The Hillsboro girls hit state-ranked Kingman with an outstanding first quarter, but faded as the game progressed and lost to the No. 3 ranked team in Class 3A, 58-19, Friday at Brown Gymnasium. The Trojan boys, meanwhile, played an almost opposite scenario by breaking open a close game with a 24-8 fourth quarter and a 52-34 victory over the Eagles.
GIRLS — It may have been the best first quarter of basketball played by the Trojans against a quality opponent. The Trojans rallied from a 16-8 first-quarter deficit to pull within 19-15 by the end of it, thanks to a two-point basket by Paige Proffitt, a three-pointer by Rebecca Kaufman and a two-pointer from Mesa Merrell in the final 1:52.
Throughout the rest of the contest, though, the Trojans struggled with turnovers against the Eagles’ defensive pressure and managed only two baskets during the final three quarters.
By halftime, the Eagles were in command with a 39-17 lead, thanks to 10 Trojan turnovers and 1-for-7 shooting during the second quarter.
Paige Proffitt scored Hillsboro’s final field goal of the game 31 seconds into the third quarter. The Trojans failed to score another point, thanks to nine more turnovers and 0-for-4 shooting.
With Kingman leading 54-19 by the end of the quarter, the entire fourth quarter was played with a running clock.
Five Trojans managed to score in the game, with Merrell contributing a team-high seven points. The team shot 8-for-23 (35 percent) from the floor, but 32 turnovers limited their opportunities to shoot. Hillsboro missed all five free throws they shot.
Kingman, meanwhile, was led by Bailey Bangert’s 25 points with 14 more coming from Shyann Jackson. The Eagles shot 41 percent (22-54) from the field and made 12 of 17 free-throws.
With the loss, Hillsboro falls to 5-12 and 0-7 in the league while Kingman improves to 14-2 and 6-0.
BOYS — For three quarters, Hillsboro played a perimeter game against Kingman’s 2-3 zone defense — and it almost opened the door to an upset of the 12-4 Trojans by the 4-11 Eagles.
Kingman led 7-6 after one quarter, but Hillsboro pulled into a 17-17 tie by halftime when Preston Loewen hit a three-point basket with 12.5 seconds left. After three quarters, Hillsboro had squeezed into a 28-26 lead. Of the 28 shots Hillsboro launched during those first three quarters, only five were inside the arc.
The fourth quarter changed the tone of the game entirely. Darian Ratzlaff started the quarter with one more three-point basket, but down the stretch the sophomore standout began driving and scoring in the lane. By the time the final buzzer sounded, Ratzlaff had compiled 14 points, inflating Hillsboro’s lead to as many 19. Carson Herbel added four points, Braden Vogt two free throws and Joe Knoll three free throws during the team’s 24-point outburst.
For the game, Ratzlaff finished with a team-high 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting. As team, Hillsboro shot 47 percent (18-38) from the floor, including 10-for-25 behind the arc. Defensively, the Trojans contributed to 17 Kingman turnovers, compared to only seven miscues for Hillsboro.
The win elevated Hillsboro’s record to 13-4 for the season and 6-1 in CKL play; Kingman slipped to 4-12 and 2-5.
COMING—Hillsboro will play at Halstead on Tuesday, then return home to host Hesston on Friday.