Hillsboro?s basketball teams showed up ready to play when they took on Hesston Friday night. Both the Trojan girls and boys gave the Swathers fits for three quarters before fading near the end. The Trojans girls lost 54-44 while the boys lost to the No. 4 ranked team in Class 3A by a 63-54 score.
GIRLS — Facing a 10-3 deficit after 5 minutes, the Trojans suddenly got hot. Tassanee Sanchez hit a three and Alex Ratzlaff hit two more all in the span of 68 seconds to grab a 12-10 lead. Mesa Merrell added a three in the final seconds helping Hillsboro to a 17-14 lead at the first break.
Sanchez started the second quarter with a layup and then a traditional three-point play at the 6:26 mark to give Hillsboro its biggest lead at 22-16. But the momentum swung the Swathers? way as Hesston went on a 16-3 run for a 32-25 lead at intermission.
But Hillsboro wasn?t through. The Trojans outscored the home team 10-6 in the third quarter to pull within 38-35 as the quarter ended. Hillsboro was still within range after a free throw by Ratzlaff pulled the Trojans to within 44-40 with 3:46 to play.
But Hillsboro struggled from that point as Hesston ended the contest with a 10-4 surge.
Ratzlaff led the Trojans with 19 points and Sanchez added 10. With the loss, Hillsboro stands at 10-9 overall and 5-5 in league play while Hesston improved to 14-5 and 7-2. Kaily Jo Ince scored 25 to lead the Swathers and Cami Richarson added 20.
BOYS — Powered by five three-point baskets, the Trojans built a 23-16 lead as the first quarter ended. Darian Ratzlaff hit two of them, while Elias Werth, Braden Vogt and Joe Knoll each contributed one.
Hesston collected itself in the second quarter. With Hillsboro leading 26-20 at the 5:49 mark, the Swathers slipped into the next gear and raced to intermission with a 13-2 run that put Hesston on top, 33-28.
Hillsboro took charge again in the third quarter as Carson Herbel scored seven points and Austin Cross six to narrow the gap to 47-44 by the time the quarter ended.
Once again, Hesston righted itself as the fourth quarter began, building a 56-45 lead with 2:40 to play. A basket by Cross, two by Ratzlaff, and a three-pointer by Werth kept the Trojans even, but it simply was too little to pull off an upset.
Ratzlaff led the Trojans with 16 points. Werth added 11, Cross 10 and Herbel 9.
Hillsboro?s record, with one game to play in the regular season, is 13-6 overall and 5-4 in the Central Kansas League. Hesston is now 17-2 and 9-0.