Hillsboro and Lyons split basketball games on Tuesday, Feb. 2

After a week off from competition, the Hillsboro basketball teams split a pair of home games against Lyons on Tuesday night. The Trojan girls improved to 9-4 oveall and 4-0 in the league with a 51-29 win, while poor shooting undermined the boys? chances in a 53-35 defeat as HHS dropped to 2-11 and 0-4.

The Trojan girls came out brilliantly, rolling out a 13-0 lead before Lyons finally got on the board with a pair of free throws with 1:36 left in the opening quarter. By the first break, the lead stood at 17-2 with HHS forcing Lyons into 11 turnovers and 0-for-4 shooting from the floor.

But from the second quarter to midway through the final period, the Trojans were unable to extend the lead much beyond that 15-point margin, and allowed the Lyons to creep to within 37-27 with 1:05 left in the third period after leading 29-13 at halftime. By the end of the third quarter the lead was 41-27.

Lyons committed six turnovers in their first seven possessions to start the final period, and didn?t score until 2:07 was left in the game.

Meanwhile, HHS managed only one point through the first 4:06. When Becky Faber nailed a 15-footer at that mark, Hillsboro went on a 7-0 run over the next 1:35 to put the game away and prompt coach Nathan Hiebert to clear his bench.

Dakota Kaufman powered Hillsboro?s offense again with 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field. She received good support from Franny Gottsch with 11 points and Tena Loewen with 10. As team HHS shot 43.4 percent from the floor (23-53) while Lyons made just under 37 percent (11-30). Key for Hilllsboro were Lyons? 30 turnovers for the game, while committing only 16.

Meanwhile, the Trojan boys followed a familiar theme — start off well then struggle to find offense to carry them the rest of the way. This game was one of the more extreme examples as the Trojans shot 5-for-28 (18 percent) for the second half and just under 26 percent for the game.

Hillsboro led Lyons for much of the opening quarter before slipping behind 10-9 when Colten Deutsch made 1-of-3 free throws after he drew a silly foul while shooting behind the arc with 0.5 seconds to go.

The Trojans? last lead was 15-14 when Nathan Vogel scored with 6:07 left in the half. But a technical called on Ethan Frantz for a physical foul after a rebound resulted in three Lyons points and an 11-0 run that pushed LHS to a 26-15 lead with just over two minutes left in the half. Hillsboro rallied with a 6-2 finish to trail 28-21 at halftime.

But the bottom dropped out for Hillsboro in the second quarter when the Trojans managed only two of 14 shots from the floor. By the end of the period Lyons led, 39-27. Hillsboro finished the game with a 3-for-16 shooting performance in the final period as Lyons pushed the lead to 18 points at the end.

No one broke double figures for Hillsboro, leaving Frantz to claim high-point honors with his seven. Besides poor shooting from the field, the Trojans barely hit 50 percent (8-16) from the free-throw line.

Garrett Johnson led Lyons with 13 points and Keith Tucker added 11 as the Lions improved to 4-10 overall and 1-4 in the league.

The Trojans are back in action Thursday night when Hoisington travels to Hillsboro to make up a game that was twice victimized by weather — first on Jan. 6 and then last Friday.

(Free Press photos by Don Ratzlaff)

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