A good start doesn?t always translate into a good ending. The Hillsboro girls basketball team found that out the hard way Thursday night in a 47-37 loss to Riley County in the semifinals of the Trojan Classic.
The Trojans made five of their first eight shots while harassing the Falcons into missing their six shots and committing four turnovers. The early result was a 10-0 Hillsboro lead at the 3:11 mark of the first quarter.
But the rest of the first half was a very different game for the home team: The Trojans made only two of 15 shots the rest of the first half. Unfortunately, the Trojan defense cooled off too. Riley County took advantage of the lag to cut the lead to 10-5 after one quarter, and then establish a 19-14 lead by halftime.
The third quarter followed a similar path as the first. Hillsboro started with a 5-0 run within the first minute, but went 2-for-11 the rest of the period. By the end of it, Riley led 31-23.
Hillsboro recovered some of its trademark intensity in the final quarter, cutting the lead to 41-35 when Alex Ratzlaff scored on a coast-to-coast drive with 3:41 to play. But once again Hillsboro dropped off, managing only one more basket the rest of the way. Even some shaky Riley County free-throw shooting in the final 1:40 couldn?t save them.
After a chilly first half, Addie Lackey scored 11 points for Hillsboro in the second half to finish with 15 for the game. Ratzlaff contributed 12, but the Trojans were a collective 0-for-10 from behind the arc for the game.
Meanwhile, Madison Vargo paced the Falcons with a game-high 17 points, including 4-for-8 shooting from three-point land. Fellow guard Katelyn Thompson tossed in 17 points, including a 3-for-4 performance from three and 6-for-9 success overall from the floor.
With the loss, Hillsboro dropped to 10-2 for the season and will play rival Hesston at 2:30 p.m. Saturday for third place. The Swathers lost to Wamego in the other semifinal game, 47-45.