The Hillsboro boys simply couldn’t overcome 72 percent shooting from the field by Hesston in the second half and dropped a 63-44 decision to the undefeated Swathers on Tuesday night (Jan. 9) in Brown Gymnasium.
The Trojan girls lost their game to the Swathers, 41-30.
In the boys’ showdown, Hillsboro got off to a good start, taking an early 8-2 lead 1:30 into the contest. Hesston didn’t score its first field goal until the 3:39, but a 3-pointer by Cole Jost with 27 seconds left in the quarter gave the Swathers their first lead at 9-8.
Hesston caught fire in the second quarter with a 12-3 run on 5-for-8 shooting to extend the lead to 22-11 at the 3:28 mark of the second quarter. Hillsboro was still within reasonable range of the Swathers by halftime at 28-18.
Hillsboro’s Nathan Vogel hit the first basket of the second half to cut the margin to eight points, but Hesston then hit its next five shots, including two 3-pointers, to inflate the cushion 40-22. The margin was still 18 at the end of three quarters, 45-27.
Hesston’s lead grew as large as 59-31, before David Loewen contributed a traditional 3-point play and Clay Shewey followed with a basket from behind the arc to bring the lead back to 22 with 3:15 to play at 59-37.
Shewey led Hillsboro with 15 points as the Trojans fell to 4-3 for the season and 1-1 in league play. Hesston is 6-0 and 2-0.
In the girls’ game, an aggressive Trojan squad jumped to a 7-2 lead at the 4:25 mark on the strength of five straight points from Tiffany Rooker. But Hillsboro couldn’t manage another point until Candace Weinbrenner hit a 15-footer with 2:12 left in the half. The dead zone of 10:03 put Hillsboro in a 15-7 hole. The Trojans were still in the game by halftime at 18-11.
Hesston stretched the margin to 21-11 early in the third period, but the Trojans scrapped their way back into contention at 23-20 by the end of the period. Rooker chipped in five points and Cassie Kroeker and Dakota Kaufman each added a bucket for Hillsboro.
Kaufman had a chance to pull the Trojans to within one point 12 seconds into the third period, but missed both of her free throws. Hesston responded with five unanswered points to go back up by eight.
A free throw by Kaufman and basket by Rooker pulled Hillsboro back to within five at 28-23, but Hesston slowly pulled away down the stretch on the strength of 10-of-12 free-throw shooting over the final 4:48.
Rooker led Hillsboro with a career-high 15 points as the Trojans dropped to 3-4 overall and 0-2 in league play. Hesston improved its record to 5-1 and 2-0.