BOYS BASKETBALL—It hasn’t been a typical basketball season, and it wasn’t a typical Trojan Classic for Hillsboro, either. With three games scheduled, the Trojans only got to play one during the Classic.
Both the Republic County and Riley County games were canceled, so that left Hillsboro waiting until Saturday to get into action, beating Holcomb, 66-54.
“It was a great team win versus a really good team,” Hillsboro head coach Darrel Knoll said. “We played hard defensively. Our communication, alertness and rebounding was the best we have had this season.”
Hillsboro got out of the gates a bit slow, getting down 19-13 after the first quarter of action, but a big defensive effort in the second quarter swung the momentum to the Trojans, and they hit halftime with a 33-27 lead.
They continued their efforts in the third quarter and played Holcomb to a stalemate in the fourth quarter to earn themselves a victory.
Matthew Potucek led the way with 18 points and four rebounds and was one of four players to hit double-digits in the scoring column. Brekyn Ratzlaff had 16 points and two rebounds, Grayson Ratzlaff had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Dillon Boldt had 10 points in the game.
“I thought Matt had a standout game. Even though he was in early foul trouble, he played solid defense and did a great job pushing the ball and finding his teammates,” Knoll said. “He also shot 75 percent from the field, and Grayson impacted the game by dominating in the paint with 11 rebounds, and he altered Holcomb’s shots around the basket.”
GIRLS BASKETBALL—Three games on the slate, and all were “W’s” for the Hillsboro girls. They beat Republic County, 57-32, in the first game of the Trojan Classic, and then beat Riley County, 32-22, and Holcomb, 48-39, in the next two.
“As a whole, our Lady Trojans are really picking up the defensive intensity and have been able to show the ability to score at a high level on the perimeter and in the paint,” Hillsboro head coach Nathan Hiebert said. “We have been able to have seven to eight girls score most games, which puts a lot of pressure on the other team. This a testament to the girls working together and executing well.”
Against Republic County, Hillsboro played fantastic in the first half, holding their opponent to just eight points before halftime. The Trojans had a massive 34-8 lead going into the second half, and they wouldn’t give it up.
Teegan Werth led the way with 18 points in the game.
“We pressured them all over the floor and made them turn it over and take tough shots,” Hiebert said. “Teegan has done a great job getting girls involved and having great shot selection.”
Emersyn Funk had five steals in the game, and Zaylee Werth had three.
On Friday, against Riley County, the scoring was harder to come by, but the outcome was the same.
Hillsboro got up 11-5 early but was tied going into halftime, 14-14. They held Riley County to just eight points in the second half and built a lead that wouldn’t be touched to get the win.
“On an evening where we struggled a little offensively, the girls really defended well,” Hiebert said.
Against Holcomb, they led with their defense, and it helped them get a victory. Hillsboro held a small margin early, 8-6, but exploded for 16 points in the second quarter to give them a 24-16 lead at half.
Holcomb got the game close but ultimately couldn’t get the win in the second half.
Jessica Saunders led the way for the Trojans with 12 points and four rebounds, while Savannah Shahan had 11 points and two rebounds in the game.
WRESTLING—Hillsboro’s wrestling team traveled to Eureka last weekend and finished in sixth place in the 20-field tournament.
Overall, coach Scott O’Hare thought the team competed well.
“The Eureka tournament always provides us with a good measuring stick for our wrestlers here in late January,” O’Hare said. “It has traditionally been a very competitive and deep tournament in several weight classes, and this year did not disappoint.”
Leading the way for the Trojans was junior Garrett Helmer, who won the championship in the 138-pound weight class.
“He honestly dominated in every match,” O’Hare said. “At the end of the tournament, he was also awarded with the most pins in the least amount of time by a tournament finalist.”
Senior Austin Rempel continued to progress and followed up his strong performance last week with a third-place finish at 195 lbs.
Senior Jordan Bachman (145 lb) and Junior Tristan Rathbone (152 lb) were in two of what many considered the toughest weights in the tournament. Both classes had several ranked wrestlers in 3-2-1A and 4A.
“Although Bachman and Rathbone each suffered a couple tough losses, they competed pretty well and exposed a few things to improve on,” O’Hare said.
They each finished in fourth place in their divisions.
Sophomore Ryder Norstrom also competed very well in that deep, 145 lb bracket. After losing 6-5 in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion, he advanced through the consolation bracket to place fifth.
Sophomore Deon Weeks continued to show a lot of grit earning another medal (fourth place) at 220 lbs.
“Deon has been a consistent medal winner all season at that weight, even though he could easily be wrestling a weight down at 195 lbs.,” O’Hare said.
BOYS BASKETBALL—Goessel traveled to and played in the Burrton Invitational last week, going 1-2 at the tournament and finishing in sixth place.
The Bluebirds beat Burrton in the final game, 63-13, but lost to both Inman, 60-41, and Central Christian, 52-41, in the first two games of the tournament.
Against Burrton, Goessel played great defensively and lit up the scoreboard on the other end of the court. Nine players scored for Goessel, led by Skyler Wuest with 15 and Nate Zogleman with 12.
In addition to Goessel’s win, freshman Noah Schrag won the Freshman Free Throw Contest, making 22 of 25 and 65 of 75 for the week.
GIRLS BASKETBALL—Centre lost their match-up with Wakefield last week, 44-36. Centre got out of the gates slow, down 13-6, and couldn’t get their offense going, down 19-11 at half.
They made a small run in the second half but couldn’t close the gap. Samantha Espinoza led the way for Centre with 15 points.
GIRLS BASKETBALL—Marion got the win over Solomon last week, 47-26, after leading pretty much the whole way.
Both Grace Hett and Jayden May had 12 points to lead the Warriors in scoring.