Showing a minimum of rust after a two-week hiatus from competition, the Hillsboro boys tamed the Lyons Lions from start to finish en route to a 63-42 win at Brown Gymnasium.
The win kept the Trojans tied for the top spot in the Central Kansas League at 3-0 (8-6 overall), and avenged a 13-point non-league loss at Lyons three weeks earlier.
?I thought we played really hard all night,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?There were couple of stints where maybe we didn?t move our feet quite as well and we got some fouls, but the effort was there all night.?
In this third meeting between the two teams this season, an aggressive Trojan squad took charge early and never let Lyons gain a head of steam on the way to the 21-point win.
Two three-point baskets by Brett Weinbrenner and a layup by Caleb Hilliard gave HHS an 8-0 lead with 4:53 left in the opening period. By the end of the quarter, the Trojans led 13-6.
The lead stayed in that general area during the second quarter. The halftime margin was 23-16 after Lyons? Tyler Carlson hit an off-balance 15-footer as the buzzer sounded.
Hillsboro caught fire in the third quarter, outscoring Lyons 12-0 before Brenton Drake scored his team?s first points with 3:39 left in the period. Leading the Trojan charge was Ben Beber?meyer with five points, and Weinbrenner with his third three of the evening.
?For a good portion of the game we moved the ball well and took pretty good shots for the most part,? Knoll said.
?We had a few stints where we had multiple turnovers in a row, but for the most part we just kept playing and didn?t worry about too many mistakes. I was very pleased with that.?
The Trojans carried a 40-23 lead into the final quarter and pushed the margin to 45-23 within the first minute when Hilliard followed a traditional three-point play with a layup off a Lyons turnover in the span of 22 seconds.
The Trojans enjoyed their biggest lead when Jarod Hamm nailed his third three-pointer of the night with 5:23 to go for a 48-25 cushion. Hillsboro matched that margin again at the 2:49 mark on a three by Christian Ratzlaff. Eight-for-nine free-throw shooting by the Trojans kept Lyons at bay down the stretch.
?We did a good job of attacking the glass and got a lot more shots at the line because of it,? said Knoll, whose team made 15 of 22 for the game.
Hamm?s 11 points off the bench led a balanced Trojan scoring attack. Hilliard finished with 10 points. In all, six Trojans contributed seven points or more to the cause.
?We played a lot of guys tonight and they played hard.? Knoll said.
As a team, the Trojans shot 33 percent (20-61) from the floor, including eight three-pointers, while Lyons shot 47 percent (17-36) with no three-pointers.
Coming?Coming off Mon?day?s make-up game loss to Hesston (12-3) on Monday, the Trojans were scheduled to face Sterling (11-2) Tuesday, then will cap a challenging week in the CKL with a game Friday at Linds?borg against Smoky Valley (10-3).
For same-night reports of those games, go to hillsboro?freepress.com.