Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 19 February 2013 13:50
It wasn’t easy to explain how a three-point halftime deficit turned into a 58-35 drubbing Friday at Haven.
Hillsboro boys’ coach Darrel Knoll said it as well as anybody could: “They just got on a roll and we didn’t make the right plays to stop that roll.”
The second-half stumble jeopardized the Trojans’ hopes for a home game in the first round of sub-state. Going into the evening, Marion had clinched the No. 1 seed, but each of the next four teams—including Hillsboro and Haven—were sporting seven losses. Only three of those teams will play at home next week.
The first half was a game you might expect from a matchup of teams with identical records. Hillsboro got off to a 5-2 start before falling behind 12-11 on a Haven buzzer-beater basket to end the first quarter.
Hillsboro started the second quarter with a 5-2 burst, but Haven rallied again, this time using a traditional three-point play with 35 seconds remaining to take a 27-24 lead at intermission.
Whether Hillsboro lost its moxie at halftime or the Wildcats simply found theirs, Haven took over the game as play resumed. The home team created a 31-11 tidal wave over the final two quarters.
Brett Weinbrenner was Hillsboro’s hot shooter in the first half with 13 points. The Wildcats shut him down in the second half and nobody stepped in to fill the void. Hillsboro made only five of 22 shots in the final two quarters and committed seven turnovers.
“We didn’t attack the basket like we did in the first half, and we missed shots,” Knoll said. “They beat us to loose balls and they were just tougher on the boards than we were.
“A lot of things just didn’t go our way.”
When it was over, Weinbrenner and Shaq Thiessen shared scoring honors for Hillsboro with 13 points each. Haven had three players in double figures, led by Luke Johnson with 13.
“Sometimes when things are going against us, we just mentally aren’t where we need to be,” Knoll said. “It’s something we’ve got to learn from tonight, correct it, and be ready to go.”
Halstead—A strong first half was more than enough to propel Hillsboro to a 46-19 victory over Halstead on senior night in Brown Gymnasium.
Based on records, the Trojans were favored to win. But it was surprising how quickly and thoroughly they took control of the game—especially after losing to the Dragons back in December.
Keying off a defense that forced eight turnovers in the first quarter, Hillsboro led 16-4 by the time it ended. Four Trojans contributed points, led by Harry Faber with five.
The Dragons didn’t score their 10th point until almost three minutes into the second quarter, then didn’t score again the remaining five minutes as Hillsboro inflated the margin to 35-10 by halftime.
“We played with a lot of energy,” coach Darrel Knoll said of the first half. “Defensively, we really worked hard to jump on the ball. All five guys were moving on the pass. They didn’t get a good look all night.
“Offensively, we just moved the ball for each other. That’s why we got such good shots and why we put points on the board.”
The third quarter turned ragged for both teams. The Trojans continued their relentless pressure on defense, allowing only one point. But they also struggled to score, showing less patience and teamwork on the offensive end.
Even so, the Trojans reached the 30-point lead by the end of the period, 41-11, which kicked in the running clock for the fourth quarter.
Shaq Thiessen led Hillsboro with 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the field. Brett Weinbrenner chipped in 11.
As team, Hillsboro shot just under 49 percent (17-35) while limiting Halstead to 16.6 percent (6-36). The defense contributed to 21 Halstead turnovers, compared with 15 for Hillsboro.
Coming—Hillsboro (5-3, 11-8) was scheduled to complete the regular season Tuesday at Kingman (3-5, 8-10).
Sub-state play begins Tuesday for the boys. Joining the field will be Marion, Southeast of Saline, Haven, Sacred Heart, Lyons, Halstead and Hutchinson Trinity. First-round games will be played on the home floor of the higher-seeded team. The rest of the tournament will be played at Hillsboro.
Seedings will be posted at hillsborofreepress.com as soon as they become available.