Committing an uncharacteristic 16 turnovers in the first half and making only five of 19 shots from the field, Hillsboro found itself in a 27-19 hole at intermission. The second quarter was particularly ragged with six turnovers and 1-for-10 shooting.
Nevertheless, the Trojans persevered in this physical contest. They whittled the Monarchs’ lead to three points with a 6-2 effort over the first three minutes of the t hird quarter. By the end of the period, Hillsboro was within two points at 36-34. The Trojans offset an 0-6 performance at the free-throw line to hit seven of 16 shots from the floor.
The Trojans took their first lead since late in the first quarter when Brett Weinbrenner completed a traditional three-point play and Shaq Thiessen grabbed the rebound on Harry Faber’s three-point miss and scored for a 39-37 edge.
But the Trojans suffered through one more ragged stretch before launching the final assault. With Hillsboro committing two turnovers and three missed shots on five possessions, the Monarachs retook the lead at 45-39 with an 8-0 run.
Thiessen’s three-point basket with 3:03 to go finally stopped the bleeding. Weinbrenner then scored on two successive drives to the basket, the last one topped with a bonus free throw on a foul. The Trojans and Monarchs were deadlocked at 47 with 2:23 to go.
The Trojans used their full-court pressure to force turnovers on TMP’s next three possessions, and cashed them in for four points and a 51-47 lead. The Trojans missed two more free throws with 48.9 second left to leave the door open for the Monarchs. But Evan Ollenburger scored in the lane on a nice assist from Thiessen, then Micah Allen, Weinbrenner and Josh Wiebe combined for 5-for-6 shooting at the line to nail the door shut with a 14-2 scoring hammer over the last 2:23 of the game.
Weinbrenner led the Trojans with 21 points while Thiessen added 15. Hillsboro’s 52 percent shooting (15-29) in the second half elevated their game accuracy to 42 percent. TMP shot just under 50 percent for the game (20-41). The Trojans had the edge at the free-throw line, 15-28 to TMP’s 9-15.
With the win, Hillsboro improved to 8-5 for the season while the Monarchs slipped to 4-8.