Ours knocks down milestone

Hillcrest senior eclipses 1,000 career points

Hillcrest Academy senior Eli Ours shoots during a recent home game for the Ravens. Ours scored his 1,000th career point Tuesday in a win at Mediapolis. (File)
Hillcrest Academy senior Eli Ours shoots during a recent home game for the Ravens. Ours scored his 1,000th career point Tuesday in a win at Mediapolis. (File)

MEDIAPOLIS — One 3-pointer in the Hillcrest-Mediapolis boys basketball game Tuesday was not your average make from beyond the arc for Hillcrest’s Eli Ours. Ours connected on four first-half 3-pointers for 12 of Hillcrest’s 16 points. But it was his second one of the first quarter that was more momentous.

Ours scored his 1,000 career point for the Hillcrest boys basketball team on that 3-pointer in Tuesday’s Southeast Iowa Super Conference North Division victory over Mediapolis.

Trailing 18-16 at the half, the Ravens outscored the home team Bulldogs with a closing 17-7 fourth quarter run for a 44-34 victory.

Ours finished with 20 points in the game to put his career total at 1,014.

“It was great to see Eli shoot the ball well on a night we really needed it,” Hillcrest head coach Dwight Gingerich said. “Eli has been a steady force for us for four years, and it’s a great accomplishment for him to hit the 1000-point milestone.”

A deliberate offensive attack by Mediapolis forced Hillcrest to grind it out on the defensive end. Down by five at 25-20 4 minutes into the second half, a 7-2 Hillcrest run knotted the score at 27 to close the third quarter. The run continued into the fourth period as the Ravens took the lead for good at 32-27. Perfect from the line at 6-for-6, Ours, Noah Miller and Grant Bender knocked down two apiece and the Ravens held the Bulldogs at bay to seal the win.

John Hughes had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Ravens and Miller scored nine, including a timely triple. Aaron Hershberger hit a big baseline jumper to complete the scoring for the Ravens. Bender had a team-high eight rebounds.

“Mediapolis has been playing really well and had key players back from when we played them the first time,” Gingerich said. “For whatever reason, it’s never an easy place to play, and I was really proud of our guys for digging down and making plays at both ends down the stretch.”

The Ravens, who have a record of 7-4, 5-3 North, also had a big fourth quarter Saturday when they rallied from a 49-39 deficit with 5 minutes to play to defeat visiting Danville 51-49. Aaron Hershberger hit the game winner, his only basket in the game. The final was Hillcrest’s first lead since scoring the game’s first two points.

Hughes had 16 points and five rebounds. Ours had 10 points and eight assists. Miller was 3-of-3 for nine points (all in the final period) with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Grant Bender scored seven points and had three assists.

This season, Ours has scored at a rate of 15.6 points a game for a total of 172. He totaled 377 points as a junior for an average of 18.0, 272 as a sophomore for an average of 13.6 a game, and had a 7.7 average as a freshman with 193 points.

It was fitting Ours reached the milestone with a 3-pointer. He has now made 109 treys in his career on 320 attempts for 34 percent.

This season he is shooting at 45.3 percent rate (63-of-130) for all of his shots. He has connected on 24-of-68 3-pointers for 35.3 percent and 39-of-71 2-pointers for 64 percent, an outstanding rate for a guard. His free throws are successful 81.5 percent of the time. He has 46 assists to 37 turnovers with 29 steals and 27 rebounds through 10 games.

The Ravens were 11-10 in his junior season when his shooting was at 45 percent overall, 35.2 percent on threes, 55 percent on twos and 74 percent from the foul line. He had averages of 2.8 rebounds per game, 3.7 assists and 2.9 steals.

The Ravens were 13-7 in his sophomore season (when the school was Iowa Mennonite) was 44.8 percent overall, 31.2 percent on threes, 52.5 percent on twos and 75.3 percent on free throws. Rebounds per game average was 3.2, assists 3.7, and steals 2.0.

In his freshman campaign the team went 21-4 as Ours shot 48.3 percent overall, 33.3 on threes, 52.5 on twos, 73.1 on free throws and averaged 1.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.8 steals.