The Hillsboro High School girls proved the adage to be true once again: Defense wins championships. The Trojans dominated the Halstead Dragons on the defensive end of the floor on the way to claiming a relatively easy 38-22 victory in the finals of the Class 3A sub-state tournament in Marion Saturday night.

How dominant were the Trojans? Halstead shot 12 percent from the floor for the game and didn?t score a single point until Alexi Bohling made one of two free-throws with 6:40 to play in the second quarter. By then Hillsboro was leading 9-0, which was the score at the end of the first period.

The Trojans pushed the margin by halftime to 20-5. Halstead never made a serious run as the lead expanded to 27-10 through three quarters and was 37-19 when coach Nathan Hiebert cleared his bench with 1:17 to play.

Key to the Trojan victory was the play of guards Candace Weinbrenner and Allie Faul, who kept Halstead?s leading scorers, Bohling and Marissa Vermillion, to three points apiece and 0-for-16 shooting from the floor. Halstead?s only source of effective offense in the contest was 6-foot-2 Rebecca Denny, who scored 10 points.

As a team, Halstead managed only five baskets in 42 attempts and were 1-for-13 from behind the arc.

Hillsboro, meanwhile, shot slightly below their recent norm at 35 percent (13-37). Kassidi Luthi came off the bench and, working effectively off the feeds of Dakota Kaufman in the high-low offense, scored 14 points to lead Hillsboro. Kaufman added 10 points with 11 rebounds and five assists.

With the win, Hillsboro will take a 14-9 record to Hutchinson on Wednesday when the Trojans open play in the Class 3A state tournament at the Sports Arena. Halstead?s season ends with an identical 14-9 record.

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