Hillsborough defeats Lakeland 71-69

Hillsborough defeated Lakeland 71-69 on Tuesday, moving on to the regional finals. Hillsborough led the game by one with under two minutes left. Lakeland drove down the court and made a layup, but due to poor sportsmanship, the team was handed a technical foul that flipped the momentum of the game. “That foul call helped us a lot,” Coach Ward said. “That was a big call. I really didn’t expect it, but it really helped.”

Right after the Terriers made both free throws, Lakeland stole the ball on the inbound pass which resulted in them taking an open layup to cut the lead back down to one point. “We really let their press get into our heads,” junior Kevin John said. “We still got away with a victory even with the turnovers in our back court. I still believe we can make it out of our region.”

Point guard Trey Lane of Lakeland dribbled down the court and got fouled. He missed the first free throw of the one and one allowing the Terriers to get possession of the ball again. Senior Tyriq James had the opportunity to shoot free throws with five seconds left. He made the first. Everyone in the crowd was on their feet watching to see how the game would end. James missed the second free throw. “We had to get back on defense,” sophomore Justin Anderson said. “We had to tighten up and get that victory.”

Lane got the rebound but slipped, resulting in a Terrier victory. Hillsborough will play Bartow Friday Feb. 28 in the regional finals. “We got to finish down the stretch,” Ward said. “Everyone has their off days. Any team can be beat.”