PAC-6 BOYS SEMIS: Hillside tops Jordan to return to finals
Hillside now is three-for-three in getting to the PAC-6 Tournament title game under third-year coach Crasten Davis and it took a fourth-quarter rally to make it happen.
“It was a battle of attrition,” Davis said. “We went up on then. Then they came back on us. But we got back by making our free throws.”
Trevion Thompson hit a pair of free throws with 6.5 seconds left to give the Hornets a 73-71 win over Jordan on Thursday night at Person.
“It came down to who wanted it the most,” Thompson said. “I felt like I had ice in my veins and I just went up there and knocked them down.”
Hillside made 29 of 32 free throws in the game, while Jordan was 23 of 31 from the line.
The Hornets (16-10), who had lost both regular-season games to Jordan (16-8), next will face top-seeded Northern tonight at 7:30 in the championship game. Hillside also lost to Northern twice in the regular season.
“To be in the championship game is good but you don’t come to just get into the championship game,” said Davis, who won the title in his rookie year as coach two seasons ago and lost last year to Jordan. “You want to win the championship game. And we’ve got a heck of an opponent in Northern.”
Justice Kithcart scored a game-high 24 points to lead Hillside, while Josh Thompson led Jordan with 16.
Hillside led at the beginning of the game and at the end of the game but Jordan controlled the middle part. And once the score tightened up and Hillside retook the lead 69-67 on Malik Evans’ layup, Jordan could not recover.
“I’m proud of my team and we all fought hard,” said Evans, who also hit a driving layup along the right baseline to tie the game at 67-apiece with 4:07 left. “At the end of the game we knew we had to give it our all.”
Thompson gave the Hornets a four-point lead with 1:48 left with a driving shot but Jordan’s Arthur Reese made a 3 from the right wing with 1:07 left. The Falcons then had a chance to take the lead with 21.2 seconds left but Mike Lee made only one of two free throws to leave the score knotted at 71-71.
Hillside ran the clock down to under 10 seconds and the ball ended up in Thompson’s hands on the right wing. He drove to the lane and was fouled going up for the shot. He said he was confident going to the line and he responded by swishing both shots for the win.
Jordan’s last-gasp attempt came undone at mid-court when the inbounds pass with three seconds left couldn’t be controlled for a shot.
Jordan coach Kim Annas said his team played in fits and starts and couldn’t find any consistency.
“We didn’t really play well the whole game,” Annas said. “We were sluggish and never really got into it until late into the second quarter and into the third quarter. We didn’t get a stop or get a rebound when we needed it.”
No. 3 HILLSIDE 73, No. 2 JORDAN 71
PAC-6 Tournament Semifinal
Hillside 20 17 18 18 — 73
Jordan 12 31 20 8 — 71
HILLSIDE — Robert Robinson Jr. 9, Malik Evans 12, Justice Kithcart 24, Jamari Warren 3, Trevion Thompson 13, Jalen McGee 4, Jarrod France 6, Marcus Bowling 2.
JORDAN — Josh Thompson 16, Mike Lee 13, Chris Braswell 2, Dante Hubbert 5, Arthur Reese 11, Julian Reese 6, Mike Spears 8, Tyreek Frye 8, Darius Richmond 4
3-Point goals—Hillside 1 (Thompson) Jordan 5 (Lee, Reese 3, Spears). Rebounds—Jordan 22 (A.Reese 5). Assists—Jordan 10 (Lee 6).
Records—Hillside 16-10, Jordan 16-8.