Boys basketball: With options aplenty, Hillsborough rolls

Published February 22 2018
Updated February 23 2018

TAMPA — Inside. Outside.

Inside. Outside.

Time and time again, the Hillsborough boys basketball team repeated the shot pattern on offense in the first half.

Land O'Lakes' zone defense withstood the dual threat for the game's first few minutes, but the Gators couldn't maintain the effort.

As a result, Hillsborough rolled into the Class 7A region semifinals with a 61-46 victory Thursday. With the victory, the Terriers will host Springstead on Tuesday.

The Terriers, trying to return to the region final for the third consecutive season, used a 16-1 run spanning eight minutes of the first and second quarter to build a 28-13 lead. They led 29-17 at halftime and never led by fewer than 10 again.

"We have Myles Cowart, who can shoot the ball with the best of them," Hillsborough coach Chris Ward said. "We have Tyriq James who can shoot the ball with the best of them. And we have one of the best point guards in the area getting them the ball. So, it is tough to defend us. We ran a lot of different plays and had a lot of open shots."

Michael Austin started the big run with a basket from underneath with 3:03 left in the first. Warren Mclymont (a game-high 17 points) followed with an open 3-pointer from the corner.

Two more 3-pointers came during the run; the Terriers (23-5) finished with five in the half and seven overall.

Cowart finished with 13 points. Christian DeLeon (12) and James (10) also finished in double figures.

During the pivotal stretch, Land O'Lakes (18-8) committed six turnovers and missed seven consecutive shots while going scoreless for nearly seven minutes.

"We don't have the number of shooters to negate that zone where we can pass the ball around and hit that 3," Land O'Lakes coach David Puhalski said. "And we were making too many soft passes, especially the reverse passes. They got a couple of steals in the passing lanes and some easy fast break baskets as a result. We talked about that at halftime."

After the half, the teams largely matched baskets. Hillsborough's largest lead was 18.

Chase Farmer led the Gators with 22 points and Mekhi Perry added 11.

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