The Spartans were undersized Tuesday, but they were not outgunned.

Squaring off against collectively taller city rival Glencoe in Pacific Conference basketball action, the Hilhi boys basketball team came roaring back from a slow start and a 15-10 halftime deficit to snatch away a 47-43 win at Hillsboro High HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Hillsboro's Tyler Fernstrom corrals the ball in Hillsboros' 47-43 defeat of Glencoe.

The victory provided the hard-working Spartans with their first winning streak of the season, improved their record to 4-10 overall and 2-2 in league play and put them in a tie for fourth place with Tualatin heading into tonight’s conference slate. The loss left the Crimson Tide (3-11, 0-4) still in search of their first league victory.

While the two teams had combined for just six wins heading into the night, the tilt was still significant: it was a rivalry game, after all.

“Right from when the bell rang after school, it was, ‘Guys, get your head in the game. We gotta drain the Tide,’” said Tyler Fernstrom, Hilhi’s senior guard who led all scorers with 15 points and provided the game-winning tallies on a three-point play with 1:08 to go.

Thanks to a tightly-played second half, the result was in doubt until the final seconds. Neither team led by more than five points in the fourth quarter, which Glencoe’s Jared Duvall started with a bang. His 3-pointer from the left corner a few seconds in cut a Hilhi lead to HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Hillsboro's Blake Pearson careens into Landon Apeland of Glencoe in a Pacific Conference boys basketball game Tuesday at Hilhi. Pearson was called for an offensive foul, but his Spartans won the game 47-43.

The Spartans tried to put some distance between themselves and the Tide from there, going up by four points on five occasions in the period before the final margin. The last spread of that kind — until the final score — came midway through the quarter, when Andrew Groh knocked down his third 3-pointer of the night for a 40-36 Spartans lead.

Glencoe refused to give in, though.

Grant Ramey put the Tide in front 42-41 with a 3-ball of his own with about three minutes to play. After Hilhi’s Matt Jones scored smartly under the basket on an in-bounds pass, Glencoe took the lead back when Trevor Williams hit two free throws with 2:06 to go.

But then Fernstrom went to work, finishing at the hoop despite Landon Apeland’s contact. Fernstrom’s ensuing successful free throw put Hilhi up 45-43 with 68 seconds left.

Out of a timeout, Ramey’s 3-point try the other way bounced off the front of the rim, and after the Spartans got the ball back, Groh was fouled. A slight, soft-spoken junior with a scoring touch, Groh calmly sank two free throws on a one-and-one opportunity with 27 seconds HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Glencoes Curtis Crocker attempts a layup around Hillsboro's Terell Mims and Brandon Wilson.

“I’ve been shooting free throws all year. Nothing’s different,” said Groh, who finished with 11 points. “Late game, it’s close, but I wasn’t thinking about that.”

Those last two scores accounted for the final margin after 3-point attempts by Duvall and Ramey proved off the mark.

Earlier, as evidenced by that 15-10 halftime score, the action took a while to heat up as both sides struggled to put the ball in the basket. In fact, Hilhi did not score its first points of the game until Evan Nelson hit two free throws with 2:44 left in the first quarter. That cut the Spartans’ deficit to 6-2.

Glencoe controlled much of the first half and took its largest lead at 15-8 on a Matt Hopman jumper late in the second quarter.

But with just a five-point difference between the teams at halftime, it was still anyone’s game heading into the final 16 minutes.

“I told the kids I didn’t feel like they could score enough in the half court to beat us,” Hilhi coach Ryan Svenson said. “I felt like if we got back in transition and we rebounded, we were good enough defensively.”

The Spartans got their offense going early in the third quarter, which Groh and Fernstrom opened with back-to-back 3-pointers. The home team’s largest lead was at 29-22 with 17 seconds to go in the third, when Fernstrom went coast to coast, was fouled, and finished the basket but missed the free throw.

Blake Pearson provided a solid third scoring option with nine points for Hilhi. Shayne Rixie led the Tide with 12 points, Kyle Mincemoyer had eight and Ramey added seven. Afterward, Glencoe coach Bob Wismer felt his team had let one slip away.

“We didn’t make stops when we needed to make stops. I thought it was as simple as that,” Wismer said. “We gave up too much easy stuff to them. You can’t win doing that. We had our chance to win. We let them off the hook, and we gave up too much easy stuff.”

Hilhi is home once again tonight for a 7:15 game against the Timberwolves of Tualatin. Glencoe returns home to face Newberg at the same time. Varsity girls games immediately precede both of those contests. Next Tuesday, Hilhi travels to co-league leader Tigard for a 7:15 p.m. contest, while Glencoe hosts McMinnville at 6:45.

Note: Glencoe’s Mincemoyer injured his right knee midway through the third quarter in a collision with Pearson. The 6-foot-5 senior walked to the team bench under his own power and later briefly reentered the game before subbing back out.

After the game, Wismer was unsure of his 2013 all-leaguer’s status.

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine