OTTUMWA — The Indian Hills Warriors need a comeback and an exciting finish to open Region XI play with a win, 78-77 over Marshalltown at the Hellyer Student Life Center on Saturday.

IHCC fell behind big late in the first half (39-21) but closed out the half with a 16-0 run to trail by just two at the break. The Warriors started the second half with six straight to take a four-point lead. The Warriors would stretch the lead to eight at 70-62.

Marshalltown would come back to tie it and then take the lead with 20 seconds left in the game. IHCC won its region opener on a basket by Dijon Farr with three seconds left. The perfectly-executed out-of-bounds play gave the Warriors a 78-77 win Saturday night at the Hellyer Center.

To say the visitors were on fire to start the game was a little misleading. Actually, Tyler Brown was on fire. He hit five of six 3s and another basket in the first 11 minutes of play. His 17 points was two more than the Warriors had total. The visitors led 25-15 at that point.

Brown was hitting 3s wide open, with a hand in his face, and falling away.

“One of the things our smaller lineup does for us is it enables us to switch easier and pressure the shooter deeper,” said Warrior coach Jeff Kidder. “I thought Dwan (McMillan) did a good job of playing Brown.”

The play of McMillan and Larry Stone together helped ignite the comeback. A Farr three-point play cut the lead to 10 at 31-21, but the visitors ran off eight straight to go up 39-21 with four minutes to play in the half. Farr started the Warrior streak with a three. Aaron Austin hit back to back baskets, a two and a 3, to get the Warriors back to within 10.

The 6-foot-1-inch McMillan drove the lane, hesitated and went up strong on the inside. His three-point play made it 39-33.

“I guess I’m done growing and I just had to learn as a kid to get the shot off,” said McMillan.

Austin followed with a drive and a kick-out to Farr for a basket. Farr returned the favor by hitting Austin on his way to the basket on an out-of-bounds play at the buzzer.

The Warriors picked up right where they left off to start the second half. Two baskets by Farr sandwiched around one by Stone put the Warriors up 43-39. A Stone 3 on a pass from McMillan gave the Warriors a seven-point lead at 48-41. A Farr 3 increased the lead to eight at 51-43.

MCC, behind the play of Mike Willis, came back to tie it at 51. McMillan found Stone again for a 3 and a 54-51 Warrior lead. McMillan would have five assists in the first nine minutes of play in the final half.

“I hope taking good shots in practice translates to games, but nobody can stay in front of Dwan (McMillan). I just always communicate to him where I’ll be,” said Stone.

McMillan was back at it, when he found Brandon Garrett for a rim-rattling dunk in traffic to keep the Warriors up 56-53.

Farr scored off an offensive stick-back to put the Warriors up 60-55 with just under nine minutes to play. Farr had two 3s, a dunk, and a couple of scores inside as part of his 19 point night.

“I played every position in high school, so I think I can score inside when we need it,” said Farr.

Back-to-back baskets by Stone kept the Warriors up by five at 65-60. McMillan’s steal and score gave the Warriors a 70-62 lead with just over four minutes to play.

Brown, who had seven first-half 3s for MCC, finally got loose to tie it at 70 with just over three minutes to play. McMillan’s drive gave the Warriors a 72-70 lead. The Tigers tied it at 72 on a Willis basket. The game was tied at 74 with just under two minutes to play. Austin’s drive gave the Warriors a 76-74 lead with 38 seconds to play.

The exciting ending will be typical of the hard-fought Region XI games.

“We know that every team in our region is well-coached and has good players. That makes it critical to win at home and give great effort on the road,” commented Kidder.

Henrique Medeiros almost ruined the great Warrior comeback effort. His 3 from the wing gave the visitors a 77-76 lead with 20 seconds to play.

McMillan and Farr teamed up to send the home crowd home happy. The Warriors took timeout with seven seconds to play.

“We drew up a play, added just a little wrinkle and the guys executed it well,” said Kidder.

McMillan’s bounce pass found Farr underneath for the score with just three ticks left on the clock.

“Being patient and making a bounce pass were what I was concerned about” said McMillan. “Dijon(Farr) finished it strong.”

MCC did not get a shot off and the Warriors moved to 18-4, and 1-0. IHCC will travel to Iowa Western next Saturday night for game two in region play.

IHCC 78, Marshalltown CC 77

MCC 39 38 — 77

IHCC 37 41 — 78

MCC (77) —Willis 15, Will Clyburn 11, Luiz Paulo 6, Brown 31, Medeiros 11, Michael Appel 3 . Totals 28-51 11-18 77.

3-point goals — 14-23 (Clyburn, Medeiros 3, Appel, Brown 9). Fouled out —none . Rebounds — 24 (Willis 10). Assists — 15 (Medeiros 4). Steals — 6 (Brown 3). Blocks — 2 (Willis 2). Total fouls — 15. Turnovers — 24.

IHCC (78) —Farr 19, Ferreira 7, McMillan 14, Austin 12, Garrett 4, Stone 17, EJ Hicks 5 . Totals 31-60 16-24 78.

3-point goals — 8-19 (Farr 2, Austin 2, Stone 3, Hicks). Fouled out —none . Rebounds — 31 (Farr 8). Assists — 19 (McMillan 11). Steals — 9 (McMillan 5). Blocks — 2 (Ferreira 2). Total fouls — 16. Turnovers — 19.

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