Hillsboro teams claim double championships at Moundridge

The Moundridge Pre-season Classic finished with a pair of marquee matchups for the final games on the schedule. The state-ranked girls? and boys? teams from both Hillsboro and Moundridge were on center stage with 2-0 records and a chance to win the first-place plaques. The night ended sweetly for the Trojans, who overpowered the Wildcats in both contests. Hillsboro?s top-ranked girls in Class 2A defeated No. 6 Moundridge, 51-43, and the No. 10 ranked Trojan boys held off a late charge by No. 7 Moundridge, 62-55.

Addie Lackey fires for two of her 23 points as the Hillsboro girls defeated the hometown Wildcats 51-43 to win the Classic title.?GIRLS — This game featured the up-tempo style of the Trojans against the more deliberate approach of the Wildcats. Moundridge scored first, but the Trojans? defense allowed only two more Moundridge baskets in the opening quarter while the offense pushed the ball successfully for 15 points. Addie Lackey supplied seven of those points and Alex Ratzlaff and Danae Bina each added four.

Hillsboro pushed the margin to 27-15 when Bina nailed a three-pointer with a minute left in the half. But a three at the buzzer by the Wildcats? Michelle Schrag gave the home team a late boost heading into the locker room.

The lead remained about the same throughout the third quarter with the Trojans leading 39-28 as it ended. In the fourth quarter, Moundridge battled back to within 45-40 with 2:43 to go. But the Trojans began running clock, forcing Moundridge to foul. The Trojans made five of seven free throws in the final 46 seconds — four of five by Bina — to nail down what turned into an eight-point margin by the final buzzer.

Lackey led all scorers with 23 points and Bina added 18 as the Trojans improved to 3-0. Bina?s defense limited Wildcat standout MacKenzie Suder?man to 12 points.

Christian Ratzlaff finds a gap in the Moundridge defense during the first half of Friday's 62-55 win. Ratzlaff scored 26 points and teammate Brett Weinbrenner added 27 to lead the Trojans to the title.?BOYS — For the second night in a row, the Trojans held off a late rally to preserve a hard-fought victory. This time, with the championship on the line, two Trojan seniors stepped up in a big way.

Brett Wein?brenner got the Trojans going by hitting his first three shots of the game — two of them from behind the arc — for a quick 8-3 lead. Then classmate Christian Ratzlaff stepped up for a two-pointer and a three in succession to make it 13-8. By the end of the quarter, Hillsboro still led 19-15 without any other teammates contributing points.

But Moundridge proved it would not go quietly into the night. With Hunter Enyart scoring five points in a span of about 1:45 midway through the period, Mound?ridge claimed a 22-21 lead. But Ratzlaff countered with a pair of free throws and mid-range jumper, and Avery Franz added a basket in the paint to push the lead back to five at 29-24. A basket by Colton Frazer made the score 29-26 at intermission.

Hillsboro pushed the lead to 41-31 with Ratzlaff fueling the surge with eight points on two threes and a 14-footer. Moundridge managed to narrow the lead to 46-39 by the end of the quarter.

With Hillsboro missing six of its first seven shots to start the fourth quarter, the Wildcats crept even closer, cutting the lead to one point at 49-48 and then again at 51-50. Micah Allen, who hadn?t made much noise on offense to that point, then drained a huge three-point shot at the 3:21 mark.

But it wasn?t over just yet. A foul and technical foul called on Jesse Brown helped Moundridge get back to within two points, but Weinbrenner stepped up again with a three from the corner with 2:24 to play.

From that point, the Trojans began running time off the clock, forcing the Wildcats to foul three times to force the Trojans to shoot free throws. Wein?brenner did just that, hitting three of four; Ratzlaff added two more with 12.7 seconds left for a 62-53 lead. Enyart scored the last of his 26 points with 3.4 seconds to play, but it was too little, too late.

Weinbrenner and Ratzlaff finished with 27 and 26 points, respectively, as the Trojans claimed their first tournament title in several seasons while improving to 3-0.

NEXT — Hillsboro will make its home debut Tuesday against Halstead in a non-league matchup. The girls will play at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 in Brown Gymnasium.

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