HILLSBORO — Dylan Beaugard had 32 points and sparked Wilmington’s fourth quarter rally Tuesday as the Hurricane held off upset-minded Hillsboro 61-55 in South Central Ohio League action.
Wilmington is 9-3 in league play and 11-8 overall.
Hillsboro is 4-15 overall and 4-8 in the SCOL.
“We learned a valuable lesson tonight,” WHS head coach Michael Noszka said. “We have to play better basketball all four quarters. I keep saying that all season long. We have to do a better job securing the ball and making the most of our opportunities. We missed way too many layups and everytime I look at the other end they are knocking down threes. That’s a five-point swing.
“It’s no wonder we trailed most of the game. I’m just glad we were able to reach down in the fourth quarter and pull it out.”
Aside from Beaugard, Chris Wolary had 12 points. Jeffery Mansfield had nine points.
“Jeffery played a tough ballgame,” Noszka said. “He didn’t score much but made the most of his opportunities. All things considered it was a total team effort.”
Ty Haithcock led Hillsboro with 14 points. Marshall Ward and Ethan Watson chipped in with 12 points each.
The Indians, riding a high after defeating Washington last week on the strength of 12 three-point baskets, got off to a 9-0 start buoyed by Senior Night festivities.
Beaugard continued his torrid scoring of late with nine points in the opening period as the Hurricane battled back to forge an 11-11 standoff.
The Indians clamped down on the defensive end in the second period and surged into the lead at halftime, 24-17. Wolary had a stickback basket that gave the Hurricane a 17-16 lead before the Indians tallied the final eight points of the half.
Beaugard found the mark again in the third period, putting up nine points, but Wilmington was unable to overtake the homestanding Indians. The Hurricane trailed 37-31 after three periods when Haithcock hit a corner trey.
Wilmington found its stride in the final frame. It was 49-49 — the sixth tie of the game — with just under three minutes to go in the fourth. Beaugard, who had 14 in the fourth, hit a three-pointer to give WHS a 52-49 lead, an advantage it would not relinquish.
“Dylan had an outstanding game. He really took control when we needed it in the fourth quarter,” Noszka said.
With 67 seconds to play, Hillsboro’s Josh Keets was called for an intentional foul. Curtis Gauche converted both free throws to put WHS up 54-49. Wolary made two free throws with 35 seconds to go as the lead grew to 57-49. Matt Smith and Beaugard later made two free throws each to seal the win for the Hurricane. In all, Wilmington hit 9 of 11 at the line in the fourth.
February 7, 2017
@Hillsboro High School
Wilmington 61 Hillsboro 55
(61) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Gauche 1-0-2-4 Smith 0-0-2-2 Beaugard 11-6-4-32 Mansfield 4-0-1-9 Wolary 5-0-2-12 Wright 0-0-0-0 Griffith 0-0-0-0 TOTALS 22-6-11/16-61
(55) HILLSBORO (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Swayne 0-0-0-0 Reed 3-1-0-7 Ryan 0-0-0-0 Ward 5-2-0-12 Watson 5-2-0-12 Anderson 1-0-0-2 Haithcock 5-4-0-14 Keets 3-0-2-8 TOTALS 22-9-2/5-55
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet