Hillcrest opened the season at Lone Tree Tuesday and came out on the short end of a hard-fought 70-64 score. Lone Tree jumped out early and led by as many as 12 points in the first half before the Ravens shaved the margin to seven on a buzzer beating three by Eli Ours to close the first half down 29-22.
The Lions moved the lead back to 12 at 34-22 with two minutes gone in the second half, and led 50-41 after three quarters. The Lions extended the lead to 58-45 with just over five minutes remaining. Less than a minute later Hillcrest lost Kobe Borntrager to fouls, and moments later Drew Blauvelt followed suit.
Down 63-49 with three minutes remaining, the Ravens went to work. Noah Miller and London Schrock completed three-point plays, and then Ours and Miller each followed with a bucket, and suddenly it was 63-59 with two minutes remaining. Hillcrest had a chance to cut it to two, but missed the opportunity, and then it was Keegan Edwards salting it away with free throws down the stretch for the Lions.
Ours led the way for Hillcrest with 28 points, including four treys, and had four assists. Miller tallied 10 points, and Borntrager added eight points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. John Hughes had five rebounds to go with six points, and Will Kolck added five points and four rebounds. Drew Blauvelt picked up three steals and two assists. Schrock finished with three points, and Aaron Hershberger and Blauvelt rounded out the scoring with two points apiece.
Coach Dwight Gingerich said “I really liked our effort late and it was good to see some things come together. We clearly dug ourselves into a hole, and simply gave up too many transition opportunities, offensive rebounds and open looks. A game like this early gives us a chance to learn a lot, and I think we will see improvement. Credit Lone Tree as well, they hit big shots at key times and played well.”
Hillcrest next plays on Friday, hosting Louisa-Muscatine. Our JV Boys will begin things at 4:30 PM, followed by Varsity Girls and then Varsity Boys, all at Hillcrest Union.