The Hillsboro High basketball teams started their holiday break with the gift they were wishing for — a pair of wins over Halstead Friday night (Dec. 21) at Brown Gymnasium.
In the girls’ game, Hillsboro prevailed 41-30. The Trojans led 10-8 after one quarter, then inched ahead by six, 19-13, by intermission. The third quarter proved to be pivotal as Hillsboro held the Dragons to 1-for-11 shooting from the field to fuel a 12-3 surge during the period.
With a 31-16 lead heading into the final quarter, the Trojans let the Dragons draw closer with a 6-2 run. But a traditional 3-point play by Dakota Kaufman with 4:56 to go seemed to thwart Halstead’s comeback effort.
Hillsboro pushed the lead back to 16 at 40-24 with less than 2:00 to go. Halstead made one last surge against the Trojan bench to draw within 11 at the end.
Samantha Heinrichs had her most productive night as a Trojan, scoring 12 points to lead Hillsboro. Kaufman added 10.
The win improved Hillsboro’s record to 2-3.
The Trojan boys, meanwhile, had a battle on their hands all night, but did prevail at the end, 51-48.
Hillsboro trailed 14-13 at the first break, then slipped into a 26-25 lead by halftime. At the end of three quarters, the Trojans had inched ahead by three points, 39-36.
A basket by David Loewen opened the lead to 41-36 early in the final period, but a 2-point basket by Tyler Ratzlaff and a 3-pointer by Matt Vermillion tied the game at 41 with 5:48 to go.
After that it was a nail-biter to the end. With Halstead trailing 49-48, Ratzlaff missed a 10-foot shot with seven second left in the game. Daniel Jost rebounded and was fouled. Halstead fouled twice more to get Hillsboro into a one-and-one. Clay Shewey stepped up to the free-throw line with 1.9 seconds to go to sink the game-clinching free throws.
The Trojans had four players in double figures: Loewen with 13, Shewey with 11 and Jost and Gavin Serene with 10 each. The win boosted Hillsboro’s record to 3-2.