Written by Don Ratzlaff Monday, 24 December 2012 15:02
No. 1 ranked Trojan girls roll past Warriors
The Hillsboro girls scored the first 12 points of the game and never looked back on the way to 59-12 victory Friday at Marion.
The win put the No. 1 ranked Trojans at 7-0 heading into the holiday break while Marion dropped to 2-5.
Hillsboro wasted little time taking charge. With Addie Lackey pouring in 12 points, Hillsboro built a 19-4 led by the end of the opening quarter.
Freshman Alex Ratzlaff stepped up with seven points in the second quarter to help the Trojans expand the lead to 35-7 by halftime.
Hillsboro shot a so-so 38 percent from the floor, but put up nearly three times as many shots that Marion, who turned the ball over 19 times against Hillsboro’s pressure defense.
Lackey and Tena Loewen accounted for 14 of Hillsboro’s 16 points as the lead grew to 51-10 by the end of the third quarter, prompting a running clock for the final period.
Lackey finished as the game’s top scorer with 21 points. Ratzlaff added a season-high 13 and Loewen chipped in 11. As a team the Trojans made 23 of 52 shots from the floor (44 percent) and eight of 19 free throws. Uncharacteristically quick to launch a three-point shot, they threw up 21 and made only five.
“We weren’t as sharp as I’d like us to be (on offense),” coach Nathan Hiebert said. “But I was really pleased with how we played defense. Their offense gave us a little bit of a problem with how they cut and moved the ball. But we did a good job of detaining the key passer early, then getting in the passing lanes so they couldn’t get that first pass out.”
Marion, playing without Katey Ehrlich for the second straight game due to illness, lost Erin Meierhoff to an apparent leg injury late in the second quarter.
The Warriors made four of only 18 shots from the floor (22 percent) during the game and four of 12 free throws. No Warrior scored more than two points in the contest.
Hiebert said he was pleased with the way his team has come together so early in the season. Even with a jittery six-point win over Moundridge in the season opener, Hillsboro’s average margin of victory has been 27 points.
“Here of late I’ve been really pleased with our defense—how we’re getting in the passing lanes, how we’re frustrating people and how we’re executing some things,” he said. “I think we’re shooting a little better now, we’re finding a rhythm.
“Every year there are some new girls on the court. I think we’re getting to that point where we’re feeling a lot more comfortable with each other. What I love is that a lot of different girls are getting involved with that.”
Smoky Valley—The Trojans continued their domination of opponents with a 66-29 win over the Vikings last Tuesday at Brown Gymnasium.
Keying off a defense that forced 28 turnovers through three quarters and 35 for the game, the Trojans were never threatened by the Vikings, who fell to 1-5 for the year.
Hillsboro led 19-5 after one quarter and 36-10 by halftime. With a 60-22 lead after three quarter, the final period was played with a running clock and with Trojan substitutes running the court.
Addie Lackey led the team with 20 points on 10-for-11 shooting from the field. She added four assists and four steals.
Maci Schlehuber enjoyed her most productive game of the season with 13 points. Danae Bina added 13 along with five rebounds, a team-high five assists and snatched six of Hillsboro’s 23 steals.
As a team, the Trojans shot nearly 56 percent from the floor. Smoky Valley shot just under 55 percent, but put up 30 fewer shots than Hillsboro did because of the turnovers.
“The defense did a nice job pressuring them,” coach Nathan Hiebert said. “We let them score a few more points in the second half, but it’s tough (to maintain intensity) when you’re up 30-some points.”
Coming—Hillsboro will next take the court Jan. 4 when the Trojans host Pratt (3-3).
Free-throw shooting propels Warriors to win
Red-hot shooting in the third quarter and a huge advantage at the free-throw line carried Marion to a 58-49 win over Hillsboro in front of an appreciative hometown crowd.
The Warriors, ranked No. 6 in Class 3A, remained perfect at 7-0 while the Trojans slipped to 3-4.
Marion led 12-11 after one quarter, but an 8-0 surge to start the second quarter helped the Trojans establish a 24-20 lead by halftime.
The Warriors seized momentum early in the second half on consecutive baskets by Jacob Harper and Jordan Hett to tie the game in the first 23 seconds.
After Hillsboro’s Josh Wiebe scored with 3:42 left, Harper cashed in a traditional three-point play to ignite a 10-point Marion run for a 43-34 lead with four seconds remaining in the period. But Austin Pedersen fouled Brett Weinbrenner on a three-point shot with 0.1 seconds left. The Trojan junior cashed in all three charity shots to narrow the lead to six at the break.
For the quarter, Marion made nine of 12 shots from the field while Hillsboro managed only four of 11.
In the final period, Marion iced the victory at the free-throw line, connecting on 11 of 13 charity opportunities. For the game, the Warriors made 21 of 26 free throws while Hillsboro made six of seven. The Trojans were whistled for 21 personal fouls and the Warriors nine.
“When we got into foul trouble, that’s when the game really turned,” Trojan coach Darrel Knoll said. “Every time they drove, it seemed like we got a foul. It’s tough to overcome that when you’re playing with foul trouble. It causes you not to play the same way you were earlier.”
Hett made all eight of his free-throw attempts on his way to a game-high 24 points. Harper finished with 21. For Hillsboro, Weinbrenner scored 16 and Thiessen added 14 to pace the Trojans (3-4).
“The first half we ran well, we executed well and we did a lot of great things,” Knoll said. “We just didn’t carry that over. We have to keep improving our consistency of execution on offense.
“On the plus side, we’re coming along,” he added. “I know we ended up losing tonight, but we lost to a really good team. These guys are the best team we’ve played so far. They’re playing good basketball.”
Smoky Valley—The Trojans recovered their shooting touch just in time to avoid another down-to-the-wire finish by nailing down a relatively comfortable 46-34 win last Tuesday in Brown Gymnasium.
The second straight win brought Hillsboro back to .500 at 3-3 while Smoky Valley slipped to 1-5.
Through the first two quarters and into the third, it appeared Hillsboro would have to find a way to win again on the strength of its defense. The Trojans were forcing turnovers at one end, but struggling to cash them in for points on the other.
The score was tied 6-6 after one quarter; Hillsboro managed a meager 20-18 lead by halftime.
Midway through the third quarter, Evan Ollenburger picked a Viking pocket at the top of the key, then raced in for the layup. The play was the first of three fast-break baskets that brought the home crowd to life.
Counting the pair of free throws on either end of that burst, the 10-0 run put Hillsboro in the driver’s seat for good.
“The steal Evan had was a key play,” coach Darrel Knoll said. “He continues to play tenacious defense and that steal seemed to get us going. I think the pressure Evan applied all night led to several Smoky mistakes that helped us get the transition points.”
And the junior guard wasn’t through yet. With Hillsboro leading 30-23 at the end of three quarters, Ollenburger launched a rare three-point shot in the opening seconds of the final period and drained it. The basket ignited an 8-0 run and put the Trojans in full command on the way to the 12-point win.
“It was great to see him hit the three—it gave us a solid lead,” Knoll said. “The fourth quarter run was a result of good offensive execution and finishing shots. We seemed to be in much better rhythm.”
Another key to the victory was the play of Harry Faber, who scored a game-high and personal-best 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting, including 2-of-3 from behind the arc. He also pulled down six rebounds.
“I thought Harry had a very good game—a few key defensive plays and good shot selection,” Knoll said. “It is great to see him improving the way he is.”
Two familiar faces contributed double-digit points as well: Shaq Thiessen added 13 and Brett Weinbrenner 12, including 8-for-8 free-throw shooting.