Fans were kept in suspense last night as the Hillsboro Trojans and Marion Warriors faced off in the final game before the holiday break. With scoring low, both teams relied on free throw shooting to give or take the game. It was Hillsboro though that came out on top defeating Marion 33-23 when the buzzer sounded.
Marion scored first, but a rocky start didn’t deter Hillsboro from edging out the lead to 10-9 going into the half.
Marion senior Dane Purkeypile led the scoring for the first half scoring the first four points of the game. He also led the game in rebounds, mostly on defense.
“He was all over the place and that’s how we ask him to play,” Marion Head Coach Jeff McMillin said.
It was fouls by the Warriors that would allow the Trojans to score their only points of the first quarter. But it was Hillsboro’s steady climb in the second quarter that would turn the game for them. Senior Ben Bebermeyer’s three-pointer tied the game eight-all with four minutes remaining in the half.
“That three was pretty huge,” Hillsboro Head Coach Darrel Knoll said.
Marion led the game in rebounds and depsite their efforts to materialize shots, were unable to make anything of possessions. Purkeypile’s free throw with a minute left in the half would give the Warriors the lead. Hillsboro answered back when senior Grant Shewey sunk both his free throws giving the Trojans the lead.
“I was really surprised at our lack of movement on offense,” Knoll said. “I thought we would execute a little bit better.“
In a nail-biting third quarter that saw both teams trading basket-for-basket, it was Marion senior Jordan Versch’s rebound that allowed Hett’s three-pointer to give Marion the 18-15 lead coming out of the third quarter.
Marion may have put up a fight in the third, but Hillsboro asserted themselves in the fourth.