After two cardiac wins, HHS boys fall to Hesston in Classic title game

Two come-from-behind, nail-biter victories was all the Hillsboro boys had in them.

A physically gifted Hesston squad proved to be more than the Trojans could overcome as the Swathers claimed the Trojan Classic title with a 47-33 victory Saturday at Brown Gymnasium.

After Hesston jumped to a 6-0 lead within the first three minutes, it appeared the Trojans might be in for a long night. But Hillsboro?s defense kept the Swathers within range until halftime.

Hesston pushed the lead to 9-0 before two free throws from Ben Bebermeyer put Hillsboro on the board with 1:57 left in the opening quarter. Brett Weinbrenner hit a three-pointer with a minute to go, but Hesston was up 14-5 as the quarter ended.

Hillsboro actually outscored the Swathers in the second period. The Trojans started with a 7-2 surge?five of those points coming from Weinbrenner?to pull to within 16-12 with 5:00 left in the half.

A field goal by Hesston?s Lucas Petrocci was the only score either team managed the rest of the way, and Hesston led 18-12 at intermission.

?In the first half, I thought we completed really hard,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?We held them to 18 points?which, against them, is impressive. They play with such intensity.?

The game turned in the first five minutes of the third quarter.

Hesston?s Taylor Redding exploded for 13 points to fuel a 17-3 run that inflated the Swather lead to 20 points at 35-15 with 2:17 left in the period.

After a timeout, Hillsboro gathered itself and narrowed the deficit to 17 by the end of the quarter. The Trojans actually won the final quarter, 13-10, fueled by one three-pointer by Weinbrenner and two more late in the game by Christian Ratz?laff.

?It was good to see us come back and play with a new intensity level,? coach Darrel Knoll said about the last 10 minutes of play. ?That was probably the best part of this game. We responded with some toughness and we did cut it down to 14.

?I just wish we could have done that sooner in the game.?

Weinbrenner finished with 11 points to lead the Trojans, who shot 29 percent (11 of 38) from the floor. Redding scored 21 to lead the Swathers, who shot 47 percent (15 of 22).

?We?ve got to continue to work on some offensive execution so we get better shots, and also so we can get ourselves a second chance,? Knoll said. ?We?re just not getting any offensive boards. We?re still too perimeter oriented.?

Though the Hesston loss was disappointing, Knoll was pleased with his team?s performance in the tournament as a whole.

?I thought we had a great tournament,? he said. ?What we?ve got to do is look at it, and keep building on the things we?re doing well.?

Riley County?A late rally lifted Hillsboro to a dramatic 50-48 win over the top-seeded Falcons in Friday?s semifinal game.

Riley County used a 7-0 surge midway through the final quarter to turn a 42-38 deficit into a 45-42 lead with 2:43 left in the game.

But freshman Christian Ratzlaff responded with a driving layup, then hit one of two free throws seconds later after Riley?s Joel Garver was whistled for a technical foul at the 2:23 mark.

On the ensuing possession, freshman Brett Weinbrenner hit the second of his two three-point shots in the final quarter to put HHS back in front, 48-45, with 2:07 left.

Neither team scored again until Will Seaton hit a basket for Riley with 38.5 seconds left. Hills?boro?s Jesse Allen was fouled six seconds later and, in a scene reminiscent of Tuesday?s finish against Wamego, the junior drained both ends of a critical one-and-one to put the Trojans ahead, 50-47.

Seaton faced his own one-and-one challenge with 14.6 seconds left, but missed the second charity. The Trojans tied up the ball on the rebound and were awarded possession with 10.7 seconds left.

Weinbrenner, fouled after grabbing the inbounds pass, had a chance to salt the game away with a successful one-and-one with 8.0 seconds to go. But when his first free throw bounced off the rim, Riley rebounded and called time out with 7.7 seconds left.

The Falcons got the inbounds pass into Garver, who drove the length of the floor and put up a makeable layup against two Trojan defenders. But the ball bounced off the back of the rim a moment before the buzzer sounded.

HHS appeared to be in peril early in the contest when Riley jumped to an 8-1 lead after the first five minutes. But Jarod Hamm came off the bench to hit two three-pointers in a span of two minutes, and Josh Wiebe followed with a basket in the final seconds to pull HHS to within 12-9 after one quarter.

Two more baskets from Hamm and two from fellow sub Tyrell Thiessen helped propel HHS into the lead by halftime, 27-23.

For the second game in the tournament, non-starters Hamm and Ratzlaff co-led the Trojan attack, this time with 10 points apiece. Seaton led all scorers with 23.

?This is the second game in a row where we just battled,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?We got down, but just kept playing and found a way to win. That was huge.

?We got good minutes off the bench from a lot of guys,? he added. ?I had to go deep because we were getting in foul trouble, but that?s one of those things. It was a great win.?

Wamego?Hillsboro came out with an intensity that lasted all four quarters as they out-hustled and even outshot (39 percent to 36 percent) a taller and talented Wamego squad on the way to a 54-42 first-round win Tuesday.

The Trojans got points from six players on the way to a 13-8 lead after one quarter. The trend continued into the second quarter as four players each scored one time, but it was enough for Hillsboro to go to the locker room with a 22-16 halftime lead.

The Trojans expanded the lead to 13 points in the third quarter when Tyrell Thiessen joined the scoring parade with a bucket at the 4:04 mark.

Wamego responded with a 5-0 surge over the next three minutes, but Christian Ratzlaff scored a layup off a steal with 11 seconds left in the quarter, then ended it with a half-court basket at the buzzer to give the Trojans a 36-27 advantage heading into the final frame.

Wamego got as close as seven points twice during that period, the last time at the 3:28 mark. But Hillsboro never wilted, getting points from five players in the final 1:58 to seal a true team victory.

Hamm and Ratzlaff led the scoring with 11 points a piece. Caleb Hilliard had a big night with eight points?including the last three in the final 39 seconds.

Dexter Carter and Zach Johnson led Wamego (5-2) with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

?I thought we came with a lot of intensity tonight,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?I thought we defended hard, and I thought we boarded as hard as we could tonight against a big team and a good team.

?I was really pleased that everybody who came in really played hard.?

Except for the shooting percentage, Knoll was pleased with his team?s play on offense.

?For the most part I thought we moved the ball well, I thought we were strong to the basket when we needed to be and took pretty good shots,? he said. ?If we keep taking good shots, they?re going to start going down.?

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