It was a game the Hillsboro boys’ basketball team needed to win. The Trojans were playing a team they had already beaten at home with more than a week of rest.
They lost to Sterling, 71-68 in overtime.
The Trojans were up 55-50 with 2:36 left in the game on the strength of three Shaq Thiessen points off two steals and a Josh Wiebe contested layup. Sterling center Austin Maxwell hit two free throws and then forward Kirk Engelland hit another free throw after to reduce the margin to three points. Hillsboro forward Tyler Proffitt knocked down two free throws but Engelland hit a layup, 57-55 with 1:03 remaining in the game.
Brett Weinbrenner knocked down 3-of-4 foul shots on the Trojans next trip to the line separated by two more Maxwell free throws. Wiebe was the fouling culprit picking up his fifth foul.
This was a crucial moment of the game. Maxwell was the leading scorer in the game with 35 points. He scored on a bevy of contested layups, free throws, and put backs off offensive boards — he had 17 rebounds. Wiebe guarded Maxwell the best of any of Hillsboro’s forwards. It happened that, when Wiebe went to the bench with three fouls in the second quarter, Sterling whittled away a nine-point deficit to three points by halftime, 32-28.
Hillsboro is up three with 25.5 seconds left. Sterling set up on offense, quickly dumped the ball down to Maxwell on the right block who spun into the Hillsboro defender, Harry Faber in this instance, and knocked down a layup despite contact. He sank the resulting free throw with 14.3 seconds left in the game, 60-60.
After a timeout, Brett Weinbrenner could not connect on a long 2-point jump shot. At the start of overtime, Wiebe was out of the game, Faber had four fouls, and guard Evan Ollenburger had four fouls.
Sterling went up 66-62 in OT. Maxwell hit two free throws and Engelland hit a layup plus an “and-1” free throw. Engelland had 12 points and nine rebounds in the game. Shaq Thiessen hit a layup along the baseline before Hillsboro called a timeout. Out of the stoppage, Faber drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key, but Maxwell went right back to work and hit a layup right over Faber. Proffitt fouled Jake Jaderston who hit 1-of-2 free throws. Thiessen then hit a three from the right wing to reduce to Sterling lead to 69-68 with 14 seconds left in overtime.
With 5.7 seconds left, Thiessen fouled Engelland, picking up his fifth foul. Engelland hit one free throw. Weinbrenner could not hit a jump shot at the right elbow and Jesse Brown was forced to foul Maxwell who knocked down another free throw.
Thiessen had 29 points in the game. Weinbrenner had 18 points and six rebounds. The Trojans were outrebounded 30-27. Hillsboro shot 32 percent for the game.