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.