Hiltoppers Launch Past Rockets

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The formula that worked at Vandalia for Hillsboro last Friday to win a basketball game worked again Monday night when the Toppers opened their home season with a 65-56 victory over the Rochester Rockets.

Balanced scoring? Four Toppers were in double figures. Good shooting percentages? The Toppers were 19 of 34 (56%) inside the arc, two of eight from behind the arc for a combined 50%. Even better, from the free throw line Hillsboro made 75% (21 of 28). The Toppers committed 12 turnovers and 15 team fouls; by contrast, Rochester was whistled for 12 personals in each half. Hillsboro also hauled down 30 rebounds, 25 on the defensive end where errant Rocket shots often found only Toppers waiting for the carom.

As a result, the Toppers held the advantage almost wire to wire; with the Rockets in a 2-3 zone, Hillsboro jumped to a 14-6 lead as Christian Matoush banged home seven points and Drake Vogel dropped a three-pointer into the net. The second quarter became a duel between Matoush (15 more points) and Rockets sophomore Darrias Christmon, who had 11 of his team’s 20 second quarter points. Though the visitors scored 30 points in the first half, they were still down eight as the half ended.

Rochester switched defenses in the second half, but Hillsboro stopped Christmon, holding him to five points in the second half. Matoush was limited to two for the Toppers, but Jace Tuetken and Blaze Helton with 8 apiece plus Vogel with five in the last quarter filled the void. A Topper spurt early in the fourth quarter when they expanded the lead from 10 to 16 decided the issue early as the Rockets subbed freely over the last three minutes.

The junior varsity game went Rochester’s way 55-35. Malloy (9), Deklan Riggs (9), and Bryce Connor (8) led Topper scorers.

Now 2-0, the Toppers finish the week by hosting Greenville Wednesday, Feb. 10; and Friday, Feb. 12, Staunton will be here. Friday’s action begins at 5:30.

February 8 at Hillsboro

Rochester 10 20 9 17 56

Hillsboro 17 21 11 16 65

Rochester (56) - Darrias Christmon 19, Keaton Reiss 6, Lucca Marchioro 6, Adam Staley 6, Brady Butler 4, Jack Friedewald 4, Cam Huston 4, Tanner Hayden 4, Rylan Wilson 2, Kolton Reiser 1.

Hillsboro (65) - Gavin Matoush 24, Drake Vogel 13, Jace Tuetken 12, Blaze Helton 10, Ian Malloy 4, Bryce Connor 1, Adison Pollard 1. Totals: 21-42 21-28 65.

Three-point field goals: Rochester 5 (Christmon 2, Wilson 2, Hayden 1); Hillsboro 2 (Vogel 2).

Records: Rochester (0-1); Hillsboro (2-0).

Junior Varsity

Rochester JV 15 12 16 12 55

Hillsboro JV 7 5 16 7 35

Hillsboro JV (35) - Ian Malloy 9, Deklan Riggs 9, Bryce Connor 8, Mitchell Lowe 4, Dillon Devlin 3, Payton Brown 2.

Three-point field goals: Hillsboro 1 (Riggs 1).

Records: Rochester JV (1-0), Hillsboro JV (0-1).

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