GIRLS - It was one more mismatch for the home team — at least once Hillsboro got through the first two minutes of the game.
Southeast actually scored the first basket, while Hillsboro missed its first five shots before Addie Lackey tied the game at the 6:04 mark with a basket. The score ignited an 8-0 run that ended led to a 17-6 margin by the end of the first quarter.
Hillsboro pushed the lead to 27-10 when Tena Loewen hit back-to-back mid-range jumpers, the second one coming with 4:21 left in the second quarter. Loewen scored one more basket in the final second on an inbounds pass from Lackey to give Hillsboro a 33-16 lead at intermission.
With its pressure defense providing the fuel, Hillsboro exercised its dominance in the third quarter with an 18-5 surge. That gave the home team a 51-20 lead at the end of the quarter — enough to kick in the running clock for the final quarter for the 13th time this season.
Loewen finished with 21 points for the game to lead all scorers. Lackey added 13 and Danae Bina 11. As a team, Hillsboro shot 44 percent from the field (26-59). Southeast shot a respectable 38 percent, but put up less than half as many shots, mostly because the Hillsboro defense forced 31 turnovers by the time the game was over.
With the win, Hillsboro improves to 20-2 and will face Haven in the finals at 6 p.m. Saturday. Haven (18-4) defeated Lyons in the other semifinal, 53-34. Southeast of Saline ends its season at 12-10.
BOYS - Hillsboro overcame a 20-8 first-quarter deficit to lead by as much as 41-35 after three quarters. But victory proved to be elusive as the Trojans ended their season with the 44-43 finale.
Haven made about everything it threw up in the first quarter to build its 20-8 lead. Hillsboro started the second quarter with a 12-2 run through the first 3:34 to pull within two points at 22-20. After Haven bumped the lead again to six, a pair of free throws by Jesse Brown and huge three pointer at the buzzer by Evan Ollenburger pulled the Trojans to within a point at 26-25 as the half ended.
Hillsboro carried the momentum into the third quarter. When Shaq Thiessen scored near the rim with 4:38 left in the quarter, Hillsboro enjoyed its first lead of the game at 32-31. Brett Weinbrenner followed that with a pair of free throws and a nice drive-and-basket to give the Trojans a 36-31 bulge with 3:27 left. Hillsboro maintained the six-point edge as the quarter ended at 41-35.
Hillsboro started the final quarter with two missed shots and two turnovers in its first four possessions. Meanwhile, Haven scored a basket and three free throws to pull within one point. After Evan Ollenburger made one of two free throws, Haven got baskets by Timothy Hendrixson and Trae Regier to regain the lead at 44-42 with 2:05 to play.
Hillsboro traded two missed three-points shots for two Haven turnovers over the next 1:30 before Ollenburger made one of two free throws with 28.3 seconds left in the game to pull Hillsboro to within one at 44-43.
Haven’s Luke Johnson had a chance to pad the lead when he was fouled off the inbounds play, and went to the line for a one-and-one opportunity. But Johnson missed everything, giving Hillsboro the ball with an opportunity to regain the lead. But an errant pass with 6.8 seconds left put the ball back in Haven’s hands.
Hillsboro quickly fouled Haven’s Jacob Newcomer with 4.2 seconds left. Newcomer missed the first free throw of the one-and-one, giving the Trojans one last hope — but it ended as a final heave toward the basket missed the mark at the buzzer.
Shaq Thiessen scored 11 points for Hillsboro and Harry Faber added 10. Haven’s Luke Johnson led all scorers with 15. As a team, the Trojans shot 35 percent from the floor while Haven shot 45 percent.
Hillsboro’s season ends with a 13-9 record while Haven improves to 14-8. The Wildcats advance to the title game tomorrow night against Sacred Heart, who beat No. 1 seeded Marion in the other semifinal game, 71-65 in overtime.