miami Trace kept Hillsboro at a 9-point gain for the quarter, limiting the Indians’ scoring with a tight defense while going on a scoring run for themselves. The visitors scored 23 points and stayed in the lead for nearly the entire fourth quarter.
By the buzzer, Miami Trace had taken the win at 69-56.
Watson and Keets led scoring for the Indians with 16 and 14 points, respectively. Miami Trace’s Pittser and Carter tied scoring for the Panthers with 18 apiece.
The Hillsboro boys fall to a 3-13, 2-13 record for the season.
“I told the guys all week, I said, listen, we typically play this team very tough,” said Hillsboro head coach Bruce Miles. “We do a good job of handling their pressure, and our guys felt really confident going in, we had a great week of practice, and we executed. We made shots, and then in the fourth quarter, we didn’t make a thing.”
“This is a difficult place to play,” said Miami Trace head coach Rob Pittser. “You can look back through the years, I’ve been around long enough that we’ve come down here a lot of times, and it’s never been easy. We come down here, it’s typically a tight game, we have trouble playing here and shooting here, Bruce does a good job of mixing things up and scheming us a little bit. It’s difficult, and we were fortunate to get a win tonight.”
The Hillsboro boys will be back in action Saturday night against Goshen at 7:30 p.m.
Miami Trace — 16 13 17 23 — 69
Hillsboro — 14 12 21 9 — 56
MTHS: Pettiford 4(1)-2/6-13; Carter 4(3)_1/1-18; McDonald 1(4)-14; Creamer 2-4; Leach 1-0/2-2; Pittser 1(4)-4/4-18
HHS: Reed 1(2)-8; Ryan (1)-3; Ward 4(1)-2/2-13; Watson 2(4)-16; Anderson 2/2-2; Keets 4(1)-3/4-14
McClain beats Washington High School
Elsewhere in the county, the McClain Tigers took the win against the Washington Blue Lions in an SCOL match-up Friday night at home.
The final score was 39-27.
For the Tigers (now 6-11 overall, 3-7 in the SCOL), senior Mat Barton led the charge with 18 points. He hit three three-point field goals.
Freshman Dalton Mischal had nine points (including two three-point field goals) and senior Jacob Starkey scored seven.
It was a tough shooting night for the Blue Lions.
Unofficially, Washington made 8 of 39 field goal attempts for 21 percent. They were 2 of 19 from three-point range for 11 percent. They suffered 16 turnovers.
Washington made 9 of 10 from the free throw line for 90 percent.
McClain (again, unofficially) was 14 of 38 for 37 percent. They hit five three-point field goals, had 12 turnovers and went 6 of 17 from the foul line for 35 percent.
McClain led from wire-to-wire in this game, taking a quick 5-0 lead.
The Blue Lions twice pulled to within one point, but McClain was in front, 14-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Patton hit a three-point shot for the Blue Lions with 6:50 to play in the second quarter.
Washington did not score again until Kenny Upthegrove hit a free throw with 1:20 to play in the half.
Both teams struggled in the second quarter (unofficially, Washington 1 for 9 and McClain, 1 for 11 from the field).
McClain was in front, 16-12 at the half.
Washington won the third quarter, 11-10, but McClain won the fourth quarter, 13-4 to take the win, 39-27.
Back on Dec. 13, McClain won at Washington, 51-35.
“I thought our kids battled,” McClain assistant coach Brady Streitenberger said. “I thought our length and our zone gave them some problems. We made some adjustments in our man and our zone. I thought the kids executed tonight.”
McClain — 14 2 10 13 — 39
Washington — 8 4 11 4 — 27
MHS: Dakotah Duncan 0-0-0; Owen O’Connor 0-1-1; Brock Dean 0-0-0; Jacob Starkey 3-1-7; Mat Barton 3 (3)-3-18; Jensen Knaff 0-0-0; Dalton Mischal 1 (2)-1-9; Landree Gray 2-0-4; Jay Beatty 0-0-0; Bryson Rickman 0-0-0; Justin Osborne 0-0-0. TOTALS — 9 (5)-6-39. Free throw shooting: 6 of 17 for 35 percent. Three-point field goals: Barton, 3; Mischal, 2. Combined field goal shooting: 14 of 38 for 37 percent. Turnovers: 12.
WHS: Dillon Steward 1-2-4; Jarett Patton 1 (1)-4-9; Evan Upthegrove 1 (1)-0-5; Kory Proby 1-2-4; Kenny Upthegrove 1-1-3; Richard Burns Jr. 1-0-2. TOTALS — 6 (2)-9-27. Free throw shooting: 9 of 10 for 90 percent. Three-point field goals: Patton, E. Upthegrove. Turnovers: 16. Three-point field goal shooting: 2 of 19 for 11 percent. Combined field goal shooting: 8 of 39 for 21 percent.