Area Sports Roundup 2/9/2022



Basketball—The Goessel boys and girls basketball teams fell to Elyria Christian last week. The boys, 44-38, and the girls, 57-17.

Coming—The Bluebirds will play on Friday, Feb. 11, at Herington.


Senior Tristan Rathbone shoots on his Buhler opponent in the championship round at Circle High School.

Senior Garrett Helmer with the advantage over his opponent at the Circle Tournament. Garrett won third overall.


Lane Rogers escapes from his Nickerson opponent in the 182 weight class.

Wrestling—The Trojans competed at the Circle Invitational Tournament on Friday and Saturday. Hillsboro came in at ninth place out of 25 teams.

“This is only our second time to compete at this Circle Invitational. We went for the first time in February 2020, but it was canceled last season. Although a few teams were unable to attend due to the recent winter storm, it was still a very competitive tournament with a good mix of teams attending and some solid competition from 4A and 3-2-1A,” said coach Scott O’Hare.

Anthony Fickes (9-11) wrestled in the 120 weight class and scored 3.0 team points. He lost by decision in the championship round but won by fall in both consolation rounds.

“Once again, our younger, less experienced guys struggled to pick up wins but competed pretty well. Each week, we continue to see them starting to work some techniques properly, find themselves getting into better positions, and learning to wrestle through tough positions. We have several young guys in this lineup that are gaining valuable competition experience,” said O’Hare.

Tristan Rathbone placed second in the 170 weight class and scored 24 team points. Rathbone improved his season record to 32-4 with three dominant victories on Friday to earn his sixth consecutive trip to the championship match. In the finals, Rathbone faced his biggest challenge of the season, Sam Elliott of Buhler. Elliott is a two-time defending 4A State Champion and undefeated coming into this weekend. Although Rathbone wrestled him tough, he was never able to get any momentum going in the match, and Elliott proved to be too much on this day.

O’Hare said, “Our more experienced guys, including junior Lane Rogers and seniors Garrett Helmer, Eli Dalke, and Tristan Rathbone all competed very well. Dalke had a nice tournament, earning his first top-four finish of the season, and Helmer had another very strong showing.”

According to O’Hare, Helmer suffered a tough loss to a 4A state-ranked opponent in the semifinals on Friday evening but bounced back with two dominant wins on Saturday to earn third place and improve his season record to 32-5.

Rogers made the championship finals for the second consecutive week with three solid wins on Friday before falling in the championship match. His finals match was very competitive through the midway point of the second period before he made a critical mistake that put him in a position he was unable to recover from.

Coming—The Trojans will be hosting the CKL Tournament this Thursday beginning at 2 p.m. and will be hosting a KSHSAA 3-2-1A Regional Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 19. It will begin at 10 a.m.


Senior Matthew Potucek drives to the basket for the Trojans against the Greenbacks.

Senior Grayson Ratzlaff dunks on his Pratt opponent on a fast break.

Boys basketball—The train just keeps rolling for the Hillsboro boys basketball team, who notched two more wins last week. The first was over Smoky Valley, 69-46, and then the second was over Pratt, 64-34.

Against Smoky Valley, the Trojans got off to a hot start with a 21-8 run to begin the game. They carried that early run to a 35-24 lead going into halftime.

Smoky never was able to mount a comeback, and Hillsboro walked out with a big, double-digit league victory.

“We opened the game with outstanding movement and shooting offensively and our defense was tough the entire game,” Hillsboro head coach Darren Knoll said. “The impressive thing about our team is how we get after it on defense and how well we pass the ball to each other offensively.”

Brekyn Ratzlaff led all scorers with 29 points and six rebounds, while Matt Potucek had 15 points, 14 in the first half, and Frank Wichert pitched in 13 points in the win.

Later in the week, Hillsboro had no trouble with Pratt when they vanquished the Greenbacks 63-34. Again, the Trojans got off to a hot start with a 24-8 run and took a lead into halftime, 38-20.

Pratt scored a total of 14 points in the second half, as Hillsboro’s defense was too much for them.

“Our defense, passing and shot selection took Pratt out of everything they wanted to do and allowed us to jump out to a 16-2 lead,” Knoll said of the beginning of the game.

Pratt came into the game ranked No. 8 in Class 4A, and Hillsboro showed they could play with the bigger schools clearly, as they grabbed 19 steals in the game and created a total of 29 turnovers.

“The key tonight was our ability to make it tough for Pratt to get any good looks offensively,” Knoll said. “We were solid defensively, which resulted in us gaining a 32-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter.”

Potucek had a great all-around game with 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and eight steals in just 21 minutes, while Brekyn Ratzlaff led all scorers with 22 points on 7-11 shooting and going 6-7 at the free-throw line.

“Another great team effort that allowed us to defeat a really good team. It was great to play so well in front of a gym full of great fans,” Knoll said.

Coming—The Trojans will play on Friday, Feb. 11, at Hesston.

Girls basketball—With two tough league opponents on the schedule, the Hillsboro girls basketball team rolled out two victories. The first came against Smoky Valley, 36-27, and the second came against Pratt, 53-31.

Against Smoky Valley, the Trojans struggled early and fell into a 10-4 hole to start the game and went into halftime down, 21-15. Hillsboro moved to a 2-3 zone in the second half and started to claw back at the lead, holding Smoky Valley to just six points in the second half and completing the comeback.

“I was really pleased with our girls’ composure; after getting down, our girls didn’t drop their heads. They kept executing and started finding a rhythm,” Hillsboro head coach Nathan Hiebert said.

Zaylee Werth had a big night with 16 points, nine rebounds, four steals, and three assists, while Savannah Shahan pitched in 14 points and four rebounds in the game.

“I really felt like our girls worked great together, and everyone that got on the floor brought value—scoring, defending or rebounding,” Hiebert said. “It was fun to be a part of and was excited for our girls and how they played.”

That momentum carried through to their next game against Pratt. Both teams went into the game with a 9-5 record. Hillsboro got on top early, 9-4, and eventually carried a 24-14 lead into halftime.

Pratt wasn’t able to find a rhythm in the second half and never was able to mount a comeback.

“Defensively, we did a great job and for the second game in a row, our girls did a great job of staying out of foul trouble. This really allows us to have better rotations,” Hiebert said.

Shahan led the way with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Werth had 12 points and seven rebounds. Emersyn Funk scored nine points and had 10 rebounds in the game.

Coming—The Trojans will play on Friday, Feb. 11, at Hesston.



Boys basketball—Solomon defeated Peabody-Burns, 59-39, in last week’s contest. There was not a girls game played.

Coming—The Warriors compete next on Feb. 11 at Canton-Galva.

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