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Tigers rally to stave off upset
Hillsboro's 18-8 closing run upends Wonewoc-Center
hunter stanek
Hunter Stanek powers his way through the Wonewoc-Center defense to attempt a shot in the first half of Fridays 40-36 comeback win at Wonewoc-Center. - photo by Nate Beier photo/

WONEWOC — The host Wolves controlled the tempo and the game for 24 minutes of Friday’s Scenic Bluffs boys basketball game at Wonewoc–Center.

But Curt Hildreth’s Hillsboro Tigers would not be denied.

Hillsboro outscored the home team 18–8 in the fourth quarter to rally for a harder-than-expected 40–36 victory over the sub-.500 Wolves (5–5, 3–3 SBC).

The Tigers’ defense finally forced a couple of turnovers early in the final period that turned into baskets.

Stockwell scored the first points of the fourth quarter, then fellow junior Joey Helgerson added a pair of free throws to pull Hillsboro with two.

Moments later Thorson hit a key 3-pointer and Helgerson went 1 of 2 from the line to tie the game at 30–30.

Stockwell and Thorson scored back-to-back baskets to give the Tigers a four-point lead, the Hillsboro closed out the game with six straight free throws — two from Avery Rueckheim and four straight from Helgerson.

“The key to the comeback was simply our guys deciding to play with passion and energy,” said Hillsboro head coach Hildreth. “ Wonewoc did a nice job of keeping the tempo at the slower pace they wanted to play. We were able to capitalize late on some turnovers that were created by our energy.”

Stockwell finished the night with a game-high 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Helgerson had nine points and made 7 of 8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to offset a 1 for 9 night from the field. He also had four rebounds and three steals.

Seven different Wolves scored in the game, but none had more than six points.

Hillsboro (9–3, 4–1 SBC), which has now won five straight games, will host Royall (4–7, 3–3) tonight at 7:30 p.m. and will then travel to New Lisbon (1–10, 0–6) on Tuesday.

Hillsboro 66, Brookwood 52

Last Tuesday the Tigers outscored visiting Brookwood 21–8 in the fourth quarter to close out a 66–52 win playing without Stockwell, who missed the game with a sprained ankle.

Helgerson buried a pair of 3-pointers early in the final period to swing the momentum and scored 10 of his 20 points in the final quarter. The Tigers’ leading scorer hit a season-high four 3-pointers in the game.

Junior Hunter Stanek stepped up in Stockwell’s absence posting a monster double–double of 23 points and 12 rebounds. Both were career highs.

Senior Avery Rueckheim also had a double–double of 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Jack Hansen made six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points to lead the winless Falcons (0–9, 0–5).