The 2018 edition of the Hillsboro Indians and the McClain Tigers added to the storied hardwood rivalry between the two schools on Saturday at Hillsboro High School when the Tigers locked down defensively and scored nine unanswered points to extend their lead from four points to 13 points in the fourth quarter effectively sealing the win for McClain with a final score of 55-41.
“The way we finished is not just the key, it was the basketball game,” said Tigers’ Head Coach Joe B. Stewart after the game. “Jerry Tarkanian an old coaches coach, he says, ‘the game comes back to reality.’ The reality is we are not 15 points and one half better than Hillsboro. The game always does come back to reality, it did. Up four at the end when it gets tight you just tell your kids ‘this is the game we came here to play. This is the game we came here to win.’ We know its going to be highly contested but, the way our guys finished on the defensive end…defense we really felt like was the key.”
The Tigers opened the game with a seven to nothing run that featured two huge offensive rebounds and put backs by Dalton Mischal, the second of which resulted in a trip to the foul line where he converted.
Mason Swayne took the lid off the basket for the Indians when he converted on a layup a short time later and he added four more points on the first quarter as he attempted to keep Hillsboro within reach.
Mischal recorded four more points in the first quarter but, was unable to convert the and one opportunities at the stripe and he finished the quarter with nine points while Devin Carter had four points for McClain as it took a 18-9 lead into the second.
Reece Bloomfield got Hillsboro on the board first in the second quarter but it was for naught as McClain responded with a nine to zero run to go up 27-11 with about five minutes until halftime.
Swayne and Bloomfield rattled off three consecutive points at the foul line for Hillsboro before Tigers’ freshman Bryson Badgely hit a three pointer and Mischal gobbled up his fourth offensive rebound of the half and converted over the Hillsboro defense to make the score 32-14.
The Indians refused to go quietly into the night on their home floor and quickly responded with seven straight points of their own as freshman Hunter Price, Swayne and Ethan Watson got Hillsboro within 11 points with 45 seconds to play in the first half.
Badgely hit one of two from the foul line with under 10 seconds to play to give McClain a 33-21 halftime lead.
The Indians outscored the Tigers 12-9 in the third quarter with Swayne leading the way with eight points in the frame and Watson chipped in four points at the end of the quarter as the Indians began an 11-2 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters before McClain answered with the game clinching run.
Score by quarters
Hillsboro: Swayne 7-5/6-19; Temple 0/2-0; Magulac 1/2-1; Watson 4-7/9-15; Price 1-2; Bloomfield 1-2/2-4
McClain: Penwell 2/2-2; Badgely (2)-1/2-7; Cockerill 1(1)-0/1-5; Banks 1(1)-0/1-5; Carter 5-5/11-15; Schluep 1-2; Mischal 7(1)-2/5-19
Ryan Applegate is the sports editor for The Times-Gazette. Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.