Friday night boys basketball: Hillsboro nips Red Raiders
By JOSH WALKER
HILLSBORO — The Hillsboro boys basketball team survived another scare from London last night on its home floor.
In a matchup between teams at opposite ends of the South Central Ohio League, the Red Raiders had HHS fans holding their breathes until the final minute of play before the Indians held on for a 66-60 victory.
LHS trailed by just one point at 56-55 with three minutes left to play after baskets by Kyle Fisher and Antonio Wilson.
Tyrand Cumberland made two free throws, then Christian Cundiff hit a 3 from the corner with 2:05 left to play to give the Indians the breathing room they needed.
“Let me just tell you, that was one of those ‘You’d better make it’ shots,” Hillsboro coach Brett Prince said. “… I was just thrilled it went in. If not, I was going to be really upset and we would have had to defend them in transition.”
Fisher scored to cut the lead to four at 61-57 with 1:15 left, but that is as close as the Red Raiders would get.
Hillsboro’s Taron Captain –– who finished with a team-high 18 points –– made the important side of a one-and-one and Devante Ames made both sides with 23.2 seconds left to play.
Fisher made a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left, but Jarrod Hart calmly sank a pair of free throws to bring the game to its final score of 66-60 at the other end.
After the free throws, Prince called for his team to foul during a timeout as the Indians only had three team fouls in the second half. Chase Gilliland committed three consecutive fouls, preventing London from reaching the half-court line until there were only five seconds left.
LHS’s final shot missed at the buzzer to end the game.
Friday night wasn’t the first time the Red Raiders have given Hillsboro trouble. Earlier this season, they lost 67-66 to the SCOL front-runner.
“They’re the one team in the league that can match up with our quickness,” Prince said. “The are probably actually more athletic than we are. Their guards do a great job of driving the lane, but they have two or three kids that can bang it if you leave them.
“They are the best 3-11 team around; I can tell you that.”
Hillsboro holds onto a two-game lead in the SCOL with the win at 7-1 (11-3 overall). London falls to 2-7 in the league and 3-12 overall.
The Indians took a 24-17 lead in the first quarter. Their primary weapon was Tyia Cumberland, who came off the bench to lead in scoring. Cumberland had eight of his 12 points in the frame.
“He played great,” said Prince when asked about Cumberland’s performance. “There are two reason he was successful tonight: He was where he needed to be when we were in our press break and he was the beneficiary of some great passes by our guards. Basically, by doing his job he was able to score.”
London quickly bounced back in the second, scoring seven straight –– including four from Wilson –– after another hoop by Cumberland.
Captain and Chase Gilliland each scored to extend the lead to 30-24 midway through the quarter, but London came roaring back with nine straight points to take a 33-30 advantage. Zach Carey capped the run with an offensive put-back and a 3-pointer.
Hillsboro recovered to take a 38-35 advantage into the half.
London scored the first four points of the third quarter to take a 39-38 lead, but the Indians scored 10 unanswered to take a lead they would not r