Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 11 December 2012 23:13
In a battle of undefeated teams, the Trojan girls routed the home-town Dragons, 56-19. In the boys’ game, a late rally by Hillsboro fell just short as the Trojans dropped a heartbreaking 39-38 decision in the final seconds.
GIRLS - Although the Trojans led from start to finish, the first quarter was actually competitive with a 13-6 score after one period. But Hillsboro blew off the doors in the second quarter to the tune of 23-4, removing all doubt about the best team on the court. Addie Lackey scored eight points and Tena Loewen six during the decisive quarter. Defensively, Hillsboro forced seven turnovers and held the Dragons to 2-for-8 shooting while making nine of their own 16 shots for the 36-10 halftime lead.
Hillsboro picked up where it left off as the second half began, launching a 13-0 run over the first 4:12 of the third quarter. By the time the period ended, Hillsboro led 49-15, having forced nine more Halstead turnovers and holding the Dragons to 1-for-8 shooting.
The final quarter was played with a running clock and reserves playing most of the minutes for Hillsboro.
Loewen finished with a team-high 17 points and Lackey added 15, all in the first half. As a team, Hillsboro shot 48 percent from the field (23-48) while limiting Halstead to 24 percent (7-29). The Trojans are now 4-0 for the year while Halstead dropped to 4-1.
BOYS - A good start in the first quarter turned into the twilight zone in the second period as the Trojans dropped their third straight game. Hillsboro dominated the opening quarter with a 12-4 lead.
When Josh Wiebe scored his fifth point of the night in the first minute of the second quarter, the Trojan lead hit double digits at 14-4. But suddenly the game turned upside-down. Whether it was a defensive collapse by Hillsboro or simply hot shooting by the Dragons, Halstead went on a 20-2 run the rest of the period to turn an eight-point deficit after one quarter into an eight-point lead at 24-16 by halftime.
Halstead hit a 2- and a 3-point basket in the opening 41 seconds of the third period to build their lead to 13 points at 29-16. But a basket by Harry Faber off an inbounds pass started Hillsboro on a slow route to recovery, aided by a defensive effort that shut out the Dragons the rest of the period. The recovery took a major leap forward when Brett Weinbrenner and Shaq Thiessen combined for eight points in the final 2:44 to close the gap to 26-23. But Weinbrenner then fouled Anthony Santiago on a three-point shot with 0.9 seconds left in the quarter. Santiago calmly sank all three free throws to push the lead to 32-26 at the final break.
Scoring in the final period when back and forth until Halstead’s Devan Herb hit a pair of free throws with 2:49 to go to give Halstead a 39-33 lead. But a free throw from Wiebe, a basket by Thiessen and two free-throws by Weinbrenner closed the gap to 39-38 with 56.5 second to play.
When Santiago went back to the line for a one-and-one opportunity after he was fouled by Evan Ollenburger with 42.1 seconds to go, the Trojans chances looked bleak, given the way Halstead had been hitting its free-throws all night. But Santiago missed the front end, and Hillsboro had the ball. But Weinbrenner was whistled for a charging foul on a drive to the basket-- his fifth foul of the game -- with 13 seconds left. Following the turnover, Thiessen fouled Blake Bohling, who went to the line for the double-bonus with 11.1 seconds left. Unbelievably, Bohling missed both free throws and Hillsboro rebounded with a chance to win.
After a timeout with 6.7 on the clock, the inbounds pass came in to Thiessen, who dribbled in from halfcourt, drove the baseline, but then got bumped and lost his rhythm on the shot underneath the basket. The ball ricocheted off the bottom of the rim and the game ended.
Thiessen led HHS with 13 points, Weinbrenner added 11 and Wiebe 10 as the Trojans dropped to 1-3 while Halstead improved to 2-3.
Hillsboro will travel to Lyons on Friday for rematch games from one week earlier at the Moundridge tournament. HHS won the girls’ game, 51-28, but the boys dropped a 41-35 decision to the Lions.