The Hillsboro girls ran with Wichita Collegiate?s thoroughbreds for a quarter and a half, but in the end the Trojans couldn?t keep up the pace in a season-opening 52-34 loss Friday at Collegiate.
Led by back-to-back three-point plays by Dakota Kaufman in the first two minutes, the Trojans jumped to a 6-2 lead on the way to a 14-13 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Kaufman had 10 points by the break.
The senior post scored in the paint 33 seconds into the second quarter, but a 6-0 run gave the No. 1 ranked Spartans the lead for the first time at 19-16. They never trailed again.
A basket by Kaufman cut the lead to one point, but over the final 6:30 of the quarter, Collegiate?s pressure defense forced eight Trojan turnovers and 1-for-4 shooting, enabling the Spartans? 27-21 halftime lead.
Although the Trojans were still within striking distance, Collegiate had established its superiority.
Hillsboro coach Nathan Hiebert said conditioning was the key factor.
?About halfway through that second quarter we started getting tired,? he said. ?We weren?t executing as well.?
The Spartans also found a way to shut down Kaufman, who managed only one basket in each of the last two quarters. No one else stepped up on offense to fill the void. By the end of the third quarter, Collegiate led comfortably, 43-28.
?They changed some things up and really took Dakota away from things,? Hiebert said. ?We just didn?t know how to handle it. Everyone was trying to force it in. They weren?t ready to take the open shots, or were afraid to attack. We?ve got to find two or three people who are ready to step up.?
It wasn?t that the Trojans shot poorly?they actually outshot the Spartans 52 percent (14-27) to 44 percent (22-50). The disparity came in shots attempted as Collegiate put up nearly twice as many more. The Trojans lost 25 possessions to turnovers.
?We understand that we?re probably not going to score a lot, but we?ve got to find somebody (besides Kaufman) who is willing to attack inside,? Hiebert said. ?We had some opportunities, but we didn?t take them.?
Hiebert said effort wasn?t the issue.
?Early on our effort was great, but we just weren?t in shape,? he said. ?Some of the girls were trying, but we didn?t have the legs to make it happen. In the second half, I think our intensity did drop.
?(Collegiate is) really a good team, and we ran out of gas a little too early.?
Coming?The Trojans will continue to compete in the Moundridge tournament this week after facing off against Garden Plain in Monday?s opening round. In Round 2, Hillsboro will play Hesston at 4 p.m. Thurs?day at Moundridge.
The tournament concludes on Saturday with games based on win-loss records from the first two rounds. Call the Free Line (947-3363) or go to hillsborofreepress.com for updates.