Hancock couldn't quite pull out of a big first-half hole and fell to Hillcrest 62-59 in the regular season finale on Friday, March 1, in Hancock. It was the Owls' third loss at home this season.

The Owls, who played most of the game without their leading scorer Bennett Nienhaus, shot just 39 percent on the game and 37 percent (10-for-27) from deep.

“We just couldn't hit any shots in the first half, and our post defense wasn't the best in the first half,” Hancock head coach Cory Bedel said. “We tried to play Bennett (Nienhaus), but we had to shut him down early due to his injury from the West Central Area game still. Dug ourselves too big of a hole, but we did come back and take the lead with about two minutes left, but couldn't hang onto it.”

The Owls outscored the Comets 40-29 in the second half, but couldn’t come back from a 33-19 halftime deficit. Senior Connor Reese had 14 points, six rebounds and five assists to lead Hancock. Senior Peyton Rohloff and junior Colton Crowell added 12 points apiece. Crowell hit four three-pointers.

The Owls close out the regular season 19-6 overall. Section 6A seedings are announced Saturday. Hancock is scheduled to open the postseason Thursday, March 7, in Hancock.

Hillcrest 62, Hancock 59

Hillcrest (13-10) 33 29 - 62

Hancock (19-6 ) 19 40 - 59

HILLCREST - Scoring: Nick Foss 18, Micah Foss 7, Gabriel Preston 7, Logan Disabella 6, Sander Frustol 16, Thomas Zwiers 8 ... 3-point shots: N. Foss 4, M. Foss 1, Disabella 2, Preston 1 ... Rebound leader: NA ... Assist leader: NA ... Steal leader: NA

HANCOCK - Scoring: Connor Reese 14, Preston Rohloff 6, Colton Crowell 12, Daniel Milander 6, Peyton Rohloff 12, Cole Reese 9 ... 3-point shots: Crowell 4, Cole Reese 1, Connor Reese 2, Milander 1 ... Rebound leader: Preston Rohloff 6, Connor Reese 6 ... Assist leader: Cole Reese 5, Connor Reese 5, Preston Rohloff 4 ... Steal leader: Preston Rohloff 4