Area Sports Roundup 1-18-23

Zaylee Werth goes in for a basket during a home game against Smoky Valley on Tuesday, Jan. 10. The girls won 51-49. Image by Karrie Rathbone.

Anders Weisbeck goes in for a basket during a home game against Smoky Valley on Tuesday, Jan. 10. The boys fell just short with Smoky Valley winning 57-53. Image by Karrie Rathbone.

Hillsboro’s Rachel Schafer won the individual championship in the 140-145 lb combined bracket, including wins over the #1 and #2 seeded wrestlers. Rachel becomes the first girl in program history to win an individual tournament championship.

Goessel

Girls basketball – The Bluebirds played Little River at home on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Little River won 59-25.

Coming—The girls play next in the Moundridge Tournament on Friday at 5 p.m.

Boys basketball – The Bluebirds played Little River at home on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Little River won 71-51. 59-25.

Coming—The boys play next in a tournament at Burrton.

Hillsboro

Boys basketball – The Trojan boys played at home against Smoky Valley on Tuesday, Jan. 10 and fell just short of a win. Smoky beat them 57-53.

“We kept the game close until around two minutes into the second quarter. Then a couple of basically back to back tough breaks resulted in Smoky scoring eight unanswered points in a short period of time. Momentum went against us, and we were down 17-33 at halftime. The second quarter really hurt us,” said Hillsboro Head Coach Darrel Knoll. “I was proud of the team for battling hard the second half. We cut Smoky’s lead by seven in the third quarter and gave ourselves a chance to win in the last seconds. Overall, we shot the ball well from two with 57.7 percent, and we took care of the ball. The biggest issue we had was giving up too many offensive rebounds.”

Brekyn Ratzlaff finished with 23 points, six assists, two rebounds, and one steal for the game. Tyson Plenert chipped in 14 points on 6/7 shooting, and eight rebounds for the game.

“It was a tough loss, and one that we need to learn from. We need to continue to grow in how we handle adversity and continue to get tougher defensively,” Knoll said.

Hillsboro played at Pratt on Friday, Jan. 13 where Pratt won 58-49.

“We started the game very sharp offensively and made tough defensive stops. It was great to see us playing so well. After that, we really struggled to make shots and ended the game with 31 percent true field goal percentage. Our shot selection was overall good; we just couldn’t convert. We continued to play hard, but when a team is not converting offensively, it is tough to keep pace on the scoreboard. We made a run down the stretch to cut the lead, but there wasn’t enough time left on the clock to complete the comeback. It is good to see we continue to compete the second half after falling behind, but we really need to be better during the second quarter so that we don’t have to make such big comebacks,” said Knoll. “From a stat line, Brekyn led us with 27 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals, no turnovers, and he took a charge. Lincoln finished with 7 points, six rebounds, two assists and one charge. Wyatt with 6 points, six rebounds and two assists.

Coming—The Trojans play next at home in the Trojan Classic Tournament all week.

Girls – The girls played Smoky Valley at home last Tuesday and won 51-49.

“Tonight was a hard fought win for our basketball team. Smoky has played an extremely tough schedule coming into this game and they played really well tonight. They hit big shot after big shot down the stretch. We also responded and made some huge plays to come out on top. Zaylee Werth really carried us down the stretch ending with 25 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 13 steals. Their full court pressure and aggressive defense hurt us throughout the game and that will give us something to continue to work on. We are looking forward to a tough Trojan Classic along with a tough league schedule as well. Proud of our girls grinding out a tough win against a good team,” said Hillsboro Head Coach Micah Ratzlaff.

The girls next played on the road against Pratt on Friday night where they won a nail-bitter, 48-47.

“Very excited to get a tough road win tonight. We were not our best and we could have done a lot of things better, but we found ways to respond when we needed to in a double overtime win. Zaylee Werth carried us throughout the game scoring 23 out of our 48 points, nine rebounds and eight steals. She was awesome. Zaylee fouled out and I challenged our girls to make one more play than Pratt. Makenna Reed made a huge bucket along with a 3-pointer from Kingzley Ratzlaff. Kori Arnold also hit two big free throws and we were able to make that one extra play needed. We will continue to get better on both ends of the floor and our coaches will continue to challenge this team,” said Ratzlaff. “Again, very proud of the lady Trojans.”

Coming—The Trojans play next at home in the Trojan Classic Tournament all week

Wrestling – The Trojans competed in the two-day Halstead Boys and Girls Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13 and 14 where they placed 8th out of 22 teams.

“For several years, this Halstead Tournament has been a deep and very challenging tournament at almost every weight class. Over the past few years, the number of wrestlers and overall quality of the competition has been down a bit. This year it seemed to be heading back in the right direction. With the addition of a few teams and increased numbers of wrestlers on existing teams, bracket sizes were back up to having several weights with full sixteen man brackets and all having ten or more competitors. Plus, the overall quality of competition was solid with eighteen current state ranked wrestlers, including multiple in a few weights,” said Coach Scott O’Hare.

The team went in with a skeleton roster.

“We made the decision to hold out a few of the younger and less experienced wrestlers that are typically in our varsity line-up to enable them to attend a later JV tournament. I felt pretty good about finishing in the Top 10 in the team standings while only filling eight of the fourteen weight classes. The group we did compete wrestled well,” O’Hare said.

According to O’Hare, freshman Aaron Hein made some huge strides with his 6th place finish in a very tough bracket and sophomore Aidan Simmons had some things start to click for him, as he made the podium to earn medal honors in his second straight tournament.

Seniors Lane Rogers and David Schafer, along with freshman Sutton Redger all continued their streaks, placing in every varsity tournament so far this season. All three were in very competitive brackets this weekend and got some great experience against quality competition.

Along with the successful day by the guys, the highlight of the day for our program was the performance of junior Rachel Schafer in the Girls Division.

O’Hare said, “Being her first season participating in wrestling, and only her second tournament in her short career, Rachel won the individual championship in the 140-145 lb combined bracket, including wins over the #1 and #2 seeded wrestlers. Rachel becomes the first girl in program history to win an individual tournament championship.”

Marion

Girls basketball – The Warriors started the week off playing Remington at home on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Remington won 60-20.

“Tonight was a challenge for us. We struggled to get anything going on offense as their length and quickness took away what we wanted to try to do. We had a lot of girls that had to play in different spots tonight. We have to continue to get better and doing some little things and getting more girls to be aggressive and in attack mode. We will get back to practice and continue to challenge this group to compete and get better,” said Marion Head Coach Jason Hett.

The girls played against Inman on Friday, Jan. 13 where Inman won with a final score of 53-17.

“We played a good 1st quarter that we were active and made them work for everything, we handled pressure well in the 1st quarter and ran our offense and got great looks. After that, it was a struggle. I felt like we lost energy and effort, which was disappointing. This group has taken steps in the right direction, and we told them we are not going to allow this to take steps backwards,” said Hett.

Coming—The Warriors travel to the Centre Tournament next week and open up with Wakefield on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Boys basketball – The Warriors played at home against Remington on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Remington won 64-32. The boys played against Inman on Friday, Jan. 13 where Inman won with a final score of 71-31.

Coming—The Warriors travel to the Centre Tournament next week and open up with Wakefield on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Wrestling – The Warrior wrestlers had a tournament in Halstead over the weekend.

“It was a pretty rough weekend for the Warriors at Halstead. Most of our wrestlers went 0-2 or 1-2. We are going to have to step it up to get us prepared for the final push of our season leading into Regionals,” said Coach Tyler McMichael.

The team’s efforts were led by sophomore Brian Nguyen (190 lb).

“Brian had an excellent tournament going 4-1 to place 3rd. His only loss came from the #4 ranked wrestler in 321A. Brian is heading in the right direction to fight for a state qualifier spot,” said McMichael.

Other notable performances were Chance Shults (132 lbs) who went 3-3 and placed 6th. Colby Lollar (138 lbs) went 3-2 and placed 5th.

McMichael said, “We have a lot of work to do in the coming weeks if we want a chance to qualify anyone for the state tournament.”

More from Hillsboro Free Press
Area districts fight cuts in various ways
Changes in school finance at the state level have been happening so...
Read More