It truly was a Trojan Classic championship game for the home team Saturday night as this year?s group of talented and determined girls became the first Trojan team to win the girls? title by prevailing 51-50 over Wamego, the previously undefeated and top-ranked team in Class 4A.
The Red Raiders feature a pair of talented 6-foot-2 sisters, Kaylee and Lanie Page, who have the height to be dominant in the inside, but showed the agility and shooting prowess to star along the perimeter.
The dynamic duo scored all 14 of Wamego?s points in the first quarter. Hillsboro countered with six points from Tena Loewen and five from Addie Lackey, including a three-pointer with one second left, to stay within three at 14-11.
The Trojans finally caught the Red Raiders at 19 on a 12-foot jumper by Danae Bina, then grabbed the lead on the next possession when Loewen scored in the paint off a feed by Lackey. A free throw by Maddie Duerksen with 28.5 seconds left in the half enable Hillsboro to take a 22-21 lead into the locker room.
Wamego scored the first six points of the third quarter to grab a five-point lead. But Bina brought Hillsboro back with a three-pointer and a two-pointer; lackey added a basket on a nice feed from Christina Morris ro put the Trojans on top, 29-28 at the 5:00 mark.
After a short streak of empty possessions by both teams, Rikki Alderson hit a three for Wamego at the 2:17 mark and Lanie Page followed with a basket in the paint to give Wamego a 33-31 lead. A pair of free throws by Hillsboro?s Maci Schlehuber tied the score at 33 as the final 1:28 slipped away without another score by either team.
Wamego started the fourth quarter with a pair of free throws, but Hillsboro responded with an 11-6 surge with Lackey scoring six and Bina 5 — including a huge three from the top of the key — for a 42-37 lead with 4:17 to go.
But Wamego refused to wilt, retaking the lead with two threes from Lakyn Rowden, a two-pointer by Lanie Page and a pair of free throws by Rachel Griffitt. Suddenly down by four at 50-46, Duerksen hit two clutch free throws with 1:52 to play. Then, after Kaylee Page missed the front end of a one-and-one Lackey hit what turned out to be the game-winning shot by draining a three-pointer with 53 second left. Neither team scored after that basket, but Kaylee Page?s halfcourt shot a — the ball hit the back of the rim then bounced away to ensure the Trojan win.
With their second straight win over an undefeated 4A team, the Trojans improve to 12-1 for the season.