Lincolnwood and Hillsboro boys basketball teams have much in common for the 2019/2020 season: both are based in Montgomery County, both have orange and black as school colors, and both have coaching staffs that emphasize man-to-man defenses. Fans of each school appear when the two teams play to extend what's most often a friendly rivalry; but because both teams are feisty on the court, their play at times, especially early in the season, is aggressive and often ragged as far as offensive execution is concerned.
When Lincolnwood traveled to Hillsboro Tuesday evening, Dec. 10, to renew that rivalry, the visiting Lancers won 56-51 by outscoring the Toppers 25-20 in the last quarter. Tied at 31 entering the fatal-for-Hillsboro last period, Lincolnwood used field goals by Sam Herman and Shawn Goebel to build a lead; when Hillsboro resorted to fouls in the late going, Lincolnwood extended the lead by converting 16 (of 25) free throws. Cole Sidwell was 6 of 6 from the line; Herman was 5 of 6 and Evan Hopper 4 of 5 during crunch time. For the contest the visitors were 22 of 34 from the charity stripe – and their reward for taking five charges in the contest was possessions, not free throws.
Hillsboro was more efficient from the line, going 18 of 23 (78% as opposed to 68 percent, but that was about the only positive category the Toppers won. Jace Tuetken was 3 of 3 from behind the arc in the last quarter as Hillsboro struggled to come back; based on that shooting, Tuetken was high point man for the game with 17. Gavin Matoush had 13, 11 from the free throw line.
Lincolnwood's scoring was more balanced. Hopper finished with 16, Herman with 14, and Shawn Goebel had 12. Six Lancers and six Toppers scored, with Donavan Smail connecting with his first trey of the season.
Defensively Lincolnwood won the game by helping, off individual assignments to guard against drives to the basket. The collisions that resulted were frightful to parents in the stands, but the ability to slide in front to take a charge is a matter of pride among basketball players and won this close contest.
The less-experienced Hillsboro defense is still a work in progress (three Toppers fouled out, and two others had four). Late in the game Ethan Lentz became the designated fouler; he accumulated four fouls in less than two minutes of clock time, so he performed his job efficiently.
That work-in-progress defense faces a stiff challenge this weekend; conference play opens Friday when Roxana invades Hillsboro. The Shells feature a leaper inside (Paris White) and experienced snipers outside, including Gavin Hoffman. The JV game begins at 6 p.m.
Saturday night Hillsboro plays New Berlin in the Terry Todt Shootout in the Lincolnwood gym. The Pretzels thumped Lincolnwood 54-34 in an early season tournament game; watch for guard Jack Buerkett, whose dad Eric enjoyed his basketball career at HHS.
December 10 at Hillsboro
Lincolnwood 10 11 10 25 56
Hillsboro 6 14 11 20 51
Lincolnwood (56) - Evan Hopper 16, Sam Herman 14, Shawn Goebel 12, Cole Sidwell 6, Will Jenkins 5, Devin Brown 3. Totals: 16 23-35 56.
Hillsboro (51) - Jace Tuetken 17, Gavin Matoush 13, Nic Ondrey 6, Dillon Smail 6, Brock Bellaver 5, Drake Vogel 4. Totals: 14 18-22 51.
Three-point field goals: Hillsboro 5 (Tuetken 3, Smail 1, Vogel 1); Lincolnwood 2 (Jenkins 1, Brown 1).
Records: Hillsboro (0-6); Lincolnwood (4-4).