Hillsboro opened the post-holiday portion of its schedule with a pair of non-league wins over Halstead Tuesday night at Brown Gymnasium. The undefeated Trojan girls (7-0) used defense to fuel a 61-16 victory while the boys (5-2) withstood a second half Halstead rally to secure a 54-45 victory.
GIRLS — While the Trojans forced Halstead into 11 first-quarter turnovers, the offense managed enough points to post a 10-1 lead by the first break. The Dragons didn?t manage a field goal until the 3:17 mark of the second quarter as the Trojans expanded their lead to 22-4 by intermission.
Hillsboro finally clicked on both ends of the floor in the second half, including an 18-3 run over the final 4:43 to lead 51-13 at the end of the third period. Tena Loewen scored 14 of her game-high 23 during the quarter.
Playing with a running clock in the final quarter, Hillsboro?s bench outscored the Dragon varsity 6-0 over the final 6:25 of the contest.
For the game the Trojans made 22 of 53 shots from the field for 42 percent shooting while limiting the Dragons to 21 percent shooting (6-29).
BOYS — Hillsboro never trailed in the contest, but it took a 21-12 surge in the second quarter to put some distance between the two squads.
With a 9-6 lead after one quarter, Brett Weinbrenner contributed eight points, including two three pointers, and Josh Wiebe and Shaq Thiessen each added four in the decisive second quarter for a 30-18 lead at halftime.
About 1:30 into the third period, Halstead suddenly got hot. Fueled by three three-pointers, the Dragons launched a 13-4 surge over the next three minutes to pull to within 34-31. With the score 36-33, Weinbren?ner drove the lane and scored on a 180-degree layup, then added a bonus free throw on the foul to bump the Hillsboro lead back to six points. A pair of free throws by Luke Moore pushed the margin 41-33 before the Dragons scored once more for a six-point differential at the final break.
With Hillsboro leading 48-39 and running some clock, Devin Dick came off the bench to drain a 20-foot three-pointer from the top of the key to put the outcome of the game beyond doubt with 3:13 to play.
Weinbrenner led a balanced scoring attack with 13 points, followed by Wiebe with 12 and Thiessen 11. Andrew Pjesky of Halstead led all scorers with 20 points. As a team, Hillsboro shot 42 percent from the floor compared to 46 percent for Halstead. The Trojans outrebounded the Dragons 22-16.
The Trojans will travel to Pratt Friday for their first league games of the season.