ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
When Tyler Peachey showed up to play Friday night against Wichita Collegiate, he took his team along for the ride.
The 6-2 junior came off the bench and scored 15 straight points for Hillsboro midway through the second half to spark the Trojans to a 52-38 win over the Spartans at Brown Gymnasium.
“Tyler got off to a slow start for some reason, but when he decided to play to his capabilities, I thought he did a great job for us,” coach Darrel Knoll said.
With the Trojans trailing, 26-24, late in the third quarter, Peachey tied the game with a pair of free throws with 52.4 seconds left, then hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Hillsboro a 29-26 lead.
As it turned out, that 3-pointer changed the complexion of the game. Hillsboro played its best ball of the night in the final period, and Peachey was the primary beneficiary. He scored two more buckets in the paint before Collegiate finally countered with a basket to make the score 33-28 with 6:07 to play.
Peachey then tossed in a pair of free throws after he was fouled on an offensive rebound, then added two more buckets down low to boost the Trojan lead to 39-30 with 4:35 to go.
A free throw and a bucket by Steven Chisholm gave Hillsboro a 12-point bulge, 42-30, with four minutes to play. Four free throws by Tyler Weinbrenner and one by Andy Brubacher over the next two minutes gave Hillsboro a 47-32 lead.
Two charities by Peachey and one by Dustin Jost gave the Trojans their biggest lead of the night, 50-34, with 1:37 to play.
The Trojans’ productive second half was in contrast to a first half that was marked by a lot of defensive intensity but not a lot of scoring as both teams had trouble finishing their shots.
Hillsboro got off to a 5-0 lead on a basket by Chisholm and a bucket and free throw by Weinbrenner. But three minutes-and seven Spartan points-passed before Peachey hit a 3-pointer to make the score 8-7 with 2:52 to play .
The quarter ended at 11-10 when Collegiate’s Scott Buess nailed a 3-pointer in the final second. The two teams traded points during the second quarter, and Hillsboro went into the locker room with a 20-18 lead.
Peachey finished the night with a career-high 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including two of three from behind the arc. No other Trojans broke double figures.
As a team, Hillsboro shot a chilly 35 percent from the floor, including a 2-of-12 performance from 3-point range.
Hillsboro had a huge advantage at the line, making 22 of 33 attempts, while the Spartans made eight of only 14 attempts. Another key statistic was turnovers. The Trojans were whistled for only 11 mistakes while Collegiate accumulated 22. Eleven of those turnovers came on steals; Weinbrenner and Jost each had three.
In addition to his scoring, Peachey was a force on the boards, pulling down 10 rebounds. Chisholm added eight.
Coming-The Trojans played host to Hesston on Tuesday. Results of that game are available on the Free Line (947-3336) and the Web (old.hillsborofreepress.com). A full report of that game will appear in this week’s Free Press Extra.
The Trojans will close out their pre-holiday schedule with a game against Smoky Valley on Friday at Lindsborg. Game time will be about 8 p.m.