The Hillsboro basketball teams couldn?t have asked for a more challenging season opener, facing off on the road against Wichita Collegiate, whose boys and girls are both ranked at the top of Class 3A in most preseason polls.
The end results were what you might expect.
But the Trojan girls actually played a strong first half, leading 14-13 after one quarter and trailing only 27-21 at halftime. But as the game wore on, the Trojans seemed to wear out against the Spartans? relentless pressure, falling by a score of 52-34 in the end.
Dakota Kaufman paced Hillsboro with 16 points, 14 of which came in the first half. The senior post got minimum offensive support from her teammates along the way. Only four players Trojans scored in the contest.
In the boys? game, it was clear early that Hillsboro wouldn?t gain much advantage from the Spartans? late start in practice, thanks to Collegiate?s state football championship run.
By the time the Trojans managed their first shot of the game — a basket by Jarod Hamm at the 5:21 mark of the first quarter — Collegiate was already leading 8-0. Hillsboro trailed 25-14 at the end of one quarter, but was still within respectable range at halftime, 41-25.
But Collegiate started the second half like it did the first — with an 8-0 run. By the end of the third quarter, the Spartans had pushed the lead to 30 points at 62-32. That prompted a continuous clock for the fourth quarter and Collegiate finished with a 70-37 margin at the end.
Ben Bebermeyer led a frustrated Hillsboro attack with 10 points.
Both the girls and the boys will be back in action?Monday, when they play their opening round games in the Moundridge preseason tournament at Garden Plain. The second-round game will be played against Hesston on Thursday night at Moundridge, and the tournament will wrap on Saturday with teams facing off according to the results of the first two rounds.