Trojans split games at Ellinwood (Jan. 7)

The Hillsboro Trojans split their MCAA Mid Division openers against Ellinwood Tuesday night. The girls lost by a 40-39 score while the boys won in a cakewalk, 68-33.

On the one hand, the girls’ loss was tough to swallow because of some suspect play-clock work and a controversial foul call made in the final seconds that gave Ellinwood two free throws and the win.

But to be honest, the game should have never come down to the final second. A sluggish first-half and another sub-par night at the free-throw line is what took this game to a bitter ending.

Playing tentatively on both ends of the court, the Trojans trailed the home team 8-3 after one quarter and 18-13 at the half. Led by Katie Fast’s 13 second-half points, the girls took their first lead of the night at 36-35 with 1:24 left in the game. The Trojans led again, 39-38 when Amy Duerksen made one of two free throws with 7.6 seconds to go.

A questionable foul call in the final one (or two) seconds put Ellinwood star Keri Wise on the line and she made both charities with 0.9 seconds on the clock.. Besides the foul call, the Trojans seemed to lose a full second off the clock from the time the foul was called until Wise went to the line. At any rate, the Trojans could not score in the time remaining.

Fast finished with a season-high 18 points. The Trojans are now 2-4 on the season.

The HHS boys, meanwhile, put together their best wire-to-wire game of the season and blew away the hometown Eagles. A pair of back-to-back 3-pointers by Dustin Jost with just over two minutes to play in the opening period pushed Hillsboro from a 8-7 deficit to a 13-8 lead that lasted to the quarter’s end.

That seemed to ignite the Trojans, and they pushed the margin bigger and bigger as the game wore on. It was 31-17 at intermission and 56-29 after three quarters. The Eagles did not score a field goal for the last 9:30 of the game until they hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Jost finished with 17 for the Trojans, who are now 4-2 on the year.

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