Hillsboro teams open with tournament wins at Moundridge

Hillsboro’s basketball teams got off to a solid start with a sweep of their opponents from Lyons during the first round of the Mound­ridge Pre-Season Tourna­ment on Tuesday night. The Trojans girls broke into the win column with a 42-35 victory while the Trojan boys dominated Lyons in a 68-31 victory that featured a running clock the entire fourth quarter.

GIRLS — After a futile first quarter in their season opener against Sterling, the Trojans came out focused and competitive against Lyons, draining their first three shots of the game. By the end of the first quarter, Hillsboro led 14-10.

After Lyons started the second quarter with a three-point play to cut the lead to one point, the Trojans’ Callie Linnens scored in the paint to spark a 14-4 surge that gave Hillsboro a 28-17 lead by halftime — exceeding the 26 points the Trojans scored in the entire game last Friday.

Hillsboro struggled to score in the third quarter until Paige Proffitt broke the ice with a basket in the paint at the 4:36 mark for a 30-22 lead. With Lyons’ Bailey Hollinger heating up from behind the arc, the Lions pulled to within 32-28 as the quarter ended.

This time the Trojans stayed the course, starting the final period with a basket and free throw by Sienna Kaufman, followed by a huge three-point basket by Savannah Unruh at the 5:18 mark for a 38-28 lead. Both teams struggled to score down the stretch, securing Hillsboro’s seven-point victory.

Hillsboro got a need boost on offense with Unruh’s team-leading nine points and eight more points from Linnens. Abby Sechrist, Sienna Kaufman and Merrell each chipped in seven points.

BOYS — Darian Ratzlaff nailed a three-point shot 34 seconds into the game to give Hillsboro a lead it never relinquished. Playing with intensity on both ends of the court, the Trojans slowly but surely pulled away, inflating a 14-8 lead after one quarter to a 41-16 margin by halftime. Seven Trojans contributed points during the frame.

If there was any concern about a second-half letdown, Hillsboro quickly vanquished it with a 15-2 run to start the third quarter. When the quarter ended, the Trojans led 58-20. In the fourth quarter, coach Darrel Knoll rotated in his bench for much of the action to complete the 37-point victory.

Ten Trojans contributed points in the game. Joe Knoll led the way with 13, and Carson Herbel and Wesley Shaw each scored 10 to complete the double-digit scoring.

COMING — Hillsboro will take on Inman in Round 2 of the tournament on Thurs­day. The girls (1-1) will tip off at 4 p.m. and the boys (2-0) will begin around 5:30 p.m.

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