ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
As has been their pattern of late, the Hillsboro girls used a strong third quarter to take control of their game with Marion, and went on to nail down a 55-39 win Friday on the Warriors’ home court.
Both teams struggled to find success in the early going. Hillsboro missed its first four shots on the way to 5-for-17 shooting and six turnovers for the opening period.
The Warriors, meanwhile, committed nine turnovers, which helped limit them to five shots from the floor. They made two.
At the end of the period, Hillsboro led 13-6.
Both teams found scoring a little easier in the second quarter, but Hillsboro’s 16-13 edge gave the Trojans a 10-point lead at intermission, 29-19.
A basket by Hannah Marsh in the first 10 seconds of the third quarter ignited a 6-0 run in the first two minutes, putting Hillsboro ahead by 16.
—either team scored again until Erin Carr drained a 3-pointer for Marion from the right wing with 3:49 to go. That turned out to be the Warriors’ only points of the period.
After nearly a four-minute scoring drought, Hillsboro finished with an 8-0 run in the final two minutes of the quarter that extended its lead to 45-22 at the break.
Hillsboro coach Dale Honeck subbed freely throughout the final period, and the Warriors took advantage by narrowing the final margin to 16 points. Carr tossed in three 3-pointers and Julia Zeiner and Lindsay Hett each hit one to fuel Marion’s hot finish.
For the game, Hillsboro finished with 24-for-57 shooting (42 percent) and made six of 11 free throws. JuliAnne Chisholm paced the Trojans with 13 points.
Marion (2-10), meanwhile, made 14 of 45 shots (31 percent) from the field and four of seven free throws. Carr finished with a team-high 14 points, including six 3-pointers, while Zeiner added 11 points.
“It was a good game for us,” Honeck said as his team improved to 10-2 for the season. “We didn’t get a lot accomplished, really, as far as working on anything. But we did get a lot of kids in.
“Our offense isn’t clicking very good yet,” he added. “We missed a lot of shots that we’ve been putting in, but it was just that kind of game.”
Ellinwood-After a tortoise-like first half, Hillsboro played a hare-raising second half on the way to a 64-48 home-court win over Ellinwood on Tuesday.
Trailing 23-22 at the half, the Trojans dominated the Eagles on both ends of the floor the rest of the game, but their production on offense was outstanding.
“We scored 42 points in the second half and our game average is 44.7,” coach Dale Honeck said. “The kids played a really, really hard second. I thought they did a great job.”
The one consistent spark through the game for Hillsboro was freshman guard Samantha Soyez, who came off the bench to blitz her season’s best effort with 20 points, including 4-for-6 shooting behind the arc.
“She’s had two pretty good games in a row,” Honeck said. “Against Riley County she had three 3s, and that helped close that deficit (in Hillsboro 57-54 loss).
“Sam really shot the ball well, and we’ve been hoping she’d come alive,” he added. “As a freshman, it does take some time (to adjust to the high school game). She’s feeling real confident, and that’s going to be a plus for.”
Soyez came in to score eight points in the second quarter to help an otherwise sluggish Trojan squad keep pace with the an Eagle team that caught fire during the same period with seven field goals in 11 attempts, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Rachel Ringering early in the period.
But the Trojans came out of the locker room fully energized, especially on defense, which fueled a 14-5 advantage on the scoreboard. JuliAnne Chisholm led the way with 10 points in the period.
Hillsboro led comfortably by a 57-46 score in the fourth quarter, but finished the game with a 7-2 blitz over the last 2:30 to push the final spread to 16 points.
The Trojans, who shot 32 percent in the opening half, finished the night with 50 percent accuracy after draining 17 of 26 shots (65 percent) after intermission.
Soyez finished with 8-for-12 shooting from the field, Chisholm scored 12 points on 7-for-14 accuracy.
Coming-The Trojans will face some quality teams this week. Haven was scheduled to come to Brown Gymnasium on Tuesday, then the Trojans travel to Hesston (10-2) on Friday before playing a non-league rematch with Wichita Collegiate next Tuesday.
“I told the kids the rest of our season is coming up now,” coach Dale Honeck said. “The next three games are going to be big ones.”