HHS boys win fifth, HHS girls finish fourth at Trojan Classic

Hillsboro?s teams had mixed results for the third and final round of the 22nd Annual Trojan Classic on Saturday. The Trojan boys used an outstanding fourth quarter to earn fifth-place in the tournament with a 49-33 win over Republic County.

The Trojan girls meanwhile, struggled to score against a physical and talented Riley County squad in the third-place game. Hills?boro finished on the short end of a 46-34 score for fourth place.

BOYS — For three quarters, Hillsboro and Republic County were locked in a defense-oriented standoff. The Trojans led 7-3 after two minutes, but a basket by the Lane Shoemaker brought the Buffaloes to within 11-10 at the first break.

By halftime, the Trojans led 20-18 as both teams shot a tepid 35 percent from the floor. At the end of the third quarter, Republic County held a 31-30 advantage after taking its first lead of the game at 26-25 with 2:36 left in the period.

But the Trojans took control from there, starting the final period with a 9-2 run through the first 3:27 with two baskets by Austin Cross and two by Darian Ratzlaff, including a three-pointer. The Trojans didn?t score another field goal the rest of the game — but didn?t need to. The free-throw line was an adequate substitute. Hillsboro had not shot a free throw all game until Ratzlaff was fouled with 2:43 left in the contest. Ratzlaff made both ends of the one-and-one, setting a standard matched by Cross (three consecutive times) and Braden Vogt for a 10-0 free-throw run over the final 2:43.

Cross, playing one of his most productive games so far, led the Trojans with 18 points plus multiple rebounds and a bunch of blocked and altered shots on defense. Ratzlaff added 11 points, and it was his playmaking early in the fourth quarter that turned the tide of the game.

GIRLS — The Trojans looked weary as they struggled to score against a quality Riley County team. Hillsboro enjoyed its only lead of the afternoon when Marah Franz drilled a three-pointer 28 seconds into the contest for a 3-2 advantage.

Unfortunately, the Trojans didn?t score again until Tassanee Sanchez made a layup in the paint with 1:05 left in the quarter. Because the Falcons were having shooting troubles of their own, they led only 11-7, which held up until the quarter ended.

Sanchez scored a layup at the 6:01 mark of the second period, but the Trojans didn?t manage another field goal until Sanchez scored a layup with 6:13 left in the third period — a drought of nearly 8 minutes. At that point the Trojans, who did hit a couple of free throws during that dry spell, trailed the Falcons 26-14. By the end of the quarter the lead grew to 30-14.

Sanchez was the Ener?gizer Bunny for Hillsboro, slicing and dicing through the Falcon defenders for 14 fourth-quarter points and a team-high 20 points for the game.

Unofficially, the Trojans shot a chilly 21.3 percent (13-61) for the game. Riley cashed in 19 of 47 shots, many of them rebounds and backdoor baskets, for 40.4 percent accuracy. With the loss, the Trojan girls? record slips to 8-4.

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