Hillsboro sweeps Inman in 1st round of Moundridge tourney

The Hillsboro basketball teams made it through in mostly fine fashion on the first night of the Mound?ridge Preseason Tourna?ment by nailing down a pair of wins against Inman. The Trojans girls saw an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter dwindle down the stretch, but hung on to beat the Teutons, 42-35. The Trojans boys, meanwhile, remained in charge of the Teutons throughout the game and posted a 57-38 victory.

GIRLS — The game was odd from the start in that three senior starters — Alex Ratzlaff, Tas Sanchez and Marah Franz — had been ill on Monday and were not in the starting lineup because of missing practice.

But the new lineup managed only four points — two of which were free throws — through the first 4:00 of the game. Fortunately, Inman couldn?t score either.

With the scored tied 4-4, Coach Nathan Hiebert brought in his seniors. Alex Ratzlaff hit a three-pointer shortly after that to get the Trojans going, although they led only 10-9 as the quarter ended.

In the second quarter, Hillsboro outscored Inman, 14-6, to take a 24-15 halftime lead. By intermission, Ratz?laff had tossed in 14 points.

When Ratzlaff hit a three-pointer at the buzzer, Hills?boro enjoyed its largest lead at 33-20 through three quarter. In the fourth quarter, Ratzlaff completed a traditional three-point play at the 6:49 mark to put the Trojans were up by 18 points, 38-20. The margin was still 18 at the 5:12 mark at 40-22. But in the final 5 minutes of the game, the Trojans seemed to shut down, offensively and defensively — committing turnovers, giving up baskets in the paint and then managing to make only one free throw when faced with three consecutive one-and-one opportunities at the free-throw line.

When the final buzzer finally sounded, the Trojans were hanging on by a mere seven points.

Ratzlaff led all scorers with 24 points, with Tas Sanchez adding eight and Callie Linnens six as Hills?boro improved to 2-0 for the season.

BOYS — Hillsboro jumped to a 10-0 lead barely 3 minutes into the game, then held off an Inman charge to lead 16-10 after one quarter. In the second period, Darian Ratzlaff, Austin Cross and Preston Loewen combined for all 14 of Hillsboro?s points as the lead grew to 30-18 by intermission. By halftime, Loewen had nine points and Cross eight.

Hillsboro?s 13-6 edge during the third quarter all but finished the Teutons. Elias Werth score eight consecutive points to start the quarter, including back-to-back threes.

The only question in the fourth quarter was what the final margin of victory would be. Coach Darrel Knoll cleared his bench for the final 1:04; the lead ended up being 19 points.

Seven Trojans contributed points, led by Cross with 15 and Werth and Loewen adding 12 each.

NEXT — Hillsboro will face the host teams Thurs?day in the second round of the tournament. The girls? game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start while the boys? teams will face off around 8:30 p.m.

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