Hillsboro girls’ season ends at Moundridge

The Hillsboro girls ended their season Tuesday night with a 46-25 loss at Mound­ridge in the opening round of the Class 2A sub-state tournament. But while Trojans didn’t win the game, they did overcome the understandable temptation to mail in a passive performance as the No. 8 seed taking on the No. 1 seed.

Instead, the Trojans went after the Wildcats with energy and intensity, particularly on the defensive end. The game was tied 2-2 until the 3:31 mark when Wildcat post player Bethany Stucky scored and was fouled for a three-point play. Hillsboro senior Rebecca Kaufman responded by draining a pair of free throws at the other end mere seconds later. But the home team finished the quarter with a 10-0 run for a 15-4 lead at the end of it.

The Trojans responded impressively with a 6-0 run to start the second quarter. Hillsboro contributed to Wildcat turnovers on their first six possessions, then held them to 0-for-5 shooting when they attempted to score. When Mesa Merrell scored at the 3:21 mark, the Trojans were as close as 15-12. But Stucky scored six consecutive points and Alexis Lorimor nailed a three to give Moundridge a 24-13 lead going into halftime.

The Wildcats gained control of the contest during the third quarter when they increased their lead to 41-21 on 7-for-11 shooting during the period. Stucky supplied three more two-point baskets and Lorimor added three more three-point baskets to fuel the surge.

A disappointed Hillsboro squad managed only four points in the final quarter while Moundridge managed only five as both teams finished the game with reserves taking the floor.

Unofficially, the Trojans made 11 of 31 (35 percent) shots from the field, but did not register a three-point basket. The Wildcats shot 46 percent (19-41) from the floor with five three-point baskets.

Stucky led all scorers with 24 points. The Trojans were led by the Kaufman cousins, Rebecca and Sienna, with six points each.

Hillsboro completes the season with a 5-16 record while Moundridge improved 16-4 and will move on to the sub-state semifinals.