Hillsboro sweeps Nickerson Friday night

The Hillsboro basketball teams tuned up for next week?s Trojan Classic with a pair of league road wins over Nickerson Friday. The girls? game was a laugher as the Trojans rolled to a 21-0 lead before the Panthers even scored. The final spread was 38 points, 64-26. The Hillsboro boys had their hands full in the first half, but turned the defensive screws on the Panthers in the second half for a comfortable 56-41 victory. Both Trojan teams are now 9-1 for the season.

Hillsboro's Alex Ratzlaff (left) and Maddi Duerksen apply aggressive pressure in the backcourt during the first half of the Trojans' easy 64-26 victory. Hillsboro forced 11 Nickerson turnovers in the first quarter on the way to a 21-2 lead. ? GIRLS — There was no doubt after the first minute or two following the tipoff that the Trojans were going to win big time against an overmatched Panther team. Hillsboro forced 11 turn?overs in the first quarter alone, leading to a 21-2 lead by the first break.

By halftime, Hillsboro led 40-12, with Addie Lackey scoring 18 points and Danae Bina 11 through two quarters.

The only tense moment of the game occurred midway through the third quarter when Lackey went down after rolling her ankle. The senior left the game with 23 points and did not return, but is expected to be back in action by Tuesday.

Hillsboro took a 58-20 lead into the fourth quarter and, with a running clock and playing reserves, the Trojans defended their 38-point lead to the finish.

Lackey?s 23 points led all scorers. Bina added 19 points as the Trojans evened their league record at 1-1. Nickerson dropped to 0-2 and 0-8.

Avery Franz scores two of his eight points during the first half of Hillsboro's 56-41 victory of Nickerson.? BOYS — The Trojans had their hands full against 2-5 Nickerson throughout the first half. Led by Joey Stockinger?s nine first-quarter points, the Panthers were nipping at Hillsboro?s heals, 17-15, at the first break.

With Nickerson defenders clamping down hard on Hillsboro?s two primary scorers, Christian Ratzlaff and Brett Weinbrenner, the Trojans got five points from Jesse Brown and four from Avery Franz to help bump Hillsboro?s lead to 30-27 by halftime.

The game turned in the third quarter as the Trojans shut out Nickerson for the first 5:40 while building a 39-27 lead. After the Panthers finally scored on a putback, Jordan Faul drained a three with 2:05 left in the quarter and Hillsboro took a 42-29 cushion into the final period.

Hillsboro?s defensive squeeze continued to frustrate the Panthers down the stretch as the Trojans nailed down the 15-point win.

Both Ratzlaff and Wein?brenner were held below their season averages at 14 points and seven points, respectively. But four other Trojans stepped up to score seven points or more to help fill the void. Micah Allen pitched in 10, including a pair of three-pointers; Faul hit three threes for nine points; Franz tied his career high with eight points and Brown scored seven.

With the win the Trojans are 9-1 overall and 2-0 in the CKL while Nickerson dropped to 2-6 and 1-1.

NEXT — Hillsboro will begin play in the Trojan Classic on Tuesday. The No. 2 seeded Trojan boys will open play at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Good?land (3-5). The top-seeded girls will play at 7:30 p.m. against No. 8 Republic County (2-6).

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