CASHTON— Joe Helgerson has been Hillsboro’s best shooter since his sophomore season.
Friday night at Cashton, the sharp-shooting senior was at an all-time best.
Helgerson made 11 of 16 field goal attempts, including 5 of 7 from behind the 3-point arc and finished with a career-high 29 points in a 72–36 blowout of the host Eagles. He also came up with four of the Tigers’ 20 steals.
Helgerson and company did most of their damage in the first half, rolling to a 55–15 halftime lead.
Fellow senior Max Stockwell finished with 16 points, five steals, four assists and four rebounds.
Senior Ethan Thorson chipped in eight points and three assists, while Hunter Stanek had seven points and four boards.
All 14 Hillsboro players saw extensive playing time, and eight of them scored in the game.
Jeffery Belteton scored 12 points to lead Cashton.
The Tigers, ranked third in Division 5, improved to 16–1 overall and 10–0 in the Scenic Bluffs Conference. They have now won four straight games, by an average of 31.3 points per game, since a two-point 67–65 loss to Westby on Feb. 1.
Hillsboro faced Seneca (16–1, 11–0 Ridge & Valley) Tuesday night in a non-conference match-up between first-place teams. The Indians have already clinched at least a share of the Ridge & Valley Conference title. (UPDATE: Hillsboro defeated Seneca, 72-51. Stockwell led the Tigers with 28 points and 19 rebounds, while Helgerson added 23–his second 20+-point outing.)
The Tigers can clinch at least a share of this year’s Scenic Bluffs Conference title with a win over Bangor (17–2, 10–1 SBC) tonight. Hillsboro will host Viroqua (5–13) in a non-conference game on Friday and Necedah (10-8, 7–4 SBC) on Monday.
Hillsboro 80, Brookwood 39
The Tigers are getting solid contributions from a number of players this year, and Friday was no different.
Stanek made all eight of his field goal attempts and finished with a team-high 17 points and eight rebounds in an 80–39 win over Brookwood (4–13, 2–8).
Stanek, a 6’3”, 245-pound forward, is nearly unstoppable in the paint because of his strength and footwork. He is now shooting 69.2 percent (74 for 107) on the season and averaging 11.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this year.
Thorson made three 3-pointers and scored a season-high 14 points. He also passed out five assists.
Stockwell added 11 points and seven assists. Senior Sawyer Hynek added six points and five boards.
Seven different Tigers–Stockwell (22.4 ppg), Helgerson (13.7), Stanek (11.4), Thorson (7.2), Tyler Crandall (5.7), Tommy Crandall (4.1) and Hynek (3.1) –are averaging at least three points per game and two rebounds per game.
Hillsboro’s balance, quickness, length and experience has led the team to 16 wins in 17 games, and coach Curt Hildreth doesn’t expect anything to change any time soon.
The Tigers have their eyes set on a return trip to the WIAA state tournament a year after finishing second in Division 5, but first things first.
Hildreth and his Tigers will attempt to clinch goal number one — a conference title — tonight at home against Bangor.
Helgerson is among the Division 5 leaders in the WIAA’s 3-Point Challenge, which will be held March 19 during the state boys’ basketball tournament at the Kohl Center. As of Feb. 15, he is in sixth place. Contestants will be chosen based on three-point shooting numbers in the WisSports.net stats database. The top two players in each division based on shooting percentage (min. 75 attempts) will participate. … Stockwell is one of 15 semi-finalists in the wing category of the Wisconsin Sports Network HIgh School Basketball Awards. Five finalists will be chosen after the week of regionals. Winners will be announced the week of the state tournament. The awards are presented annually to deserving senior student-athletes selected to represent one of five categories: wing, point guard, post, defense and shooter.