Trojans come from behind for sixth-consecutive victory
Hillsboro weathers Warrior storm for 59-49 win
Much to the chagrin of the Marion Warriors and their fans, Hillsboro High School’s Ben Bebermeyer is only a sophomore.
Yet he seems to take a personal interest in inflicting grief on the Warriors this school year.
First, it was hauling in the two-point conversion pass in the regular season football finale, which ended Marion’s season and sent the Trojans on to the postseason.
Then, Friday night with the hosting Trojans (12-6, 8-2 MCAA) on the ropes, Bebermeyer came up with a pivotal, three-point play which turned the tide in the Trojans’ favor and allowed them to hang on for a deceivingly close, 59-49, victory.
Bebermeyer only scored five points, but the three-point play sparked a 20-10 Hillsboro run which proved to be a deciding factor in the win.
“They (Marion) really came to play tonight,” said an exhausted Trojan coach Darrel Knoll. “I knew they would, I was really pleased with our team to just maintain our composure and keep playing because they really had momentum there.
“We were missing shots inside, we were missing shots outside and I thought for a little while we got a little impatient offensively.”
Marion indeed showed up to play.
The Warriors built a 16-10 lead with just more than 1:30 left in the first quarter after the lead changed hands four times in the first six minutes.
Even the easy baskets such as fast-breaks and high-percentage shots were hard to come by for Hillsboro as it struggled for 29 percent shooting in the first quarter — 33 the first half.
Luke Gordon put the Warriors ahead, 27-15, draining a three-pointer with three minutes left in the first half.
The Trojans’ threatening trio of Clay Shewey, David Loewen, and Daniel Jost combined for 46 of the team’s points.
Loewen’s team-high 10 rebounds gave him a double-double, however, Marion outdid Hillsboro on the glass, 33-27, with the Trojans getting the edge rebounding offensively, 12-11.
One of Shewey’s five threes fueled a 10-2 run that helped Hillsboro close the gap to 29-25 at the break, despite the Warriors hitting better than 50 percent from the field — 60 in the second quarter.
Loewen got the Trojans within two 20 seconds into the second half before Marion would push the lead to six points three more times.
Bebermeyer’s heroics came with 2:42 to go in the third quarter, tying the game for the fourth time, seemingly taking the wind out of the Warriors’ sails.
Shewey drained another three, giving Hillsboro its first lead since the 3:09 mark in the first quarter — 44-41.
Gordon trimmed the lead as close as 44-43 with the first basket of the fourth quarter, but Marion never got any closer than a basket the rest of the way.
The Trojans put the game on ice at the free-throw line the final 1:56, knocking down a flawless 10-for-10 as Hillsboro finished 17-of-22 at the free-throw line — 13-for-16 the second half.
“It was really good to get a win, everybody gave us quality minutes tonight,” Knoll said. “When it got down to a one-and-one early in the fourth quarter, I told the assistant coaches we better be hitting our free throws because it’s coming down to free-throw shooting tonight.
“I thought one of the biggest plays of the night when we tied it up was when Ben got the block and the three-point play up.
“That was huge. What a great play. I thought we played better defense the second half and kept them off-balance more.”
Hillsboro wraps up the regular season at home Thursday for the Dec. 16 make-up game with Nickerson with around a 7:30 p.m. start.
The Trojans downed the Panthers 13 days earlier in Nickerson, 54-44.
Last modified Feb. 25, 2009