Playing loose but focused, the Hillsboro boys played one of their most productive games of the season, taking care of Goodland, 69-40, in the consolation semifinals Friday at the Trojan Classic.
The win advances Hillsboro (7-5) to the fifth-place game, where they will play Thomas More Prep (4-7) with tipoff scheduled for 1 p.m.
The Trojans trailed only once when Goodland drained a three-point shot for a 5-4 lead three minutes into the game. But Evan Ollenburger scored on a drive to the basket to launch an 8-0 run that put the Trojans into the driver?s seat for good. After Goodland broke the run with another three-pointer, the Trojans finished the opening quarter with a 6-1 spurt for an 18-9 lead at the break.
Neither team scored much in the opening two minutes of the second quarter, but with Hillsboro leading 24-12 with 2:38 left, Shaq Thiessen scored on acrobatic layup to ignite a 7-2 burst to carry Hillsboro to a 31-18 lead at intermission.
As the third quarter began, once more Hillsboro struggled for points, enabling the Cowboys to narrow the margin to 33-24. But another three by Thiessen at the 4:20 mark lit the fuse for a 15-4 explosion over the next 2:38. Hillsboro finished the quarter with a 53-30 lead with Thiessen scoring 13 points during the period.
The Trojans enjoyed their largest lead of the game when Harry Faber made a free throw with 6:06 to play to give the Trojans a 59-30 cushion. With Hillsboro subbing deeply, the two teams traded points all the way to the final buzzer.
Thiessen finished with a career-high 26 points to pace Hillsboro. Brett Weinbrenner added 13 and Micah Allen 10. As team, Hillsboro shot nearly 63 percent from the field (30-48) while limiting the Cowboys to 24 percent accuracy.