The Hillsboro basketball teams ended the first week of the new season Friday with victories over Lyons at the Mound?ridge early-season tournament. With their surprisingly hard-fought 54-46 win, the Trojan girls claimed the round-robin tournament title and a 3-0 record. The Trojan boys, meanwhile, recovered from a rough first quarter to post a 48-34 victory over the Lions, and improved to 2-1.
GIRLS? GAME — Hillsboro got the better end of a ragged start for both teams, building a 6-0 lead through the first 5:30 of the contest before Lyons got on the board. The offensive production picked up considerably over the remaining 2:30 of the period as Hillsboro claimed a 16-7 advantage at the first break.
The Trojans inflated the lead to 22-11 through the first half of the second quarter before Lyons rallied to shrink to 28-23 by halftime. The half ended when Lyons? Megan Schottler was fouled on a desperation shot at half court, then sank all three free throws with no time left on the clock.
The Trojans forged ahead again to start the third quarter, launching a 7-0 run through the 4:21 mark, when Lyons scored to bring the game to 35-25. Lyons battled back to 35-28 before a pair of buckets by Addie Lackey and two free throws from Allie Faul helped Hillsboro end the quarter with a double-digit, 41-29, lead.
Through the first 3:30 of the final quarter, Hillsboro again pushed the margin, this time to 49-34. But Lyons made one more slow charge that narrowed the margin to 49-42 with 2:16 left. Hillsboro cashed in five of eight free throws down the home stretch to nail down the eight-point win.
The game changer for Lyons was Anna Nusser, a muscular 6-foot post player who scored 12 of her game-high 22 points in the fourth period.
Meanwhile, the HHS girls again demonstrated their depth with nine players reaching in the scoring column. Freshman Lackey led with 13 points and sophomore Loewen added 12.
BOYS? GAME — Jarod Hamm came off the bench to score nine first-half points, sparking Hillsboro to a dramatic second-quarter turnaround that ended in a double-digit victory.
The Trojans, having finished a physically and emotionally draining win over Moundridge less than 18 hours earlier started this game out of sync on the offensive end, missing seven straight shots before Hamm drained a three-pointer at the 4:31 mark for a 10-3 deficit. HHS trailed 15-8 at the end of the quarter on 3-for-11 shooting.
A 5-1 Hillsboro run to start the second quarter put the Trojans in a position for Hamm to tie the game with a basket on a drive to the hole, plus a bonus free throw. After Lyons missed three shots on the other end, Hamm came right back with a three-pointer from the top of the key to give Hillsboro its first lead at 19-16. The Trojans led at intermission, 28-21, for a 14-point swing during the second period.
The defense that kept the Trojans in the contest until the offense got going in the first half, held Lyons at bay in the second half. The Lions shot 3-for-10 for the third quarter with five turnovers, enabling HHS?to bump its lead to nine points, 36-27, heading into the fourth quarter.
Lions, committing five more turnovers, managed only five points the rest of the game to Hillsboro?s 12, including six from freshman point guard Brett Weinbrenner, who finished with a team-high 13. Hamm finished with 10 and Ben Bebermeyer nine.