HHS boys lose overtime heartbreaker in tourney finals

It’s unfortunate that what people will remember is The Foul that opened the door to Hillsboro’s 68-64 loss to Riley County rather than the courageous performance that put the Trojans into position to win in the first place.

With Hillsboro leading 58-54 and time running out, Riley County’s Jordan Strom was fpouled as he was going up for a meaningless 3-point basket. Strom missed the first of three free throws, then made the second one. On the third one, he purposefully tossed a hard shot toward the hoop, it hit the rim, ricocheted over the head of Strom and into the waiting hands of Dane Starnes who drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

In the extra period, it was the Strom show, as the senior guard scored twice on drives to the basket to give Riley a 62-58 lead that a stunned Hillsboro squad never recovered from. Strom added five of six free throws, including the one that iced the victory with 13.3 seconds left.

Prior to that bitter end, the Hillsboro squad played brilliantly in the opening quarter, establishing a 19-7 lead, then played courageously when floor general Kyle Kroeker had to leave the game at the 5:57 mark of the second period with a gash to his head after diving for a loose ball into the Trojan bench.

Kroeker returned to the game in the fourth quarter. By then, Hillsboro had maintained a 52-37 lead with a tremendous third quarter after the lead had shrunk to 33-30 by halftime.

Macy Fadenrecht stepped up big time with 15 points, tying Lucas Hamm for the team high. Kroeker finished with 11 points and Adam Scheele had a career-high 10.

With the loss, Hillsboro drops to 9-3 on the season.

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