Area Sports round-up 2-22-23

Coach Darrell Knoll was recognized on Feb 14 for his 35 years coaching basketball for Hillsboro High School. He will be retiring after this seaon. Knoll will be fully featured in an article after the season is over.
Hillsboro’s MaKenna Reed passes the ball in the game against Nickerson on Tuesday, Feb. 14, The girls won 39-24.
Hillsboro’s Zaylee Wertth goes in for the basket in the game against Nickerson on Tuesday, Feb. 14, The girls won 39-24.
Hillsboro’s Noah Beavers runs in for the layup followed by #5 Nash Dickinson in the second half of the competition with Nickerson.
Hillsboro’s Lincoln Wichert goes for the basket in the game against Nickerson on Tuesday, Feb. 14, The boys won 71-28.
Hillsboro’s Wyatt Plenert passes the ball off in the game against Nickerson on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The boys won 71-28.
Senior Lane Rogers came back to wrestle at Regionals after being out due to an injury. He will move on to compete at state this weekend in Fort Hays.
Anthony Fickes wrestles against his opponent at Regionals this past weekend. He will move on to compete at state this weekend in Fort Hays.
David Schafer wrestles against his opponent at Regionals this past weekend. He will move on to compete at state this weekend in Fort Hays.
Sutton Redger won his semi-finals match and moved forward to the Championship match where he secured a trip to state. He will compete there this weekend in Fort Hays.
Aaron Hein wrestles against his opponent at Regionals this past weekend. He will move on to compete at state this weekend in Fort Hays.
Marion’s Chance Shults wrestles at Regionals this weekend. He fell just short of a State appearance.


Girls Basketball- It was pure domination from the Goessel Girls Basketball team when they faced off with Central Christian Academy last week, winning 61-29.

Things started close enough, 10-8, but Goessel started to build their lead before half and went into the break with a 23-17 lead.

The second half is where they really turned it on, outscoring Central Christian 38-12 to close out the game. Riley Graber led the way for the Bluebirds with 17 points, six steals, and six rebounds while Abbigail Funk had 12 points and three rebounds.

Boys Basketball- It was an up-and-down week for the Goessel Boys Basketball team which beat Central Christian Academy, 67-25, but then lost to Classical High School, 55-26.

Against Classical, the Bluebirds got off to a rough start, down 20-7, and never were able to claw their way out of the hole from early. Noah Schrag led the team with 10 points and four rebounds.

It was a different story against Central Christian where it was Goessel that got off to the hot start early, 17-6. They held a 37-14 lead at the break and cruised to a victory in the second half.

Three Bluebirds were in double-digit scoring with Koy Smith leading the way with 17 points and four rebounds. Caleb Burkholder, 14 points, and Joey Lapp, 10 points, had big impacts as well.


Girls Basketball – The Trojan girls played at home against Lyons on Friday night. They won with a final score of 51-24.

“It was a great senior night playing well and getting the win. I want to thank our seniors for their hard work and dedication to this program. But the job is not over yet and they know that. Look forward to finishing off the regular season at Hoisington and a chance to go undefeated in league play and some momentum rolling into sub state,” said Coach Micah Ratzlaff.

Boy’s Basketball – The Trojan boys played against Nickerson on Tuesday, Feb. 14. They won 71-28.

“We started off a little slow offensively, missing four of our first five shots, but we played fairly well defensively to keep us close. Trailing 6-7 with about two minutes left in the first quarter, we went on a 7-0 run to take a 13-7 lead,” said Coach Darrel Knoll.

The team worked hard defensively the rest of the game, amassing 13 steals and forcing 25 turnovers, which led to 33 transition points. They also blocked 5 shots and held Nickerson to 23 percent shooting.

“It was an outstanding effort,” said Knoll.

The Trojans executed offense well most of the game and shot 63 percent from two point range and 36.4 percent from beyond the arc. “Our shot selection has continually improved, and so has our shooting percentage. I was really happy with our play off the bench. Everyone played good defense and contributed offensively,” said Knoll.

Among the many impressive performances, Brekyn Ratzlaff finished with 20 points, dished out seven assists and made five steals.

Noah Beavers scored a career high of 13 points, made two steals and grabbed six rebounds. Tyson Plenert finished with 12 points and three blocked shots.

Wyatt Plenert and Anders Weisbeck led all rebounders with seven each.

Knoll said, “I was pleased with our effort. Everyone played tough defense, and we moved the ball well on offense. It was an excellent team win.”

The Trojans played against Lyons at home on Friday night and won 71-40.

“It’s always great getting a win on senior night. I am happy for our seniors who finished their last regular season home game on a positive note,” said Knoll.

The Trojans came out sharp and took a 5-0 lead, forcing Lyons to call timeout. Lyons then hit five of their next seven shots while the Trojans struggled to make a shot. They trailed 12-18 at the end of the first quarter.

The Trojans started the second quarter with a 9-0 run to gain the lead. Lyons then took a 24-23 lead, but Hillsboro never trailed again. Hillsboro finished the quarter on a Wyatt Plenert basket who received a no-look pass from Ratzlaff to take a 33-24 lead.

“We focused on making a couple adjustments at halftime, but the main message was that we have to put them away early in the third quarter. We did just that with a 25-11 quarter. Defense was the key. We forced several turnovers and tough shots which led to transition baskets,” said Knoll. “It was great to see us finish the game strong in the fourth quarter. The highlight was Cole Moss’s basket in his first varsity appearance. I was really happy for Cole and the sheer joy that everyone had for Cole in that moment.”

As a team, the Trojans shot 65.1 percent TFG (true field goal – 69 percent from 2 and 57.1 percent from 3) and held Lyons to 37.5 percent TFG. They dished out 20 assists, made 10 steals and forced 21 turnovers.

Ratzlaff led with 24 points, eight assists and four steals. He also grabbed two rebounds. Wyatt Plenert played a great game and finished with a career high 16 points. He also grabbed a game high six rebounds and made two steals.

Tyson Plenert finished with nine points, three rebounds and two steals.

Lincoln Wichert scored eight on 100 percent from the field. He also dished out three assists.

Knoll said, “I was pleased with the performance. We played with an edge and as a team and looked really good tonight. Each player contributed to the win both offensively and defensively.”

Wrestling – Hillsboro competed at the 3-2-1A Regional Wrestling Tournament in Marion on Saturday, Feb. 18 where they came in 6th out of 24 teams.

“The Regional Tournament always provides a mixed bag of emotions. It is just a roller coaster of excitement and joy with every win as wrestlers get one step closer to meeting the goal of qualifying for state and heartache with a final loss for some that marks the end of their season,” said Coach Scott O’Hare. “At the end of the day, we share in celebration with those that place in the top four to qualify for state, while we empathize with those whose season has come to an end.”

The team got off to a slow start, losing seven of the first 12 matches through the first two rounds. However, in that stretch, The Trojans did have three advance to the championship semifinals including freshmen Aaron Hein and Sutton Redger, along with senior Lane Rogers. Following the lunch break, the guys rallied and put together several strong performances including Redger winning his semifinal match to advance to the championship finals. Rogers suffered a tough loss in the semis with a hard fought 3-4 decision to the number two seed. The afternoon session also included several solid performances with Anthony Fickes, Aaron Hein, David Schafer and Lane Rogers advancing to the consolation finals.

Sophomore Aidan Simmons and senior Isaiah Patton both suffered heartbreaking losses in the consolation semifinals, coming up just one win short of qualifying for state.

Rogers will be making his second appearance at the 3-2-1A State Championships while fellow senior David Schafer, junior Anthony Fickes and freshmen Aaron Hein and Sutton Redger will be participating at state competition for the first time.

Coming— The State Championships will be next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25, at Gross Memorial Coliseum on the campus of Fort Hays State University.


Basketball – The teams played against Elyria Christian on Friday, Feb. 17. Both teams lost. The girls final score was 43-29 and the boys final score was 62-36.

Wrestling – The Marion Warriors hosted and participated in Regionals on Saturday. The team came in at 19th out of 24 teams. The results were:

Kellen Waner 0-2

Wyatt Soyez 0-2

Chance Shults 1-2

Colby Lollar 3-1 (3rd place)

Eldon Smith 0-2

Jameson Looper 1-2

Brian Nguyen 0-2

“It was a tough day at regionals yesterday and a lot of our Warrior wrestlers ended their seasons. Every one of them ended the season giving their best to try and earn a spot in the State tournament next weekend in Hays,” said Coach Tyler McMichael.

The highlight of the tournament was Marion coming out with a state qualifier. At 138 lbs, Senior Colby Lollar punched his ticket to state by placing 3rd in his bracket.
“Colby had a good day of wrestling and put good things together at the right time. He will now battle for a place on the State podium next weekend. Our goal for Colby this week is to maintain and fix a few small things to better his chances of making the podium at state,” said McMichael.

The coach said the Regionals are always a tough one to watch.

“You see wrestlers who have worked their tails off all season long to try to qualify for state and come up just shy of that goal. Our other Senior wrestler, Chance Shults (132 lbs) was one takedown away from achieving his goal of qualifying for state. Chance has been a staple on our Warrior wrestling team for the past 4 seasons. His work ethic and leadership qualities will definitely be missed in the coming years,” said McMichael. “Although we did not qualify as many wrestlers to state as we had hoped, there is a promising future there. Out of the seven wrestlers that we took to regionals Saturday, five of them will be possibly returning next season to try and continue their mission of qualifying for state and beyond. I believe we can make that happen.”

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