Written by Don Ratzlaff Saturday, 03 March 2012 23:13
For the Trojans, it was the girls who earned a berth at state with a convincing 29-19 victory in a defensive battle over the Wildcats. The Hillsboro boys, meanwhile, took top-seeded Moundridge to the brink, but the Wildcats prevailed 48-43.
GIRLS -- In a game reminiscent of their matchup in the Moundridge preseason tournament, the Trojans proved the defensive does win championships. As in the earlier encounter, the Trojans shut out the Wildcats in the first quarter, On this night, Hillsboro claimed a 6-0 lead at the first break.
Moundridge finally scored at the 5:22 mark of the second quarter after Hillsboro had bumped the lead to 8-0 on a basket by Addie Lackey. Krista Reimer scored six of the eight points Hillsboro scored the rest of the quarter as the Trojans took a 16-6 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Moundridge made a couple of free thows about three minutes into the third period to narrow the gap to eight points. But sophomore Danae Bina came off the bench and scored six unanswered points over the span of just over one minute to put HHS on top 22-8. Moundridge rallied to narrow the lead to 22-13 by the end of the quarter.
The Wildcats grew increasingly desperate in their shot selection during the fourth quarter, missing six straight before Brooke Holloway scored at the 4:16 mark. By then Hillsboro was leading 26-13.
The Trojans were never seriously threatened down the stretch, but could have easily put the game far out of reach in the final minute if they had hit some free throws. They missed all four of their attempts, with two of the misses coming on the front end of a one-and-one.
After a sub-par game in the semifinals, Reimer led the Trojans with 10 points. Bina added eight and Lackey six as Hillsboro clinched its fourth straight state tournament berth with a 21-2 record. Moundridge finished the season 18-5.
BOYS -- The Trojans were looking to avenge a 54-49 loss to the Wildcats back in December, and made a good run at accomplishing that. Hillsboro played with intensity, but turnovers proved to be the Trojans’ undoing on this night.
Hillsboro started the game with three turnovers and a missed shot as Moundridge jumped to a 4-0 lead. But the Trojans responded with an 11-2 run midway through the period to claim an 11-6 lead. But the Wildcats’ big gun, Trey Unrau, scored seven points in the final 1:39 as Moundridge finished the quarter with a 10-1 run for a 16-12 lead at the first break.
The two teams played to an 8-8 standoff in the second period as defense held the upper hand for both teams. Moundridge maintained its four-point edge, 24-20, as the half ended.
Hillsboro reclaimed the lead in the third quarter at 29-28 when Shaq Thiessen made one of two free throws at the 4:39 mark. Josh Wiebe accounted for five points and Christian Ratzlaff hit his second 3-pointer of the night to help fuel Hillsboro’s 9-4 surge.
Moundridge rallied in the final three minutes to regain the lead as the third quarter ended, 34-33, with Ratzlaff scoring on a rebound with one second left to pull HHS to within a point.
Hillsboro took one last lead on a Wiebe putback at the 5:41 mark of the final period. But Unrau hit a 3-pointer, then made four free throws in two trips to the line, giving Moundridge a 41-36 lead with 3:56 to go.
When Ratzlaff hit another three and Wiebe canned a pair of free throws, the game was tied at 41 with 2:30 to play. Moundridge’s Alexander Otte came alive with a basket in the paint and a pair of free throws to give Moundridge a 45-41 edge with 1:24 to play.
After a critical Hillsboro turnover, Unrau canned two more free throws with 36.7 seconds left to push the lead to 47-41. The Trojans got two more points from Ratzlaff with 28 seconds to go, but Otte put the game out of reach with one more free throw with 17.9 seconds remaining.
Ratzlaff scored 18 points for Hillsboro in the season finale. Wiebe finished with 10 as the Trojans close the door on an outstanding season with an 18-5 record. Unrau led Moundridge (20-3) with 22 points.