Hillsboro teams sweep Lyons for in pre-holiday finale

Never mind that one game was a narrow escape and the other a borderline blowout. At the end of the day — and the end of their pre-holiday schedule — both Hillsboro Trojan basketball teams will celebrate Christmas with perfect 5-0 records after a pair of victories at Lyons.

The Hillsboro girls, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, needed a Christmas miracle to defeat the Lions in overtime, 55-50, while the boys, missing their starting point guard and key scorer, drubbed the home team, 55-36.

Addie Lackey shows her three-point shooting form during the first half of Friday's game at Lyons. The senior scored 23 points to lead Hillsboro to a dramatic overtime victory.?GIRLS — Lacking their characteristic zeal on defense all night long, the Trojans nearly let victory slip through their fingers late in the game.

Hillsboro led by as many as nine points early in the second quarter. But Lyons — a team the Trojans had beaten by 20 points 10 days earlier — stayed within reach and then pulled to within 37-35 by the end of the third quarter.

When Brenna McClure scored in the lane with 48 seconds left in regulation, Lyons grabbed its first lead since the first basket of the game at 45-44. Hillsboro?s Danae Bina then was fouled on a drive to the basket, then hit a pair of free throws to put the Trojans back on top with 27.7 seconds left.

When Lyons guard Ruth Pineda drew a foul with 11.1 seconds to go, the freshman stood at the free-throw line with a one-and-one opportunity. She made the first shot to tie the score at 46, then missed the second shot. The Trojans failed to block out, and Lyons grabbed the rebound — then took five point-blank shots to win the game. Miraculously, none of the shots went in as time ran out.

Though given new life, the Trojans quickly gave Lyons the lead again by letting Rachel Minix get behind them for an easy basket 13 seconds into the 4-minute overtime.

After Bina tied the game at the 2:57 mark by hitting both ends of another one-and-one, Addie Lackey made the pivotal play of the night, stealing the ball from an unsuspecting Lyons guard and racing the distance for the go-ahead layup with 2:26 to play.

Another chaotic minute later, Lackey sank both ends of a one-and-one, giving the Trojans some modest breathing room with a 52-48 lead. After Lyons missed a shot, Hillsboro?s Darcy Heinrichs was fouled. The junior missed the first shot on a one-and-one — but a lane violation by Lyons gave her a second chance. Heinrichs then made one of her next two free throws for a 53-48 lead.

McClure scored with 25 seconds left to make it a one-possession game, but Bina was fouled once more with 9 seconds left. The sure-shooting senior made both double-bonus free throws to seal the victory.

Lackey led all scorers with 23 points while Bina finished with 19. McClure led Lyons with 17.

Evan Ollenburger slides through the Lyons defense for a basket during the first half of Friday's win. He was fouled on the play and made the bonus free throw on the way to a career-high 11 points.?BOYS — With senior guard Brett Weinbrenner watching from the sidelines following an ankle injury Tuesday against Halstead, the Trojans needed some of his teammates to step up in a big way in their rematch with Lyons, a team Hillsboro had defeated by 15 points in their season opener Dec. 10.

Weinbrenner?s teammates stepped up in a big way — particularly on defense. Hillsboro trailed 8-7 after one quarter, but with six players contributing points in the second period, the Trojans outscored the home team 16-8 in what proved to be a pivotal quarter.

Lyons scored the first three points of the second half, but with the Trojans shutting down the Lyons on the defensive end, Hillsboro pushed its lead to 39-26 by the end of the third quarter. Christan Ratzlaff contributed nine of Hillsboro 16 points during the period.

With the Trojans ahead 42-33 midway into the fourth quarter, Micah Allen scored a rare 4-point play after he was fouled as he launched a successful three-point shot from the wing, then added the bonus free throw with 4:32 left in the game.

The play seemed to drain the life out of Lyons the rest of the way. Allen came back to hit another big three at the 3:29 mark to drive the final nail in the coffin as Hillsboro cruised to a 19-point victory.

Ratzlaff led all scorers with 18 points. Allen finished with 11 points, as did Evan Ollenburger, who established a new career-best total. Coach Darrel Knoll cleared his bench for the final 2:18 of the contest.

NEXT — The Trojans won?t return to action until Jan. 3, when they will host the Marion Warriors at Brown Gymnasium.

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