The Hillsboro girls broke open a close, low-scoring first half with a 19-point third quarter and went on to defeat Pratt, 47-35.
With the road win, Hills?boro improved to 10-5 overall and 5-1 in the Central Kan?sas League.
The Greenbacks jumped to a 9-2 lead midway through the first quarter, but Hills?boro responded with a 6-0 burst to close the gap to one point. Pratt scored a basket and two free throws in the final 1:06 to lead 13-8 as the quarter ended.
Defense took over in the second quarter. The Trojans limited Pratt to two points on 1-for-9 shooting. A three-point basket by Hillsboro?s Savannah Unruh with 7 seconds left gave the Trojans their first lead, 16-15, as the first half ended.
Hillsboro amped up the pressure in the third quarter, skillfully executing a half-court trap that vaulted the Trojans to a 25-17 lead when Tassanee Sanchez scored a traditional three-point play with 3:39 left in the quarter.
Pratt pulled to within 30-25 with 1:21 left in the quarter, but Alex Ratzlaff followed a traditional three-point play with a basket in the final minute to give her team a 35-25 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Coach Nathan Hiebert credited his team?s full-court pressure combined with the half-court trap that resulted in a series of baskets off Pratt turnovers.
?The girls did a nice job,? Hiebert said. ?Tas has done that several times in different games, but Alex got some steals and Marah did a great job with it, too.
?There were about four or five (possessions) in a row where (Pratt) couldn?t get anything. They?d make a turnover and we?d get a bucket?that?s how you make runs happen.?
The Trojans expanded the lead to a game-high 45-27 with 4:24 left in the contest, then cruised to the victory.
Sanchez scored 18 points and Ratzlaff 10 to pace the Trojans. Abby Sechrist added eight points on 4-for-4 shooting from the floor. As a team, the Trojans shot 43 percent (18-42) while Pratt made only 11 of 40 attempts (28 percent).
Nickerson?Hillsboro celebrated its return to league play Feb. 2 by defeating Nickerson for the second time this season. Tassanee San?chez scored 19 points in a 55-38 victory.
Hillsboro got off to a strong start, building a 13-4 lead by the end of the first quarter with nine points coming from Sanchez. But the senior also picked up her third foul in the final 35 seconds, sending her to the bench the rest of the half.
Her absence showed. After a traditional three-point play by Abby Sechrist and a layup by Alex Ratzlaff in the first 1:30, the Trojans managed only five points the rest of the quarter on 2-for-7 shooting while committing six turnovers. The Panthers closed the gap to 23-18 by halftime.
Sanchez returned for the second half and scored off 10 seconds into the third quarter. This time her teammates stepped up in a big way in what turned out to be a 21-7 quarter.
Six Trojans contributed points and the team made nine of 15 shots from the floor. Defensively, the Trojans limited Nicker?son to 2-for-12 shooting and led, 44-25, when the quarter ended.
Nickerson never made a serious run in the final quarter as the Trojans broke a three-game losing streak.
?The first and third quarters, I felt our defensive intensity was good,? coach Nathan Hiebert said. ?We got turnovers, we got rebounds, we got out and ran for easy buckets. You?ve got to sandwich scores between two stops, and I felt like we did that quite a few times in the third quarter.?
Hillsboro shot 40 percent from the floor (21-53), but only 3-for-19 from behind the arc. Nickerson shot 27 percent (14-52) with two threes in 11 attempts. Ratzlaff also made it to double figures with 10 points and had a team-high five assists.
Coming?Hillsboro was to host Hoisington on Tuesday, then will travel to Kingman Friday to take on a Wildcat team that is 6-0 in the league and 11-4 overall.