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Tigers remain undefeated
Cats avoid being stung by Hornets in triple-OT thriller
max stockwell
Hillsboros Max Stockwell controls the ball at the top of the key during the fourth quarter of Saturdays triple overtime win against Richland Center. - photo by Nate Beier photo/

Forty minutes — four quarters and two four-minute overtime sessions weren’t enough to decide a winner in last Saturday’s non-conference boys’ basketball game at Hillsboro High School.

The Tigers and the visiting Richland Center Hornets needed an extra four minutes and a third overtime.

Senior Brandon Stanek scored a game-high 18 points to lead four Tigers in double figures and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Hillsboro to a wild 65–64 triple overtime victory.

Max Stockwell added a double-double of his own, 14 points and 13 rebounds, and made the final game-winning free throw with seconds to play that lifted the Tigers to victory.

After Stockwell made 1 of 2 with four seconds remaining to seal the victory, Richland Center’s Alex Perkins made a long 3-pointer to account for the final score.

The game featured 56 fouls,  70 free throw attempts, six fouled out players and took nearly three hours to complete.

“It was a crazy and physical game,” said Hillsboro head coach John Koopman. “Neither team shot very well, especially from the free throw line. But it was a really good game for us because we had a chance to see caliber of athletes we had not seen to this point in the season.  We really worked hard and found a way to win.”

Hillsboro lead 21–18 at the half, but the Hornets (2–2) took a one-point lead into the final quarter with a 13–9 third-quarter push.

Center led throughout the fourth quarter, but Stanek made a driving bucket while getting fouled and converted the three-point play with seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime tied at 44–44.

RC took a 46–44 lead in the first overtime on two free throws by Evan Stanek.

Hillsboro senior Matt Anderson made a basket to tie it at 46–46 and then Grant Jefferies made his only bucket of the night — hitting a huge 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 49–46 lead.

Stockwell made a pair of free throws to make it 51–47,  but a bucket by Austin Haas closed the gap to two.

Anderson made 1 of 2 from the line to make it 52–49, but RC’s Evan Stanek buried a 3-pointer off of an offensive rebound late in the overtime to tie it at 52–52.

Both team managed just four points each in the second overtime, as both teams missed several free throws.

Hillsboro scored the first basket of the third overtime then made just enough free throws (5 of 8) to pull out the victory.

“The win was great but we were only 26 of 46 from the free throw line, including 10 of 22 in the overtimes,” added Koopman. “At this point, we still have not had what I would call a good game, execution-wise. However, we are winning close games that last year we lost to that shows growth in the guys. We will get better.  The boys are working extremely hard which is all I can really ask for.”

Last Tuesday Hillsboro opened Scenic Bluffs play with a 45–30 victory over visiting New Lisbon.

Stanek led  the Panthers’ balance attack with 11 points and four rebounds.

Stockwell added 10 points, two rebounds and two assists. Matt Anderson chipped in seven points and four boards, and Borchardt and Rueckheim had six points apiece.

The Tigers (4–0, 1–0) traveled to Necedah on Tuesday (results will be in next week’s Sentry Enterprise) and will return to action Friday at home against Bangor.