Hillsboro girls win, boys lose at Larned

The Hillsboro basketball teams made the long trip to Larned Friday evening and came home with a split decision. The Trojan girls played below their capabilities for three quarters, but pulled together for an 11-1 fourth quarter to beat the Indians, 42-32, and improve to 6-1. The Hillsboro boys, meanwhile, were simply overmatched against an athletic and talented senior-laden squad and absorbed a 55-34 loss to slip to 5-2 for the season.

GIRLS — The Trojans started well enough, building a 10-4 lead through one quarter by limiting the home team to 2-for-14 shooting from the floor. But the Indians narrowed the deficit to 19-18 by halftime, thanks to 3-for-11 shooting and eight turnovers by Hillsboro.

Larned took its first lead at 20-19 as the third quarter began, but with the scored tied at 23 with 5:35 left in the quarter, Hillsboro regained the advantage with a 6-0 run as Rebecca Kaufman hit two jumpers and Callie Linnens scored in the paint. Larned made one last surge to tie the game at 31 as the third quarter ended.

The Indians took the lead again with a free throw at the 7:07 mark of the fourth quarter, but it was the last point they would score the rest of the game. The Trojans, meanwhile, got seven points from Alex Ratzlaff down the stretch while she and her teammates limited Larned to 0-for-12 shooting in the final quarter.

Ratzlaff finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Kaufman added nine points and Linnens pulled down 10 rebounds to aid the cause.

Neither team shined offensively; Hillsboro made 31 percent of its shots (16-52) and Larned converted 26 percent (14-54). The Trojans had a 49-21 advantage in rebounding.

BOYS — Larned launched a defensive blitzkrieg at the start of the game, fueling a 14-0 lead before Darian Ratzlaff scored for Hillsboro with 1:10 left in the first quarter. The Trojans, who committed seven turnovers and made only two of the 10 shots, trailed 14-4 at the first break.

To their credit, Hillsboro did not roll over. When Elias Werth nailed a three-point basket with 38 seconds left in the half, the Trojans had whittled the lead to 24-17.

Unfortunately for Hills?boro, Larned reignited its first-quarter intensity on both ends of the court as the second half began. By the end of the third quarter, Larned was leading comfortably, 39-22. Hillsboro made only two of 10 shots and committed six more turn?overs during the period.

Seven unanswered points to start the fourth quarter gave Larned its largest lead of the night, 46-22, with 6:12 to play. Three-point baskets by Joe Knoll and Ratzlaff, plus two buckets in the paint by Austin Cross helped the Trojans shave a couple of points off that lead as the game ended.

Hillsboro shot 27 percent from the field (13-49) during the game. Ratzlaff was the only Trojan near double digits, finishing with 15 points. Cross and Carson Herbel were next with five points apiece.

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