ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY BRIAN HUXMAN
Any loss hurts, but for the Hillsboro girls’ basketball team, it occurred in the most important game of the season?the opening round of the Class 3A state basketball tournament in Hutchinson.
Dana Finch scored 34 points and Smith Center had too much firepower down the stretch and defeated Hillsboro 59-48.
Hillsboro led by as much as six points, 26-20, with about three minutes left in the second quarter. But Smith Center, led by Finch, went on a 12-0 run to lead at intermission, 32-26.
The third quarter began much the same. The Redmen outscored Hillsvoro 12-3 to lead 39-23, in the third period. The Trojans outscored their opponents the rest of the way but couldn’t close the gap.
After the solid start, Hillsboro’s shooting cooled off considerably, and they finished the game making 20 of 58 (34 percent).
The loss ends the Trojans’ season with a 20-4 record, but coach Becky Carlson said she was happy with the season.
“We accomplished a lot this season,” she said. “Nobody thought we would make it back to state after what we lost last year.”
Trojan senior Angela Kroeker led Hillsboro with 21 points in what turned out to be the last game of her career.