Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 12 December 2006 18:00After an 0-2 start to the season, the Hillsboro boys got the confidence-builder they needed with a 63-33 shellacking of Chaparral in the fifth-place game Saturday at the Cheney Classic.
"We certainly needed a win," coach Darrel Knoll said after pool-play losses to Cheney and Smoky Valley earlier in the week. "I was really pleased with the chemistry and the way we came along."
It took a while to get started, though. Chaparral established a 7-2 lead out of the gate as the Trojans missed their first four shots from the floor.
But when Daniel Jost nailed a 3-pointer from the right wing at the 3:37 mark, he ignited a 12-2 run that gave the Trojans a 14-9 lead by the end of the quarter.
Five players contributed points to the run, including reserve Brett McIntosh with a 3-pointer at the 1:40 mark.
Any doubt as to the game's outcome ended when Hillsboro put together a 20-2 second-quarter to lead by 23 points at intermission.
Six Trojans scored during the quarter, including Jost with five and Lucas Hamm and Spencer Brown with four. Meanwhile, the HHS defense limited the Roadrunners to 1-for-12 shooting.
Hillsboro's lead grew as big as 50-16 with 2:47 left in the quarter when Aaron Stepanek sank four free-throws over an 11-second span.
"It was good to get out and run a little bit," Knoll said. "Especially the middle of the second quarter through the third quarter, I thought we passed the ball extremely well, took good shots and started to make them."
With Knoll substituting freely in the fourth quarter, the game turned ragged at points, but the Trojans were firmly in control until the final buzzer.
"It seemed like once we got our big lead we kind of did whatever we thought we could," Knoll said. "But it was a good effort today. Defensively, I thought it was a great effort all day."
After a slow 5-for-15 start in the opening period, the Trojans finished with 42 percent shooting for the game (21-50). They supplemented that with 18-for-22 accuracy at the free-throw line.
Hamm finished with a team-high 13 points and Jost added 11. Six Trojans contributed six or more points each.
On defense, Hillsboro limited Chaparral to 30 percent shooting (17-46) and the Roadrunners' made only 33 percent from the line (3-9). The Trojans forced 25 turnovers, including 17 steals.
Smoky Valley-Going into Friday's game against Smoky Valley in the second round of Cheney Classic pool play, Hillsboro coach Darrel Knoll knew his team needed a good shooting night to overcome the Vikings' physical zone defense.
But it wasn't to be.
Despite an outstanding performance on defense, the Trojans struggled on the offensive end and found themselves on the short side of a 40-32 score.
The game started as a shootout as Smoky's Chase Dippel and Hillsboro's Daniel Jost traded 3-pointers, and Justin Holcom and Tyler Kaufman traded 2-pointers, for the first four possessions.
Smoky continued its hot shot shooting, canning five of its next six shots. But Hillsboro went cold, making only one of six shots the rest of the quarter. The Vikings led 16-9 at the first break.
Neither team scored in the early minutes of the second quarter, but HHS put a 6-0 run together midway through the period to pull to within one at 16-15. By intermission, Smoky was back up by four, 22-18.
Midway into the third period, Hillsboro pulled into a 28-28 tie-the first since the early moments of the game-when Lucas Hamm completed an old-fashioned 3-point play.
But again the Trojans went cold, missing all four of their shots from the floor and both free-throw attempts to trail by five at the final break, 33-28.
Unfortunately, Hillsboro's cold snap continued into the fourth quarter, as the Trojans managed only one field goal in 10 attempts.
Smoky Valley made two of only four shots in the quarter, but sank three of four free-throws in the final 17 seconds to nail down the win.
"We're struggling to shoot the ball right now," Knoll said. "When we were moving (on offense), we got some good looks, but we just struggled to put the ball in the basket."
For the game the Trojans shot right at 28 percent from the floor (9-32) while Smoky Valley shot nearly 47 percent (14-30). Hamm led HHS with 13 points while Dippel scored a game-high 13 for Smoky.
"I thought we played as great a defense as I've seen for a while," Knoll said. "The guys executed everything I asked them to do. There were a couple of times (the Vikings) got open looks, but for the most part I thought we played them exactly like I told them to play it.
"I thought we frustrated them to no end," he added. "We held them to 40 points. You can't ask for a better defensive game than that. Smoky's a great team."
Coming-Hillsboro was scheduled to take its 1-2 record to Halstead for a non-league game on Tuesday. The Dragons were 1-2 for the season after a seventh-place finish in the Blue & Gold Classic in Salina last week.
On Friday, Hillsboro will play host to Nickerson, (2-2). The Trojans will complete their pre-Christmas schedule with a game at Wichita Collegiate.