After trailing by eight points in the third quarter, Hillcrest came back to take a one-point lead but couldn’t protect it in a 45-44 loss to Louisa-Muscatine on Tuesday.
Down by one with 30 seconds left, Grant Bender drove baseline and scored off the glass to put the Ravens on top. But Louisa-Muscatine’s 6-foot-2 freshman Ty Northrup had the answer. Northrup drove to the block and made a contested shot with nine seconds left.
It was the sixth lead change of the fourth quarter, but there would not be a seventh as the Ravens’ final shot missed the mark.
Bender’s 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter capped a 7-0 run and put Hillcrest ahead 36-35. It was the Ravens’ first lead of the final three quarters.
Hillcrest struggled against the L-M zone, shooting 2-16 from the 3-point line. John Hughes scored the first six points of the game for Hillcrest, but picked up two early fouls and did not play in the second quarter. Hughes finished 6-11 from the floor and led the Ravens with 13 points and five rebounds.
"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," Hillcrest coach Dwight Gingerich said.
"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."
Eli Ours finished with 11 points and three steals. Bender had both of the Ravens’ 3-pointers, finishing with eight points and three steals. Noah Miller had six points and three assists.