Hillsboro opens CKL play with a sweep of Pratt


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  The Hillsboro basketball teams started the new year and Central Kansas League play Friday night with a pair of wins over Pratt in Brown Gymna­sium. The No. 1 ranked Trojan girls finished another game with a running clock in their 52-26 win over the Greenbacks to improve to 8-0 overall as well as a 1-0 start in the league. Shaq Thiessen fueled a pivotal third-quarter charge as the Trojan boys came from behind to defeat the winless Greenbacks, 49-44, and even their season record at 4-4.

GIRLS - Coming off the holiday break, Hillsboro needed a quarter or so to find some rhythm on offense, but picked up were they left off on defense to fuel another relatively easy victory.

Hillsboro led 9-6 after one quarter despite shooting only 3-of-14 from the floor. After missing their first four shots to start the second quarter, a basket in the paint by Tena Loewen off a nice assist from Danae Bina kicked off a 21-5 surge over the rest of the period as Hillsboro seized control of the contest with a 30-11 halftime bulge. Bina tossed in seven points during the quarter, Loewen added six and Addie Lackey five.

The Trojans picked up where they left off in the third quarter with an 11-4 surge through the first 5:00. The quarter ended with Hillsboro ahead, 44-19.

Bina kept up her hot shooting in the fourth quarter with three more baskets in the first 2:30 as Hillsboro built the lead to 52-19, prompting a running clock for the rest of the game.

Bina finished as the team’s top scorer with 18 points. Loewen added 11 and Addie Lackey 10 for the No. 1 ranked Trojans. The loss dropped Pratt to 0-1 and 3-4.

BOYS - Hillsboro turned up the heat in the third quarter after a first half of chilly shooting to claim its fourth win of the year. The Trojans struggled to get the ball in the basket against Pratt’s zone defense during the opening two quarters. The Trojans trailed 10-7 after one quarter and 19-16 at halftime after making only six of 23 shots (26 percent) from the floor.

But the third period was a different story. Hillsboro made seven of 13 shots, most of them in the paint off steals and good passing, to swing the game in their favor, 35-26.

The Trojans seemed on the verge of blowing the game open with a 37-26 lead early in the final quarter, but the three-point shooting of Skylar Dean kept the Greenbacks on the edge of a rally. When Dean hit his second three of the quarter and teammate Adam Bartel followed with a pair of free throws, Pratt was back within 41-36 with 4:40 to play. But the Trojans took advantage of Pratt’s propensity to foul and made eight of 10 free throws in the final 3:30 to nail down the victory. Hillsboro actually led by 11 points, 49-38, with 30 seconds to go when a couple of turnovers combined with some silly fouls enabled Pratt to finish the game with two traditional three-point plays to close the final gap to five points.

After a slow start, Thiessen poured in 15 points in the second half to lead Hillsboro with 22 for the game. Brett Weinbrenner added 11. The Trojans finished with a huge advantage at the free-throw line, making 19 of 26 free throws on 22 Pratt fouls while Pratt made four of seven on 11 Hillsboro fouls.

The loss dropped Pratt to 0-7 for the season.

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