Hillsboro boys defeat Halstead, but Trojans girls lose

Hillsboro teams came away with another split decision, this time at Halstead on Tuesday. The Trojan girls lost ground with each passing quarter and ultimately absorbed a 56-29 defeat from the Dragons. The Hillsboro boys, meanwhile, clung to a two-point lead at halftime, but pulled away in the second half for a 55-40 victory.

GIRLS — The Dragons exhibited their fire power through guards Mackenzie Anderson and Daphne Williams and forward Kayla Newman on the way to their 27-point victory.

The threesome scored 11 of Halstead’s 12 points in the first quarter, doubling Hills­boro’s six points.

In the second quarter, Halstead still led by six at 19-13 after Mesa Merrell hit a three-point basket with 4:22 left in the second quarter. But the Trojans fell into an offensive funk after that, turning the ball over five times and missing the three shots they got off and trailed 28-13 at halftime.

After pushing the lead to 41-20 after three quarters, Halstead outscored Hillsboro 15-9 in the final as both teams rotated in their reserves down the stretch.

The Halstead threesome ended up scoring 40 of the team’s 56 points, improving Halstead’s season record to 14-4 with a 6-2 record in the league. The Trojans, led by Merrell with 12 points, fell to 5-13 and 0-8.

BOYS — The Trojans spent much of the first half adjusting to the presence of Halstead’s 6-foot, 10-inch, 310-pound post player, Wyatt Seibel. The gentle giant wasn’t all that athletic, but presented an intimidating presence in the paint that the Trojans struggled to deal with through the first two quarters.

At the start, Halstead jumped a 4-0 lead on two baskets deep in the paint by Seibel. But three-point baskets by Carson Herbel and Elias Werth helped the Trojans take a 7-6 lead by the time the quarter ended.

Halstead scored the first seven points of the second quarter, but the Trojans regrouped for a 16-8 surge the remainder of the quarter to take a 23-21 lead into intermission.

The Trojans kicked up their game a notch or two in the second half, particularly defensively. Two-point baskets by Werth, Herbel and Darian Ratzlaff, plus a three by Preston Loewen, expanded the lead to 32-23 at the 5:39 mark of the third quarter. Hillsboro led by as many as 10 points (38-28) before settling for a 38-31 lead as the quarter ended.

The fourth quarter belonged to Hillsboro, which finished the game with a 17-9 surge down the stretch. Ratzlaff scored nine of those points while Joe Knoll, Werth, Loe­wen and Wes Shaw each chipped in two.

The win improved Hills­boro’s record to 14-4 for the season and 7-1 in the league while Halstead dropped to 11-7 and 3-5.

COMING—Hillsboro will welcome Hesston back to Brown Gymnasium on Friday. The Swathers swept Hillsboro in their Trojan Classic matchups in January. The boys’ rematch carries particular importance as the Trojans try to avenge their 12-point loss to the Swathers in the championship game. A Hillsboro upset of the No. 1 ranked team in Class 3A would put the Trojans in a position to tie for the CKL title with the Swathers, going into next Tuesday’s regular-season finale at Smoky Valley.