For the first time in 15 years, Hillsboro High School will be sending two teams to a state tournament following championship performances by the girls’ and boys’ teams Saturday at the Class 2A sub-state tournament at Berean Academy. It will be Hillsboro’s first trip to a 2A state tournament in 40 years.
Both teams broke open tight ball games with a strong third quarter. The Trojan girls went on to knock off Moundridge 53-36 in their title matchup, earning a fifth consecutive trip to a state tournament. The Hillsboro boys dismantled top-seeded Berean in the second half on the way to a 54-30 victory and the first state berth for a Trojan boys’ team in 10 years.
GIRLS — With the Trojans leading 24-21 at halftime, Addie Lackey lit the fuse on Hillsboro’s game-changing surge with a three-point basket 52 seconds into the third quarter. By the end of the period, Hillsboro led 39-27 thanks to a 15-6 outburst. Lackey and Danae Bina accounted for all the scoring with eight and seven points, respectively.
The story was much the same in the final period as the Trojans’ momentum carried them to a 16-9 finish and the 17-point victory.
Hillsboro’s aggressive defense was a constant factor from start to finish. On the offensive end, Lackey led all scorers with 22 points. Bina finished with 12 and Alex Ratzlaff 10 for the Trojans, who will carry an 18-5 record to Manhattan next week for the 2A tournament.
BOYS — Points were hard to come by for both teams in the first half. Christian Ratzlaff’s three-pointer in the final two seconds of the opening quarter pushed the Trojans into double-digits and a narrow 11-7 lead.
The score was still only 14-11 when Micah Allen hit a 15-foot jumper at the 2:17 mark to ignite an 8-4 surge the resulted in a 22-14 halftime advantage.
With Hillsboro running time off the clock for much of the final period, the Trojans took only two shots from the floor—and made both. Avery Franz scored at the 7:05 mark and Ratzlaff scored a traditional three-point play on a drive to the basket with 2:09 to go. Coach Darrel Knoll cleared his bench for the final 23 seconds with victory secure.
Ratzlaff led Hillsboro with 21 points, Weinbrenner added 16 and Jordan Faul scored nine points with three dramatic three-point baskets. The win boosted Hillsboro’s record to 20-3. Berean’s season ended at 19-3.
NEXT — The Hillsboro girls (18-5) will begin play in the Class 2A state tournament in Bramlage Coliseum on the K-State campus as the No. 7 seed, and will face No. 2 Jefferson County North (23-0). Game time will be 6:30 p.m. The Trojan boys (20-3) come in as the No.5 seed and will take on No. 4 Olpe (20-3) at 4:45 p.m. Thursday.