Both Hillsboro basketball teams advanced from their first-round games in the Trojan Classic on Tuesday night.
The sixth-seeded Trojan boys took the court first and outlasted third-seeded Wamego 54-51. The girls then capped the second day of tournament play by defeating Sunrise Academy, 32-25, behind Dakota Kaufman’s 15 points.
In the boys’ game, both teams came out firing, but Hillsboro scored the last six points of the first period to take a 17-16 edge at the break.
The scoring pace slowed considerably in the second period with the two teams more or less swapping scores. Hillsboro finished the first half on the high side of seesaw at 26-23.
The Buffaloes outscored HHS 5-2 to tie the game at 28 with 5:41 left in the third period, and neither team scored again until Daniel Jost stole the ball and scored with 2:37 remaining in the quarter. Sunrise followed with a traditional three-point play to regain the lead, which they still maintained at the end of the quarter, 34-31.
The Trojans, who had shot only two free throws through the first three quarters, got more than their share in the final period, draining 17 of 21 attempts, and that propelled them to the three-point victory.
Wamego made seven of 12 free throws over the same stretch.
Jost paced HHS with 15 points and David Loewen added 14 as Hillsboro improved to 6-4 for the season.
With the win, the Trojans advance into the semifinals on Friday night at 8:15 p.m. against No. 2 seeded Republic County, who defeated Marion on Tuesday afternoon.
In the girls’ contest, the sixth-seeded Trojans dominated the third quarter on the way to a victory that was more one-sided the final seven-point margin would indicate.
After staking a 9-6 lead after one quarter, the Trojans caught fire in the final 2:19 of the second period to outscore the Buffaloes 7-0 for an 18-8 lead at halftime. The streak continued into the third quarter as HHS extended that 7-0 run to 17-0 until Sunrise final scored with 4:35 left in the period. The score after three quarters was 28-14.
HHS lead by as much as 31-16 when Kassidi Luthi scored at the 5:52 mark of the fourth quarter. Coach Nathan Hiebert put in reserves a couple minutes later and the Buffaloes made the final score more respectable.
Hillsboro (5-5) will square off Thursday against an old nemesis, No. 2 seeded Hesston, in the semifinals, with tipoff scheduled for 8:15 p.m.