Hillsboro?s basketball teams returned to competition after nearly two weeks off and salvaged a split against a Lyons squad the Trojans had swept twice earlier this season. The Hillsboro girls struggled to find consistency on their home court and ended up losing 59-47 for their third consecutive loss of the season. The Trojan boys, meanwhile, kept the outcome in doubt until the final seconds before claiming a 54-49 victory. The Hillsboro girls are now 10-4 for the season while the boys improved to 12-2.
?GIRLS — Hillsboro never did click with any consistency against Lyons. The two teams played to a near standoff through the first three quarter. Lyons led 13-12 after one quarter and 30-29 at the half.
Hillsboro seemed to have its act together coming out of halftime. They started with a 7-2 burst for a 36-32 lead at the 6:13 mark, but then slipped back into inconsistency with five consecutive missed shots and three turnovers. The lull enabled Lyons to regain the lead when Brenna McClure nailed a three-pointer for a 39-36 advantage with 2:52 left in the quarter. The Lions maintained a three-point lead as the quarter ended, 43-40.
The bottom fell out for Hillsboro in the final quarter. The Trojans made only one of eight shots from the floor and turned the ball over eight times as the Lions pulled away with a 16-7 finish over the last eight minutes. For the game — and for the first time in recent memory — the Trojans committed more turnovers against Lyons than they forced, 18 to 14.
Addie Lackey led Hills?boro with 23 points and Alex Ratzlaff added 10, but McClure stole the spotlight scoring 25 points for Lyons (7-7).
? BOYS — Hillsboro led a back-and-forth game 38-36 lead heading into the final quarter, then seemed close to securing a victory when Jesse Brown scored in the paint off an assist by Evan Ollen?burger, who then stole the ball and scored seconds later for a 49-44 margin with 2:21 to go.
But shaky free-throw shooting down the stretch, combined with a couple of big-time baskets by Lion standout Ryan McClure, and the visitors were back within range at 51-49 with 26 seconds to play.
When Brett Weinbrenner made only one of two free throws seconds later, Lyons was within a three-pointer of a tie. But McClure and two teammates each missed a shot on the next possession before the Trojans grabbed a rebound. Ratzlaff was fouled with 3.1 seconds left and made both free throws for the five-point win.
Lyons jumped into the early lead, using a zone defense and some pretty hot shooting to build a 12-4 advantage at the 4:16 mark. But a three by Weinbrenner, a basket in the paint by Ratzlaff and a quick-shot three-pointer from the corner from Jordan Faul tied the game at 12 as the quarter ended.
The Trojans led 26-24 at the half and pushed the margin to 32-24 in the first two minutes of the second half before Lyons rallied to pull within 38-36 as the third quarter ended.
Ratzlaff and Weinbren?ner each scored 14 points to pace the Trojans, but McClure took game honors with 20 points and teammate Dakota Nave added 15. Lyons stayed in contention partly because of their 37-24 edge in rebounding.
COMING — Hillsboro is scheduled to make up the games at Sterling next Monday that were snowed out this past Tuesday. The next night, the Trojans will host Smoky Valley before finishing the week at home against their rivals from Hesston.