The Hillcrest Ravens got stung by Louisa-Muscatine at home Tuesday, dropping a 45-44 heartbreaker to the Falcons. It was freshman Ty Northrup who got to the basket for the game winner with nine seconds remaining for the game-winner. The Ravens had one more opportunity as Eli Ours’ shot from the free throw line was in and out and the Falcons came away with the rebound.
It was another hard-fought game, as Hillcrest worked from behind for much of the evening. The Ravens grabbed the early lead, but once again got the foul bug, and the Falcons took advantage and led 15-10 after one quarter. The Falcon lead was at eight before a late Raven bucket cut the margin to 26-20 to close the half. Hillcrest pulled to within 35-31 after three quarters and then began the fourth period with a 5-0 spurt to take the lead at 36-35 with 6:30 to play. The teams briefly exchanged the lead before the Falcons would lead 41-38. Hillcrest took the lead one more time at 44-43 on a Grant Bender finish with 24 seconds left. The Falcons then worked against the Hillcrest pressure before taking a time-out with 13 ticks left, setting up the final sequence.
Hillcrest was paced by John Hughes with 13 points, and Ours followed with 11 points. Bender finished with eight points, including two triples, and Noah Miller had six points. Aiden Krabill, Aaron Hershberger and Will Kolck completed the scoring with two points apiece. Hughes grabbed five rebounds, Miller had three assists and Bender and Ours each collected three steals.
Coach Dwight Gingerich said, “We simply were in a tough position all night, needing to overcome unforced turnovers and defensive and rebounding breakdowns, and then missed on some key scoring opportunities. That all adds up to a lot to overcome, and we almost did it. Losses like these sting, and at the same time give us a chance to improve in important ways. Credit as well to L-M, as they made some big plays, including the final basket.”
Hillcrest falls to 1-2 and next plays at Columbus Friday.