Hillsboro boys basketball coach Curt Hildreth knows his team will get every opponent’s best shot this year.
As he put it earlier this year, the Tigers “have a bullseye on their backs.”
Last Thursday night, visiting Wonewoc–Center hung with the top-ranked Tigers and trailed by only six at the half.
But all-state senior forward Max Stockwell poured in a career-high 36 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Hillsboro pulled away for an 83–59 Scenic Bluffs Conference victory.
Stockwell made 15 of 28 shots and went 5 of 8 from the free throw line. His previous career-high was 28 points in last year’s WIAA Division 5 state championship loss to Milwaukee Young Coggs Prep.
The Tigers outscored the Wolves, 43–25, in the second half.
Hillsboro improved to 4–0 on the season and 2–0 in league play. Wonewoc–Center fell to 4–2, 1–1.
Senior point guard Joe Helgerson also had a great game, making four three-pointer en route to a season-high 16 points. Helgerson added four rebounds, four assists and three steals while only committing two turnovers.
Senior guard Tyler Crandall chipped in eight points and four assists.
Senior forward Hunter Stanek finished with seven points and three boards, and fellow senior Ethan Thorson had seven points and five of the team’s 12 steals.
The Tigers shot 48.5 percent (33 of 68) for the game and made eight three-pointers. They also assisted on 20 of their 33 made baskets and only committed 11 turnovers.
Hildreth’s Hillsboro club hosted winless Kickapoo (0–4) in a non-conference game on Tuesday and will now have 12 days off for the holidays before returning to action Jan. 4 at North Crawford (4–2).