ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY DON RATZLAFF
With a 16-2 run early in the third quarter, the Hillsboro Trojans broke open their first-round game with Douglass Monday night, beating the Bulldogs 66-41 to advance to the semifinals of the Trojan Classic on Friday.
Tyson Ratzlaff, who finished the evening with a team-high 16 points, sparked the run with six points on a free throw, field goal and 3-pointer.
Hillsboro (6-3), seeded fifth, opened strong against the fourth-seeded Bulldogs when Jeremy Loewen hit a 3-pointer only 30 seconds into the game.
The Trojans led 17-12 after one quarter, and only a 3-pointer at the buzzer from behind the halfcourt line by Douglass?s Joe Rush kept the score close at halftime, 30-24. Rush finished with a game-high 21 points.
Grant Brubacher rediscovered his shooting touch in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of his 12 points to keep the Bulldogs on a tight leash the rest of the way.
Reserve senior Vance Frick scored a career-high 12 and Jeremy Loewen added 11 for HHS, which advances to the tournament?s second round on Friday night against the winner of Tuesday night?s matchup between top-seeded Belleville and eighth-seeded Marion.
In the other first-round game, Smoky Valley of the MCAA beat Belle Plaine, 57-31.