HHS teams win one, lose one on last-second shots at Abilene tourney

It was a white-knuckle day for Hillsboro basketball teams at the finale of the Dickinson County Classic basketball tournament in Abilene on Saturday. Both Trojan teams were playing for third place.

The Trojan girls lost to Chapman on a shot with two seconds left, 37-36, while the boys celebrated a dramatic victory when Kyle Kroeker hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to give them a 56-53 win over Rossvile.

The girls’ loss was particularly painful as they saw an eight-point third-quarter lead slowly disintegrate with a poor second half of shooting. Hillsboro played its best half of the season through the first two quarters, and led 23-16 at the break. When JuliAnne Chisholm sank a 10-footer with 6:07 left in the third period, Hillsboro led 27-19. But Hillsboro made only one more field goal the rest of the third and fourth quarters combined, enabling Chapman to work itself back into contention.

Even with a lack of offense, the girls still led, 35-34 with 18.7 seconds left and had Lora Andrews at the line with a one-and-one opportunity. She missed the first free throw, but after Chapman tied the game with a free throw of its own with 17.8 seconds left, Chisholm was fouled and had two free throws coming with 13.7 seconds on the clock. She made the first one and missed the second one. Chapman rebounded and Tamara Thomas sank a 10-footer with less then 2 seconds to play to steal the victory.

Chisholm led HHS with 18 points. The loss drops the Trojans to 1-2 for the new season.

The HHS boys, meanwhile, showed continued improvement on their game against Rossville. Lucas Hamm was a monster for Hillsboro in the first half, scoring 17 points with both inside and outside firepower to carry Hillsboro to a 23-21 lead at the break.

The game was tied at 38 after three quarters and then at 50 at the end of regulation after Hamm sank two free throws with 24.7 seconds remaining.

In OT, Rossville’s stall tactics minimized the scoring, but Adam Scheele’s 7-footer with 22.5 seconds to play tied the game at 53. After a travel call against Rossville’s Seaver Askren, with 2.0 seconds left, Hillsboro inbounded to Kroeker who dribbled a couple of steps closer to halfcourt and let the final shot fly from the far sideline. It swished through the net as the buzzer sounded.

Hamm finished with 22 points, Kroeker 11 and Troy Frick came off the bench to make a significant contribution with 10.

With the win, Hillsboro improved to 2-1.

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