It was a bad time to have a bad shooting night. Hillsboro made barely 30 percent of its shots from the field — including 1-for-19 frustration behind the arc — and lost to Olpe, 59-42, Thursday in the first round of the Class 2A state basketball tournament in Manhattan.
If the chicken-or-the-egg question for basketball is, ?Does good defense cause poor shooting or does poor shooting make a defense look good,? the answer in this case would be probably be ?a little of both.?
Olpe proved itself worthy of its 20-3 record with aggressive play on defense and offense, but it?s also true that the Trojans simply missed a lot of open shots they usually make, even layups.
Evan Ollenburger scored the first point of the game by making one of two free throws, then scored on a drive to the hole after Olpe made its first basket. Hillsboro was back on top, 3-2, but it would be its last lead of the game. By the end of the first period, the Eagles led 17-10 then inflated the margin to 31-18 by halftime. Hillsboro shot 27 percent (6-22) in the first half. The usually light scoring Ollen??burger finished the half with seven points to tie Christian Ratzlaff as the team’s leading scorer.
If Trojan fans thought the second half couldn?t be worse, well, it was — at least in the third quarter. Hillsboro missed its first seven shots before Ollen?burger finally scored with 2:41 left in the period. By then the Eagles had soared to a 42-18 lead. By the end of the period, Olpe led 46-27 as the Trojans made three of 11 shots from the floor.
To their credit, the Trojans pulled themselves together in the fourth quarter and actually began to resemble the team Trojan fans knew from the rest of the season. Hillsboro forced eight Olpe turnovers during the quarter, and while the offense never caught fire, the Trojans were able to pull to within 14 points at 52-38 when Ollenburger — who else? — scored off a steal with 4:34 to play.
For the game, Hillsboro finished with 30 percent shooting from the field while Olpe shot a blistering 58 percent, thanks in large part to baskets in the paint off penetration and rebounding. The Eagles outrebounded the Trojans 35 to 16.
Ratzlaff struggled to reach a team-high 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting, while the Trojans? other primary scoring threat, Brett Weinbrenner, managed six points on 2-for-12 shooting success. Ollenburger finished with nine points.
Beau Krueger led the Eagles with 18 points, Toby Smith added 14 and Chance Stout 11.
Hillsboro concludes an otherwise outstanding season with a 20-4 record.