Hillsboro girls knock off undefeated Hesston

Hillsboro?s Dakota Kaufman scored 16 points after halftime as the Trojan girls defeated previously unbeaten Hesston, 41-33, in overtime Friday (Jan. 8) at Hesston.

The Hillsboro boys, meanwhile, dropped a 53-27 decision in the nightcap.

The girls? game seemed to be following the pattern of their meeting earlier this season — with the Trojans leading throughout the first half before fading in the second half.

The Trojans led this game at halftime, 14-12, on the strength of their defense. In the third quarter, Hesston moved into the lead before slipping back into a 21-21 deadlock by quarter?s end. The Swathers then scored five straight points to surge to a 26-21 lead at the 4:44 mark of the final period.

But that?s when Kaufman, who scored four points in the opening period but none in the second, came alive. She scored two quick baskets to put Hillsboro back to within one point, and ultimately pulled her team into a 31-31 tie when she made two clutch free throws with 5 seconds left in regulation.

Hesston failed to score in the final seconds, sending the game into OT. Kaufman then scored six of Hillsboro?s eight points in the extra period. Beyond her individual performance, the Trojans won this game with clutch free-throw shooting, making 10 straight from the final 2:05 of regulation through overtime. Prior to that streak, Hillsboro was a meager 2-for-7 from the stripe.

Hesston was hurting with the absence of their leading scorer, Mallory Schroeder, who injured her ankle in their game on Tuesday. But with the win, Hillsboro won its fourth straight game to improve to 4-3 while Hesston dropped to 6-1.

In the boys? game, the Trojans stayed with Hesston through the first quarter, trailing 12-11 at the initial break. But the Swathers then threw a shutout in the second period, as Hillsboro missed all 10 of its shots from the field. Hesston led 24-11 at intermission.

Mason McCarty started the third quarter for Hillsboro with a pair of baskets within a 15-second interval to bring the Trojans back to within single digits at 24-15. But Hesston responded with a 12-0 run that proved to be the knockout blow. Leading 39-20 by the end of the third quarter, the Swathers pulled steadily away en route to the 26-point victory.

The Swathers are now 5-2 on the year while Hillsboro, who shot 25 percent from the field for the game, dropped to 1-6. Ben Bebermeyer led Hillsboro with seven points.

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