Larned slips past HHS boys; Trojan girls end losing streak

For the fifth time this season, the Hillsboro basketball teams came away with a split of their games — this time against Larned at Brown Gymnasium. But this split was different: the Trojan girls ended a five-game losing streak with a 34-26 win while the boys came up short in their showdown with the Indians, 43-39.

GIRLS — The game wasn?t particular pretty, but the victory was beautiful for the Trojans. Both teams came into the contest with only one win for the season. Hillsboro overcame its 27 percent shooting performance to savor an eight-point victory.

Alex Ratzlaff scored all of the Trojans? points in the opening quarter, starting with a three-point play at the 4:05 mark to put her team on top, 3-2. By the end of the period, the game was tied at 8, thanks in large part to Larned?s 10 turnovers.

After Rebecca Kaufman scored Hillsboro?s first basket of the second quarter at the 5:37 mark, the Trojans didn?t score again until Ratzlaff hit the first of back-to-back three-pointers with 1:30 left in the half. The late spurt put Hillsboro on top at intermission, 17-14.

Larned scored the first basket of the second half 13 seconds in, but then turned the ball over on their next 10 possessions. At that point Hillsboro led 24-16. After a Larned basket and three more turnovers, the Trojans led 28-18 on a pair of free throws by Ratzlaff and a basket by Darcy Heinrichs in the final minute.

With Larned unable to mount a serious challenge in the final quarter, the Trojans tasted victory for first time since opening night, Dec. 5. Ratzlaff scored 19 points to pace the winners. Defen?sively, the Trojans contributed to 33 Indian turnovers.

Hillsboro is now 2-5 overall and 1-1 in the CKL while the visitors drop to 1-7 and 0-2.

BOYS?The Trojans, leading 33-31 through three quarters, let a big win slip away by missing 11 of 13 shots they took against the 7-1 Indians. Meanwhile, Larned made four of 10 shots — plus four of five free throws — to squeeze past the home team for the victory.

The game was close from the start. Larned led 12-10 after one quarter, but an 11-2 run to start the second period put the Trojans ahead 21-14 with 4:36 left in the half. Late in the third quarter, with Hillsboro leading 24-20, Austin Cross stuffed a break away basket with 57 second left in the quarter, but officials called a technical foul on the 6-foot-7 junior for hanging on the rim. Larned hit both free throws to cut the lead to 26-22 at the final break.

The Trojans, lacking the ball movement and teamwork of previous games, simply could not hold off Larned?s fourth-quarter rally.

Micah Allen led Hillsboro with 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting. The loss dropped the Trojans to 5-2 for the year and 1-1 in the league while the Indians improved to 7-1 and 2-0.

Hillsboro will be on the road next week, playing at Smoky Valley on Tuesday and Halstead on Friday.

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