The reversal of fortune on the Trojans’ home court Tuesday resulted in a 67-42 blowout for the Hillsboro girls (3-0 in the CKL, 13-1 overall) against previously undefeated Sterling (2-1, 13-1), while the HHS boys (2-1, 8-6) suffered a 71-68 setback against the Black Bears (3-0, 6-8).
GIRLS - Hillsboro got off to a good start against the Black Bears, building an 18-9 lead after one quarter. It appeared, as the game progressed, that the Trojans would simply need to feed off that early margin for a victory.
By halftime the lead was down to seven points (29-22), and remained in that vicinity as both managed only four points through the first six minutes of the third quarter. It didn’t appear consequential at the time, but went Addie Lackey hit a 12-foot jumper at the 1:45 mark, the floodgates were about to open.
Backup guard Maddie Duerksen stepped up out of nowhere to hit back-to-back jump shots in the final 1:06 to suddenly bump the lead to a game-high 12 points as the quarter ended, 39-27.
After Sterling scored five quick points in the first 48 seconds of the final quarter, Hillsboro lowered the boom. Once again Duerksen lit the fuse, this time with a 17-footer from the baseline. That ignited a 28-5 deluge that kicked in the running clock at 67-37 before coach Nathan Hiebert put in the reserves with 44 seconds to go. Sterling managed five points in those final seconds.
Lackey scored nine points in each half to lead the Trojans with 18 points. Tena Loewen who scored 12 points in the first half, finished with 14. Duerksen tossed in a career-high 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting, and Maci Schlehuber scored eight points in the second half to finish with 10. Danae Bina, who struggled even to get a shot off through the first three quarters, scored all eight of her points in the final period, including back-to-back three-pointers 23 seconds apart.
As a team, Hillsboro hit 15 of its last 21 shots (including three three-pointers) to finish with 27-for-60 shooting for the night (45 precent). The Trojans shot only two free throws all night, and made both.
On the other end of the floor, the Trojans limited Sterling to 13-for-45 shooting (29 percent) for the game and the Black Bears made 12 of 17 free throws.
BOYS - When the Trojans jumped to a 10-2 lead out of the gate, it appeared they might come close to duplicating their 17-point victory against the Black Bears three weeks earlier. But Sterling regrouped, and the two teams settled into a back-and-forth ballgame for the rest of the half. Hillsboro led 32-28 at intermission.
Sterling took its first lead at 44-42 when Riley Galyon scored in the paint with 3:18 left in the third quarter. Hillsboro regained a 47-46 lead when Shaq Thiessen stole the ball and scored with 1:02 left in the period.
The two teams continued trading points as the fourth period began. When Josh Wiebe scored in the lane at the 3:34 mark, Hillsboro seemed to have secured some breathing room at 55-50. But that would be the Trojans’ final field goal in regulation in what turned out to be a free-throw battle down the stretch.
When Brett Weinbrenner hit a pair with 26.6 seconds left, Hillsboro led, 60-57. But Sterling’s 6-foot-4 senior, Austin Maxwell, scored in the paint and added the bonus free throw on a foul to tie the game with 14.9 seconds left. After a Trojan timeout with eight seconds to go, Weinbrenner got an open look at the basket, but his shot bounced away, sending the game into overtime.
Harry Faber started the scoring with a pair of free throws, but with Hillsboro missing five straight shot from the floor, Sterling was able to build a 66-62 lead with 1:10 left.
Faber came up big again by draining a three-pointer from the top of the key with 1:03 to go, cutting the lead to one. Sterling responded with a basket and then one of two free throws to push the margin back to four at 69-65 with 23 second left.
Struggling to hit a basket late in the game, Thiessen stepped up with a huge three-pointer from the wing to pull the Trojans back to within one point at 69-68 with 15 seconds left. After a timeout, the Trojans sent Kirk Engelland to the line with 9.7 seconds to go. He made one of two shots, giving Hillsboro an opportunity to tie or win the game. Once again Weinbrenner got an open look, but once again the shot refused to drop. Maxwell was fouled on the rebound and made of one of two free throws to push the lead to 71-68 with 0.9 seconds left. Tyler Proffitt got a shot from three-quarter court away but it missed the mark as the buzzer sounded.
Hillsboro got 29 points from Thiessen and 18 from Weinbrenner, but struggled to get more than seven points from anyone else. The dynamic twosome combined to put up half of Hillsboro 68 shots from the floor and made 17 of the team’s 22 baskets.
Maxwell led Sterling with a game high 35 points on 12-for-21 shooting, most of which occurred around the basket as he used his height and strength to good advantage.