WEB FLASH: HHS girls earn a berth at state! (March 3)

What a difference nine days makes!

The Hillsboro Trojans rebounded from a 13-point loss to Hesston nine days ago in the regular-season finale, and from one of their worst shooting performances two nights earlier in the sub-state semifinal game against Rock Creek with a superior team effort Saturday night, beating the Swathers 62-50 to win the sub-state championship and a berth in the Class 3A state tournament in Hutchinson next week.

This was a different team that played tentatively against the Swathers in their previous meeting. This Hillsboro squad battled hard and aggressively on both ends of the court.

The Swathers led 14-11 after one quarter, but Hillsboro pulled head in the second period, 18-17, on a basket by Dionne Jost with 4:13 to play until halftime. The Trojans increased the lead to 24-17 on two baskets by Angela Peachey and one by Amber Hefley. Hesston closed the gap to 24-23 by the buzzer.

Hillsboro came out shaky in the third quarter, committing seven turnovers in the first five and a half minutes. Hesston regained the lead, 32-29, with 2:20 left in the quarter.

But Peachey and Hefley scored again and Julie Hett added a bucket with 16 seconds left to put Hillsboro ahead at the end of three quarters, 35-34.

The Trojans moved their game a notch higher in the fourth quarter as they pulled away from the Swathers. Jost scored eight points in the final period and Angela Herzet was eight-for-eight from the line to fuel the final surge.

Herzet broke out of a recent slump with 17 points, but the star of the game was Jost, a senior known for her defensive play far more than her scoring productivity. Jost shattered her career scoring record with 14 points.

The Trojans got great contributions from their bench, particularly Peachey, who scored seven points but whose hustle ignited big plays for the Trojans all night long.

With the win, Hillsboro advances to Hutchinson with a 20-2 record. They will play Wednesday at a time to be announced.

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