GIRLS BASKETBALL—The roll keeps going for the Hillsboro girls basketball team, who won both their match-ups last week, 43-24 against Smoky Valley and 55-25 against Pratt.

Against a talented Smoky Valley team, the Trojans were slow out of the gate, with just three points in the first quarter. They kicked into gear in the second, though, and erupted on a 21-9 run to close up the half, 24-15.

Hillsboro held Smoky Valley to just nine points in the second half and cruised to another victory.

Teegan Werth led the team with 18 points and three rebounds, while Tuesday Weisbeck sparked the offense with 11 points and eight boards.

“She did a great job attacking the basket and securing rebounds. This was a huge difference-maker for our team,” Hillsboro head coach Nathan Hiebert said of Weisbeck.

Against Pratt, the Trojans got out to a 10-7 lead and built into a 27-13 lead by half. Hillsboro held Pratt to 12 points in the second half and scored 28 of their own, dominating the game from start to finish.

“I was really proud of how we communicated and rotated on defense,” Hiebert said. “We forced Pratt to play on their heals and made them take a lot of tough, guarded shots.”

Werth led a host of Trojans in scoring with 15 points, with Kinsey Kleiner, 11 points, and Jessica Saunders, 13 points, not far behind. Zaylee Werth had four steals.

“I have loved seeing the balance of being able to score both inside and out,” Hiebert said.

BOYS BASKETBALL—The wins keep coming as the season progresses for the Hillsboro boys basketball team. They beat Smoky Valley, 57-35, before taking down Pratt, 45-40, later in the week.

Against Smoky Valley, Hillsboro was slow out of the gates, and got down 15-8 early, but they put the clamps down on Smoky in the second quarter, holding them to just two points, and went into half with a 23-17 lead.

Hillsboro’s defensive efforts continued in the second half, and they cruised to a double-digit victory.

Matthew Potucek led the way with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Brekyn Ratzlaff, 15 points, and Grayson Ratzlaff, 13 points and five rebounds, were also in double-digits.

Against Pratt, the Trojans got down early, 15-8, and went into halftime with a 27-19 deficit to make up for.

The defense was excellent in the second half, though, and Hillsboro held Pratt to just 13 points, allowing them to make up ground, eventually winning a close game, 45-40.

Potucek led all scorers with 12 points.

WRESTLING—Juniors Garrett Helmer (138 lbs) and Tristan Rathbone (152) won individual championships in their respective weight classes at the Kansas State High School Activities Association 3-2-1A District 4 Tournament in Cheney on Saturday to lead Hillsboro to a third place overall finish.

Senior Jordan Bachman (145) came up just short of a championship himself in what might have been considered one of the toughest brackets in the tournament, according to head coach Scott O’Hare.

“After a dominant 16-1 win in round 1, Bachman defeated Angle of Chaparral (ranked No. 5 in Class 3-2-1A) in the semifinals before falling in finals against the No. 2 ranked wrestler in Class 3-2-1A by a score of 6-4,” O’Hare explained.

Senior Austin Rempel (195) was defeated in his championship match by the No. 3 ranked wrestler in Class 3-2-1A. Midway through the second period, the match was 1-0 when Rempel got out of position in a scramble and was pinned late in the period, according to O’Hare.

Lane Rogers (182) and Deon Weeks (220) also took second place in their divisions. Charlie Major (120) and Isaiah Patton (138) both took fourth place to advance. The top four finishes in each weight class advanced to regionals.

“Overall, we are pleased to advance eight of our 11 wrestlers on to the regional tournament, but it is a bit disappointing, as we felt strongly that all 11 had a legitimate shot to move on,” O’Hare said. “I hate to see the competitive portion of the season end early for Anthony [Fickes, fifth, 113], Ryder [Norstrom, fifth, 145], and David [Schafer, sixth, 160]. Fortunately, all three are underclassmen and have two to three seasons ahead of them.”

Next up for the Hillsboro wrestlers is the 3-2-1A Regional Tournament at Hillsboro High School on Friday, Feb. 12, beginning at 3 p.m. The top four in each weight class will then advance to sub-state on Saturday, Feb. 20, in Minneapolis. From there, the top four at each weight class advance to the state championships in Hays on Saturday, Feb. 27.

O’Hare said this week will be important for the guys to make some individual improvements.

“We will be spending time doing some additional film study and hammering out technical details to help them out,” O’Hare said. “At this point, maybe the most important factors will be staying fresh, healthy, and getting mentally focused to compete hard for six minutes every match. Each week from here on out, the competition level will continue to increase. Along with technical skills, mental toughness will most certainly play a role for those that reach the medal stand on Friday and advance on to the sub-state tournament the following week.”

Goessel and Centre

GIRLS BASKETBALL—Goessel and Centre faced off in an in-county showdown this week, with Centre edging out Goessel, 44-38.

Centre held a 22-19 halftime lea, and built on it in the second half to earn the victory.

Alyssa Espinosa led the way with 13 points, while Samantha Espinosa had 12 points for Centre.

BOYS BASKETBALL—It wasn’t a close contest when Goessel and Centre played last week. Goessel won, 60-34 in the in-county match-up.

Goessel’s Caiden Duerksen led the way with 23 points, while Skyler Wuest pitched in 19 for the Bluebirds. Goessel is currently in second place in the Wheat State League standings with a 9-5 record.

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