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2/11/2014 9:45:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
IESA Class 7A state finals
Dragons too tough for RH
WENONA - The dream season for Red Hill High School's seventh grade basketball team came to an end Saturday afternoon at the Illinois Elementary School Association Class 7-3A State Tournament.

Hillsboro (20-2), who will play for the state championship Thursday evening, took the lead for good early in the second quarter and pulled away to a 54-43 win over the Salukis (17-2) in the tiny gym at Fieldcrest Junior High School.

The Dragons held a slim 6-5 lead after the opening period, but stretched the margin to 21-15 at halftime and 43-32 entering the final six minutes.

The game featured an individual battle between the Salukis' Cade Benson in the post and the Dragons' slashing Donovan Moore.

Benson topped all players with 27 points, including 10 in the third period. Benson made 13 field goals, almost all from point-blank range, and hit one of two from the foul line.

Moore countered with 24 points for Hillsboro, including at least four in every period. He made eight baskets, including a trio of 3-pointers, and connected on his only attempt from the foul stripe.

Drew Moore added seven points for Red Hill before exiting late in the game with an apparent sprained ankle. Parker Havill contributed four points, Landen Ray a three-point play and Conner McKinney a basket for the Salukis, while Noah Daugherty did not score off the bench.

Keaton Pruett added 17 points in the victory for Hillsboro.

Red Hill took its final lead 40 seconds into the second period on a bucket by Benson. Pruett responded for Hillsboro moments later with a short baseline jumper that put his team ahead to stay.

Back-to-back hoops by Donovan Moore pushed the Hillsboro lead to 14-9, but Benson countered with consecutive baskets to pull RHJH to within 14-13. After Pruett and Benson traded hoops, the Dragons scored the final five points of the first half, three of which came on Donovan's Moore's 3-pointer.

After falling behind by nine points midway through the third period, the Salukis pulled to within 34-32 in the closing minute of the period when Benson and Havill scored consecutive baskets.

Hillsboro again had a strong finish to the period. Donovan Moore scored five straight pints to key a 7-0 spree that put the Dragons on top 43-32 entering the fourth quarter.

The Salukis got no closer than nine points the rest of the way.

The Dragons will face Washington Central (22-0) in Thursday's 7:30 p.m. title game. Glasford Illini Bluffs (23-4) and Gibson City (23-1) will play for third place at 6 p.m.

In Friday's sectional championship game at Marshall, the Salukis were never in trouble and rolled past Teutopolis, 41-28.

Red Hill led by scores of 16-9, 24-16 and 34-26 at the quarter stops, then limited the Wooden Shoes to one field goal in the final period.

Benson led RHJH with 17 points, while Moore hit double figures with 12. Ray added seven points and Havill five.

Dawson Smith scored 12 points to lead the Wooden Shoes.


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