For the second night in a row, the Hillsboro basketball teams split their games at the Moundridge Preseason Classic, this time again the host team on Friday. The Trojans girls came up short against the Wildcats, 41-36. The Trojan boys, meanwhile, won in dramatic fashion on a basket at the buzzer by Micah Allen, 45-43.
GIRLS — Failure to execute at critical moments undermined an otherwise solid effort in Hillsboro?s five-point loss to Mound?ridge.
Six Trojan turnovers in the opening quarter helped the Wildcats build a 9-5 lead by the end of it. The scoring for both teams picked up in the second quarter, but the margin remained the same going into halftime, 21-17.
Hillsboro pulled to within 25-24 at the 4:24 mark of the third quarter on consecutive baskets by Darcy Heinrichs and three free-thows from Callie Linnens. But two more turnovers and 1-for-4 shooting by Hillsboro enable Mound?ridge to push the lead to 33-27 by the end of the period.
In the fourth quarter, Moundridge enjoyed its biggest lead at 38-28 with 4:33 to play on a three-pointer by Ashley Holler, who scored 21 points to lead Moundridge.
For the fourth time in four games, Alex Ratzlaff led the Trojans? scoring attack, this time with a game-high 25 points. Losing all three games at the tournament gives the Trojans a 1-3 record with a tough a matchup against Remington awaiting them next Friday to complete the pre-holiday schedule.
BOYS — Hillsboro put in a strong effort from start to finish in the final game of the tournament, then overcame a few miscues down the stretch to claim the win.
Moundridge finished the first quarter with a 7-0 run to take a 12-9 lead. The Trojans? top scorer this season, Micah Allen, was held scoreless in the first period, but started the second quarter with back-to-back three-pointers to put the Trojans on top. When Josh Funk added a bucket, Hillsboro led, 17-12, three minutes in.
Moundridge came back to tie the game at 17, but the Trojans took a 22-20 lead into the locker room at halftime when Preston Loewen hit a three with 20 seconds left.
In the third quarter, Hillsboro got two quick baskets in the paint by 6-foot-7 Austin Cross. Allen added a three-point and two-point basket to give Hillsboro a 31-23 lead at the 4:31 mark. Moundridge responded with a surge that closed the gap to 34-30 by the end of the quarter.
The fourth quarter remained close. A three-point basket and a dipsey-doodle layup by Grant Knoll gave the Trojans a 39-34 lead with 4:53 to play. With pressure mounting entering the final minutes, Hillsboro was leading 43-40 when Colton Frazer scored an old-fashioned three-point play with 23.2 seconds to go to tie the game. Hillsboro inbounded, then called a timeout with 14.6 seconds left to set up the final shot. But with Loewen set to deliver the inbounds pass, Noah Eichelberger of Moundridge blocked it, then was fouled as Loewen tried to recover the loose ball.
Standing at the free-throw line with 13.5 seconds on the clock, Eichelberger missed the front-end free-throw — Hillsboro grabbed the rebound and got the ball to Allen, who?s jumper from the free-throw line swished the net as the buzzer sounded.
Even with a slow scoring start, Allen led the Trojans with 17 points. Hillsboro?s 2-1 record at Mound?ridge bumps the team?s overall record to 3-1.
The Hillsboro teams will travel to Remington next Friday for games against the Broncos before the holiday break.