Hillsboro's second half surge leads them past Glencoe, 60-48
Facing their third 6A opponent in the last two weeks, the Hillsboro boys basketball team found the third time to truly be the charm.
5A Hillsboro (5-5) hosted cross-town rival and 6A opponent Glencoe (4-7) on Wednesday, Jan.8, and despite an early surge by the Tide, the Spartans ran away with the game in the second half — particularly in the fourth quarter —in a 60-48 victory that put them back at .500 heading into Northwest Oregon Conference play.
Glencoe looked to assert itself early on by jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead, and led 15-9 after the first quarter. Hillsboro however, remained composed and responded with steady play that culminated in a 26-26 halftime tie. Spartan senior big man Nate Smith made his presence felt with 10 points in the first half, but he was matched by Glencoe senior forward Grayson Landon, who also recorded 10 points by the break.
In the second half however, Smith took it up a notch, tallying 15 second half points while Landon was held to just two after halftime.
Leading by three after the third quarter, the Spartans blew the game open with a 13-0 run in the fourth, and Glencoe never really threatened again.
"They did not want to let this one slip away" said Hillsboro head coach Mark Ganter, who celebrated his birthday with a pizza party in the locker room after the game. "We were 4-5 coming into this game and it's been a tale of two halves almost every game. We either start out good or we start out bad. Usually if we start out bad, the second half ends up being good. This time it was a little more even in the first half, then we played a good second half like I knew we would."
One of the primary factors in Hillsboro's impressive second half performance and a key contributor to slowing down Landon, was a switch to a zone defense.
"I think the zone defense threw them off in the second half," Ganter said. "We go to that 1-3-1 and it does what it's supposed to do; slows it down and makes them have to adjust."
Though Smith was clearly a difference maker for the Spartans, a good portion of the fourth quarter run occurred with him on the bench, giving Coach Ganter increased confidence in the rest of his team.
"We're trying to find a consistent rotation going into league play, so I experimented with some guys," the coach said. "Our sophomore (forward) Logan Jackson is starting to come into his own. He was starting to seem a little more confident, and he's still learning and maturing, so he's only going to get better."
At 6-foot-5, Jackson, alongside the 6-foot-6 Smith, gave Glencoe problems inside all night on both ends of the court. The Spartans outscored the Tide 38-20 in the paint and had four blocks to only one for Glencoe.
Now, heading into Northwest Oregon Conference play at 5-5 and having secured that elusive win over a 6A school, in resounding fashion, the Spartans appear to be in good position as they host Scappoose at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan.14, at Hillsboro High School — something Ganter is looking forward to.
"If we can eliminate the slow starts, I think league play will be very interesting for us," he said.
Smith led Hillsboro with 25 points and 7 rebounds, while senior guard Lane Smith added 11 points and five assists.
Senior guard Michael Janeway paced Glencoe with 16 points on 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, while Landon finished with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Glencoe is scheduled to host No. 9-ranked Beaverton at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night, Jan. 10, and then will host Forest Grove at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, in their Pacific Conference opener, also at Glencoe High School.
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