The Hillsboro basketball teams opened the post-holiday portion of their schedule with a split of their games Tuesday night against Lyons. The Trojan girls (1-5) got off to a terrific start, but faded down the stretch in a 65-46 defeat. The Hillsboro boys (5-1) survived an offense-impaired battle to claim a 33-29 triumph over the Lions.
GIRLS — The Trojans came off their holiday hiatus with a vengeance, scoring 20 points in the first quarter to stake a 20-17 lead at the first break over the state-ranked Lions. Tara Proffitt and Alex Ratzlaff each tossed in two three-pointers as the Trojans made six of their first 10 shots from the floor.
Hillsboro?s shooting cooled in the second quarter. The Trojans went scoreless from the field until Ratzlaff scored on a drive to the basket with 2:50 left in the half, trimming Lyons? lead to 30-26. Baskets by Ratzlaff and Abby Sechrist, plus two free throws by Rebecca Kaufman, pulled Hillsboro to within one point at 33-32 with 1:05 left. Lyons? standout guard Brenna McClure scored with 27 seconds to go to give the Lions a 35-32 lead at the break.
As was true in their game against Lyons in the season opener, one poor quarter turned the tide of the contest against the Trojans. In the first game, Hillsboro was shut out in the fourth quarter, opening the door to 20-point loss. On this night, it was the third quarter that turned the game around. With Hillsboro committing five turnovers within the first three minutes, Lyons pushed the lead to 39-32. The Trojans didn?t make a field goal until Sechrist scored at the 1:57 mark to pull Hills?boro to within 44-35. But McClure nailed a three, then made one of two free throws to push Lyons? lead to 48-38 at the end of the period.
Lyons slowly extended the lead during the fourth quarter to nailed down the 19-point win.
Hillsboro shot 33.3 percent for the game, but only 25 percent in the second half. Lyons shot 35.7 percent for the game. Ratzlaff led Hillsboro with 17 points while Proffitt added a career-high 10. McClure led Lyons with 19. Beyond shooting, turnovers proved to be a nemesis for the Trojans. Hillsboro turned the ball over 26 times to Lyons? 17.
BOYS — Credit the defense or discredit the offense, but both teams struggle for points in their rematch. The game was deadlocked at 2-2 midway through the first period before a basket by Josh Funk and a traditional three-point play by Austin Cross gave Hillsboro a 7-2 lead with 2:29 to play in the period.
Lyons responded with a traditional three-point play by Grady Kirkhart followed by a long-range three by Dakota Nave to claim an 8-7 lead at the first break.
In the second quarter, the two teams were tied at 10-10 before there was a relative explosion of points in the final 2:00 of the half. Kirk?hart hit a basket at the 1:58 mark, then Hillsboro?s Micah Allen responded with a three-pointer and a two-pointer. After Lyons scored, Cross made a pair of free throws to give Hillsboro a 17-14 lead at intermission.
The Trojans appeared to be putting some distance between the two teams, pushing the lead to 26-16 with 1:28 left in the third period. Josh Funk scored four points, Allen, Cross and Preston Loewen each added two to fuel the surge. But Lyons? Eddie Landeros banked in an off-balance three-point shot at the buzzer to cut the margin to 26-19 as the quarter ended.
Cross started the final period with a basket and a pair of free throws in the first 1:02, giving Hillsboro a game-high 30-19 lead. But the Trojans suddenly went dry from the field, and the visitors slowly chipped away at the lead until a pair of free throws by Bryan Rascon with 1:09 to play pulled Lyons to within 30-26. Hillsboro limped to the finish line, managing only one of three critical free-throw attempts. Allen scored one more time with 22 second to go, then Nave hit a three with 13 seconds left, but it was too little too late.
For the game, Lyons shot 22.9 percent from the floor, while Hillsboro was slightly better at 25.5 percent. Allen and Cross led the Trojan effort with 11 points apiece. Kirkhart finished with 14 to lead the visitors.
Hillsboro will host Larned on Friday.