The Hillsboro boys varsity basketball team established the tone early in their road game at Seckman on Thursday. Up by 18 at halftime, the Hawks never gave the Jaguars a chance at a comeback, winning 79-57. The victory improves HHS to 16-4 on the season.
Led by Garrett Pinkley‘s 11 first quarter points, Hillsboro led 20-13 after the first eight minutes. Teammate Ethan Worley hit for 11 points in the second quarter to help the team to that 18 point lead at 45-27.
“We wanted to set the tone defensively and make it tough on them to score inside,” said head coach Daniel Johnson. “I thought we did a pretty good job of that. We were strong with the ball, and our ball movement was good all night, allowing us to find the open man and get some good looks.”
That early lead afforded the Hawks the chance to distribute the ball and get everyone involved in the offense. The team extended the lead to 63-38 after three quarters. “I feel, as a team, we play as fast as possible and try and take whatever the defense gives us,” Zach Whaley pointed out. “Last night, they couldn’t run with us. We run much better than other teams, and they couldn’t keep up. Last night, I felt like we moved and shared the ball good as a team.”
Ethan Worley was the benefactor of that ball movement many times. He scored 23 points and hit four shots from beyond the arc. He said the team is starting to really put it together as districts approach. “I think everything is looking great,” he said. “We are playing very well, but we definitely can get better before districts come at the end of the month.”
Five other players hit three pointers for the game, giving Hillsboro 27 points from three point land. The Hawks hit 50 percent from the field, and committed only seven turnovers. Pinkley had a nice game, finishing with 18 points and seven rebounds. Whaley also hit double figures, notching 13 points and dishing off four assists. Logan Smith and Evan Worley each hit for nine points. Worley grabbed eight rebounds and blocked five shots. Mark Moore, fresh off his signing with Webster University, scored five points and collected seven assists. Eric Schneider wrapped up the scoring with two points.
“Now we’ve got to get back to work to prepare for Festus on Saturday,” Whaley said. The Hawks, winners of their last eight of nine games, have a big conference showdown at home Saturday against the Tigers. This game will determine the conference champion, as the game was originally scheduled for January 17 but was cancelled due to bad weather in the area. Tip off should be around 7:30 tomorrow night.