Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 14 February 2012 23:08
Hillsboro’s basketball teams took care of business Tuesday night, sweeping a pair of games at Halstead. The girls rolled to a 59-38 win after building a 31-point lead late in the third quarter, while the boys built an early lead then fought tooth and nail to maintain it en route to a 54-46 victory.
GIRLS -- Hillsboro scored almost at will in the early minutes, hitting 10 of its first 12 shots for a 16-5 lead less than halfway through the first period. The second half of the period was far less productive as the Trojans settled for a 20-7 lead at the first break.
Halstead hit five straight shots to start the second quarter, but Hillsboro kept pace with 4-for-4 shooting over the same stretch. The Trojans then got baskets on consecutive steals-and-layups by Maci Schlehuber and Danae Bina to expand the lead to 32-18 at halftime. Addie Lackey had 10 points by intermission.
The Trojans put the game in the deep freeze with a hot third quarter, outscoring the home team 24-9. Callie Serene scored eight points and Krista Reimer six during the period.
With a 56-27 lead heading into the final quarter, coach Nathan Hiebert substituted freely the rest of the way, enabling the Dragons to chip away at the lead as the Trojan bench managed only one basket the rest of way.
Serene led the scoring parade with 13 points, but Reimer added 12 to go with Lackey’s first-half 10.
The win improves Hillsboro’s record to 16-2 overall and 6-1 in the Central Kansas League. Halstead dropped to 4-13 and 2-5.
BOYS -- Christian Ratzlaff scored eight points in the first 2:30 of the game to get the Trojans off to a 10-3 cushion that they defended the rest of the game. It seemed every time Hillsboro appeared to be poised to deliver a knock-out punch, the Dragons would rally. And every time the Dragons pulled close, the Trojans would counter-punch.
Hillsboro led 16-11 after one quarter, then pushed the lead to 19-11 on two free-throws from Ratzlaff and one from Josh Wiebe. But the Dragons launched a 7-0 run to get as close as 19-18 with 4:45 left in the half. Shaq Thiessen took over, hitting a three-pointer from the corner, then stealing the ball and scoring -- all within 16 seconds.
Brett Weinbrenner then hit a 15-footer, Evan Ollenburger followed with a traditional three-point play and Jesse Allen scored in the paint on a nice feed from Weinbrenner. Suddenly, Hillsboro was back in front 31-20 with 2:49 left in the half.
With Hillsboro leading 32-22 at intermission, Halstead scored first to start the third quarter. But Hillsboro pushed the lad back to 10 at 37-24. By the end of the quarter, the Trojans were up by 12 points, 43-31.
Each team managed only two points through the first half of the final period. Then, a free throw by Allen and a steal and basket by Thiessen gave Hillsboro its biggest lead of the night at 48-33. But sure enough, the Dragons had a little fire left in the belly, scoring the next 10 points, aided by four consecutive turnovers by Hillsboro.
But Thiessen stepped up again, scoring on a fast-break basket with 22 seconds left, then made two free throws with 8 seconds to go. Halstead hit a three way too late to make a difference, and Weinbrenner put in the final two points on free throws with 2.1 seconds left.
Thiessen led the Trojans with 21 points, despite sitting for several minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.
The win lifts Hillsboro to 14-4 for the year and 5-2 in the CKL while Halstead fell to 6-12 and 3-4.