ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY DON RATZLAFF
The Hillsboro High School girls’ and boys’ basketball teams both passed important MCAA tests tonight, sweeping Halstead at home in Brown Gymnasium.
The TROJAN GIRLS (6-1) rode a strong offensive start to build an early lead, then depended on their defense to preserve a 45-37 win over Mid Division rival Halstead.
The Trojans came out with guns blazing and built a 24-17 lead after one quarter behind eight points from Angela Kroeker and seven from Jill Hein. The Trojans bumped their lead up to 10, 32-22, by halftime.
In the second half, though, the girls had trouble getting the ball to fall through the hoop despite taking open (and sometimes easy) shots. But the defense, led by a great off-the-bench effort from Julie Hett on Halstead standout Stacy Keller, kept the Dragons from mounting a serious comeback.
Jill Hein led HHS with 13 points and Angela Kroeker and Julie Hett each scored 10.
Keller finished with 15 for Halstead, but only four in the second half.
The TROJANS BOYS, meanwhile, proved that a good team can beat a great player as they as they held off Dennis Latimore and his Dragon teammates 46-40 in a physical, intense matchup.
Hillsboro (5-2) trailed by one at the half, 27-26, thanks to 12 points and some in-your-face defense from the 6-9 Latimore.
But the Trojans played great defense in the second half, including a tremendous effort on Latimore from 6-1 Jesse Hamm and 6-4 Scott Winter. Tyson Ratzlaff and Grant Brubacher, both slowed by foot injuries, scored 19 and 11 points, respectively, to pace the Trojan offense.
Latimore scored 23 for Halstead, but was not the dominating force in the second half that he was in the first half.
The Trojans will travel to Wichita Friday night to play their undefeated archrivals, Wichita Collegiate. Check our online edition late Friday night for same-night coverage.