GIRLS BASKETBALL—The Hillsboro girls basketball team got back from Christmas break with a 1-1 record last week, beating Hoisington, 45-22, but losing to Halstead, 43-31.
Against Hoisington, Hillsboro really frustrated their opponent, holding them to four first half points, and held a commanding, 20-4 lead at half.
“We flew around, pressured them into a lot of turnovers and used our depth to really frustrate them,” Hillsboro head coach Nathan Hiebert said. “Teegan [Werth] led us with 11 points, and Jessica Saunders controlled the paint; her presence inside was key. She ended with a double-double—10 points and 10 rebounds.”
Hillsboro cruised to a 45-22 victory in the contest.
Against Halstead, things were slightly different, unfortunately. Hillsboro got out to a 13-9 lead to start the game but held just a 20-18 margin at halftime. Halstead found their groove in the second half, and Hillsboro couldn’t break through against the undefeated Dragons.
“Halstead is fast, aggressive and physical. They have one of the best players in the league in Karenna Gerber,” Hiebert said. “We attacked the paint well—Jessica Saunders, Savannah Shahan and Zaylee Werth all provided some great offense in the first half. In the second half, we struggled to rebound and gave Halstead too many opportunities. I was proud of how we competed. We just need to finish better, taking care of the ball and getting better shot selection and offensive execution. We also need to finish possessions with better rebounding, as well.”
COMING—The Trojans will take on Riley County at home during the Trojan Classic on Friday at 6 p.m. They will play Holcomb at 1 p.m. on Saturday and then Marion on Tuesday.
BOYS BASKETBALL—The Hillsboro boys basketball team got back into action with two victories after Christmas break. They beat Hoisington, 60-51, and then beat Lyons, 53-36.
Against Hoisington, the Trojans got out to a quick 12-8 lead before closing the half with a 28-20 margin at halftime.
“We played really well against a really good team on their home court,” Hillsboro head coach Darrel Knoll said. “I was pleased at how the team completed. We moved the ball really well on offense, which led to excellent shooting from the perimeter. We were seven of 13 from three in the first half and eight of 15 for the game.”
The game was never really in jeopardy in the second half, as Hillsboro kept pace with Hoisington and won the game.
Brekyn Ratzlaff led Hillsboro in scoring with 13 points and three rebounds, while both Dillon Boldt, 11 points, and Grayson Ratzlaff, 10 points and seven rebounds, were in double digits for the Trojans.
Their next contest was against Lyons, and Hillsboro was down early, 10-7, before taking control of the game in the second half and taking a 20-16 lead into halftime.
Lyons failed to get close in the second half, and Hillsboro cruised to a second victory on the week.
“I was pleased with our defensive effort versus Lyons. We contested shots and rebounded well. We also created several transition points because of our defensive effort,” Knoll said.
We had a slow start offensively, but after the first quarter, we moved the ball a little better and got better shots. It is great to see our team continue to battle when shots aren’t falling or when things aren’t going our way.”
Grayson Ratzlaff led the way with 17 points and five rebounds for Hillsboro, shooting 70 percent from the field for the game. Matthew Potucek had eight points and nine rebounds, and Knoll said he was happy he took charge and forced Lyons into turnovers while also pushing to get the ball into easy transition baskets.
COMING—Hillsboro is scheduled to take on Riley County on Friday after the 6 p.m. girls game and Holcomb on Saturday after the 1 p.m. girls game, both at home ,before playing Hutchinson Trinity-Catholic on the road on Monday.
Hillsboro Trojan Classic will include Riley County, Remington, Republic County, Clay Center, Eureka, Holcomb, Hesston, and host Hillsboro.
WRESTLING—Senior Jordan Bachman and junior Tristan Rathbone won their weight divisions (145 and 152, respectively) to lead Hillsboro to a second-place finish among 12 teams at the 2021 Halstead Wrestling Invitational on Saturday.
Both Bachman and Rathbone improved their season records to 19-1. Bachman was further rewarded for his efforts by being selected by the coaches as the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.
Garrett Helmer placed second in the 138-pound division, and Ryder Norstrom finished third in the 145-pound division.
Head coach Scott O’Hare said the tournament was a step up in the level of competition from the previous weekend, and almost everyone wrestled five solid matches.
“Overall, we were very pleased with how the guys competed and the progress they continue to make,” O’Hare said. “These guys are picking up on technique very well and executing new techniques successfully in competition, which is great to see. We are also happy with the overall mental and physical toughness they are showing in most situations.”
O’Hare said, on a few occasions, the overall record of wins and losses didn’t tell the whole story.
Senior Charlie Major, who placed sixth, picked up a solid win over an opponent who had beaten him in the Marion County duals just before Christmas break.
Although senior Austin Rempel went 1-3 on the day to place fourth, O’Hare thought he wrestled really well against some solid competition in the 195-pound weight class.
“He lost in overtime to Palic from Marion [the eventual champion and No. 2 ranked wrestler in Class 3-2-1A],” O’Hare said. “He also lost a tough 3-2 decision to the eventual runner-up [Wise from Halstead].”
COMING—Hillsboro will send seven wrestlers to Nickerson on Tuesday to compete in a junior varsity tournament before the varsity returns to action on Saturday at the Eureka Invitational.
GIRLS BASKETBALL—Marion had a tough loss to Remington last week, 49-42. Megan Neufeld led the way with 12 points in the game, all coming in the second half.
COMING—The girls will play on both Friday and Saturday, but opponents and times were unknown as of press time.
BOYS BASKETBALL—The Marion boys basketball team got an exciting victory over Remington, 58-53, last week.
Braedon Mercer lit up the scoreboard with 28 points in the game, leading all scorers. Will Alleven pitched in 10 as the second leading scorer for the Warriors.
COMING—The boys will play Bennington on Thursday, Jan. 28, before playing Council Grove on Jan. 29 in the annual Cougar Classic.
GIRLS BASKETBALL—Goessel struggled in their game against Solomon and lost, 40-25. While they were able to keep the game close early, 7-4, things got away from them as the game progressed.
Hailey Lowrance led the way with eight points and four rebounds for the Bluebirds.
COMING—The girls will travel to Moundridge for a 6 p.m. tip on Friday.
BOYS BASKETBALL—The Bluebird boys got a thrilling 65-61 victory over Solomon last week. After leading early, 15-13, Goessel ended the first half with a 35-26 lead. The second half saw Solomon make a comeback but not enough to get over the hump.
Both Skyler Wuest and Caiden Duerksen had 20 points to lead the Bluebirds in scoring in the game.
COMING—The boys will play in the Burrton Mid-Season Basketball Tournament starting on Jan. 21.