Hillsboro takes two from Hesston

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HHSbbHessEvan563  HHSgbHessKrista548  Hillsboro captured a couple of key Central Kansas League victories Tuesday night with a sweep of Hesston at Brown Gymnasium. The girls? game was in doubt until the final buzzer, but the Trojans prevailed, 46-44, after Hesston failed to get off a final shot in the final seconds. The Hillsboro boys defeated a good Swather team, 47-40, in a rematch of the Trojan Classic championship game 11 days earlier.

GIRLS — Hillsboro squared off against a Hesston squad that was finally full strength after having injury issues through the early weeks of the season. The game was a battle all night as the two teams matched up evenly against each other.

Case in point was the first quarter, which ended in an 11-11 tie. Hesston finished the second quarter with a 7-0 run over the final three minutes to take a 22-19 lead into halftime.

The Swathers bumped their lead to 30-26 through the first five minutes of the third quarter before a banked-in 15-foot jumper by Hillsboro?s Maci Schlehuber triggered an 8-1 run to the end of the quarter. The Trojans led, 34-31, at the final break.

Hillsboro appeared to take charge in the fourth quarter, pushing the lead to 42-36 when Trojan standout Tena Loewen hit the floor at the 2:51 mark when was fouled on a drive to the basket, injuring her knee. Callie Serene shot the substitute free throws when Loewen went to the bench, making one of two. When Krista Reimer followed with two more free throws with 2:27 to go, victory seemed in hand with a 45-36 lead.

But the Trojans allowed the game to get nail-biting close by making only one of four free throws down the stretch while allowing eight Hesston points. When Swather Laci McCartney scored her second straight driving layup, the Swathers were within two points with 25 seconds to play.

Hillsboro?s Courtney Weber then missed both free-throws in a double-bonus situation with 15.7 seconds to go. After a Hesston timeout with 7.2 seconds left, the two teams squared off in the forecourt for a final confrontation. Hesston inbounded the ball, but after losing control of it in the lane, the buzzer sounded before the Swathers could launch a shot.

Krista Reimer came off the bench to lead HHS with 14 points as the Trojans improved to 13-1 for the season and 3-0 in the CKL. Hesston dropped to 9-4 and 1-2.

BOYS — The Trojans showed few signs of being intimidated by the challenge of having to beat a good Hesston squad in back-to-back games. With Hillsboro leading 3-2 through the early minutes on a three-pointer by Christian Ratzlaff, the sophomore drained a second three at the 2:42 mark to spark a 10-0 run to the end of the first quarter. Hillsboro led 13-2 at the break.

The Trojans looked dominant early in the second quarter, building a 21-7 lead that was fueled in part by five Hesston turnovers. By halftime Hillsboro was solidly ahead, 28-15. Shaq Thiessen came off the bench to contribute 13 points and some outstanding steals for Hillsboro.

After an even 13-13 third quarter, the Trojans kept its 13 point lead heading into the final period. Hillsboro pushed its lead to 15 points when Josh Wiebe scored with 5:12 to play, but the Trojans suddenly stepped into the Twilight Zone. Committing uncharacteristic turnovers on three consecutive possessions, Hillsboro saw its lead tighten to 45-36. When Wiebe was fouled with 1:59 to go, he went to the line and missed the front end of the one-and-one. But he was not alone. The Trojans missed seven free throws in a row in the final?essentially squandering 10 points. Fortunately, the defense held the Swathers to only four more points down the stretch to nail down the victory.

Thiessen led all scorers with 16 points and Wiebe added 10 points as the Trojans won their sixth straight game to improve to 11-3 overall and 2-1 in the CKL. Hesston dropped to 8-6 and 1-2.

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