Trojans’ championship dream ends in semifinals

When the Hillsboro Trojans needed it most, they could not find their shooting touch. Cold shooting overall and and a near-freeze when the game was on the line cost the Trojans a spot in the state championship game.

Medicine Lodge, hitting 22 of 26 free throws for the game and 12 of 14 in overtime, defeated the Trojans, 63-55, Friday night in the semifinals in Hutchinson.

The game was close throughout. The first quarter ended in a 15-15 deadlock. After Medicine Lodge built a 25-16 lead with 2:22 left in the second quarter, the Trojans came storming back to pull within four at the break, 27-23.

Hillsboro grabbed the lead early in the third period, but the Indians put together an 11-2 run midway through, which carried them to a 38-26 lead by the end of the quarter.

After Andy Brubacher put the Trojans ahead, 49-47 with 3:41 left in the game, Medicine Lodge pulled back into a tie on a basket by Andrew Wheland with 3:04 to go.

The Trojans, with a couple of timeouts interspersed along the way, ran the clock all the way down to a last-second shot by Brubacher, which rimmed out.

Tyler Weinbrenner put Hillsboro temporarily ahead in the extra period by canning two of three free throws after he was fouled behind the arc. But after that the Trojans missed their next six shots from the floor until Shawm Hughbanks hit a meaningless 3-pointer with 9.3 seconds left.

Weinbrenner finished with 19 points, Dustin Jost added 14 and Brubacher 11 for Hillsboro, which drops to 22-3. As a team the Trojans shot 35 percent from the floor and made 10 free throws in 15 attempts.

Hillsboro will play for third place at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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