It was a night when neither the Hillsboro girls or boys played their best basketball, but both teams did enough to secure solid victories at Halstead Tuesday. The girls used a 16-0 run at the start of the third quarter to propel them to a 57-35 victory, while the boys made 13 of 19 free throws in the final quarter to hold the home team at bay, 49-37. With the wins, the Trojan girls improve to 13-5 and the boys to 15-3.
GIRLS — Hillsboro played three quarters of sub-par basketball, but one quarter of outstanding play was more than enough to secure the 22-point victory.
The Dragons got off to a 9-5 start, but the outcome never seemed in serious jeopardy. Addie Lackey scored five points and Danae Bina two to close out the first quarter with the Trojans leading 12-9.
Halstead?s Sydney Beat hit two three-pointers and completed a traditional three-point play to pull her team to within 19-18 with 2:45 left in the first half. But one of two free throws from Lackey, and a three-point basket by Alex Ratzlaff gave the Trojans a modest 23-18 lead at intermission.
Everything changed in the third quarter. With the defense prompting turn?overs on Halstead?s first five possessions, then four missed shots, Hillsboro built a head of steam and reeled off 16 consecutive points through the first 5:15. Lackey tossed in six points, Bina added four and Maddie Duerk?sen and Ratzlaff each nailed a three-point basket to vault the Trojans into a game-clinching lead at 39-18.
Holding a 43-24 lead heading into the final quarter, the Trojans settled into mediocrity again, missing seven of their first eight field-goal attempts through the first 4:30. But Halstead never made a serious run. Coach Nathan Hiebert cleared his bench with 1:33 to play and the Trojans leading 54-31.
Lackey led all scorers with 24 points while Bina added 12 points and Ratzlaff 10.
BOYS — Halstead scored the game?s first basket, but when Christian Ratzlaff nailed a three-pointer 32 seconds later, the Trojans never trailed again. It wasn?t that Hillsboro went on a scoring run. Rather, they managed the game with their defense. Hillsboro led 14-7 after one quarter and 27-19 at halftime. Both teams were shooting close to 50 percent from the field.
But both teams cooled in the second half. The Trojans, struggling to find some flow, made only two of 12 shots in the third quarter, but also limited the Dragons to 2-for-8 shooting. Hillsboro led at the end of the quarter, 34-26.
The Trojans made their only one field goal of the fourth quarter in the first nine seconds. The home stretch was all about free-throw shooting. Hillsboro made three free throws in the first minute of the quarter, then lived at the free-throw line the rest of the game. Starting at the 5:10 mark, the only shots that registered in the game statistics for Hillsboro came at the free-throw line. The Trojans launched 16 and made 10 to nail down the 12-point victory over the 9-9 Dragons.
Ratzlaff finished with 25 points to lead all scorers, and teammate Micah Allen had a big game offensively with 13. Defensively, the Trojans tag-teamed Halstead?s top scorer, Anthony Santiago, holding him to a mere six points — including a total shutout in the second half.
NEXT — Hillsboro will play host to Haven on Friday. The Wildcat girls were 9-7 heading into Tuesday night while the boys were 7-9.