HHS boys deliver 500th career victory for Coach Knoll

It was an historic night in Robert C. Brown Gymna­sium Tuesday as the Hillsboro boys defeated Hoisington, 81-55, not only earning their eighth win in nine games, but delivering Coach Darrel Knoll’s 500th victory midway through his 30th season as the Trojan coach. Meanwhile, the Hills­boro girls made it a double delight for fans with their 36-24 win against their counterparts from Hoisington.

BOYS—Hillsboro fans could sense the urgency building in the faces of the Trojans as the team prepared to secure a major milestone for their coach. Once the game began, there was little question of the outcome. Hillsboro roared to a 26-15 lead as the first quarter ended. Senior Elias Werth contributed 11 of the 31 points he would score before the night was over.

Despite the Trojan opening blitzkrieg, Hoisington didn’t fold. The Cardinals were able to limit Hillsboro’s lead to a single point more with a 38-26 score at halftime.

The Trojans removed any doubt about the outcome in the third quarter with a 22-14 burst that vaulted them to a 60-40 lead heading into the final period. Hillsboro led by as many as 24 points at 75-51 with 1:35 left to play as both coaches cleared their benches.

Immediately after the game, Knoll’s accomplishment was celebrated with the presentation of a plaque and numerous words of congratulations from his players, former players, family members as well as community friends and supporters.

Werth deserved an MVP award for his role in the victory. He finished with a career-high 31 points on 13-for-15 shooting from the floor — he missed one only 2-point shot and one 3-point shot the entire game. He also led the team with six steals.

Also scoring in double-digits were Caleb Potucek with 14 points, Wes Shaw 13 and Darian Ratzlaff 10. As a team, the Trojans hit nearly 60 percent of their shots (31-52) during the game, they out-rebounded the Cardinals, 33-26, and registered 12 steals.

With the win, the Trojans stand at 8-1 for the season and have a 3-0 record in the Central Kansas League. The Cardinals slipped to 2-6 and 0-2.

GIRLS—Hillsboro proved that good defense can be a team’s best weapon. The Trojans pressured the Cardinals all night long. Hillsboro limited the visitors to 16 percent (8-50) shooting for the game, including a 1-for-25 shutdown in the second.

Hillsboro wasn’t exactly a team on fire either as the game began. The Trojan made four of nine shots, but also committed seven turn­overs. Hoisington lead at the first break, 12-9, with 5-for-11 shooting from the floor.

But Hillsboro put the hammer down the rest of the way. Hoisington shot 2-for-13 in the second quarter, 2-for-13 in the second quarter, 1-for-13 in the third quarter and 0-for-12 in the final quarter.

Hillsboro took charge of the game with their a strong offensive surge coming out of halftime. Trailing 16-17 at intermission, Hillsboro led 31-21 by the time the quarter ended. Five players contributing points, including a 3-point basket by Kinsey Kleiner in the final second.

Hillsboro managed only five points in the final quarter, but that was more than enough to seal their sixth victory in nine games.

Teegan Werth was the only Trojan to make it to double-digit scoring with 10 points. Sienna Kaufman added nine points. Abby Sechrist scored five points, but also pulled down 14 rebounds, including 10 on the defensive end, for Hillsboro.

COMING—Haven will come to Brown Gymnasium on Friday. The Wildcat girls were undefeated at 6-0 going into Tuesday’s game. The Haven boys were 4-2.

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