HHS girls hold off Marion for third place

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Hillsboro?s Dakota Kaufman (22) goes up to block a shot by Kayley Heerey during the first half of the battle for third place. Tiffany Rooker is providing some defensive help.

The Hillsboro girls jumped to a big lead at the start, but then held on for dear life at the end as they upended Marion, 50-45, in the third-place game at the Trojan Classic on Saturday.

The Trojans, typically slow starters on offense, built an 11-0 lead?with seven points from Dakota Kaufman?before Marion finally scored on a basket by Lindsay Hett with 1:04 left in the opening quarter. HHS led at the first break, 14-4, after Allie Faul drained a 3-pointer in the final second.

?How we started really helped us throughout the game,? coach Nathan Hiebert said. ?The rest of the game we had glimpses of not taking care of the ball or not rebounding. But then we had glimpses of taking care of the ball and getting easy buckets and taking advantage of what their defense did.?

Hillsboro started the second quarter with one of those rough spells, turning over the basketball against the Warrior pressure seven times in 10 possessions as Marion trimmed the lead to 19-14.

The Trojans? 23-16 halftime lead was down to 32-28 after three quarters.

In the final period, Hillsboro pushed the margin back to as many as 12 points, 42-30, with 3:15 to play. But Marion battled back again, thanks in no small part to a 3-pointer from Kayley Heerey followed by a steal, basket and bonus free-throw by Hett?all in the span of 13 seconds.

The margin was as close as 46-43 after Marion?s Whitney Gordon made one of two free throws with 24.7 seconds left in the contest. But Candace Weinbrenner made both free throws after she was fouled with 22.1 to go, and Cassie Kroeker finished the scoring with 10.1 left when she drained a pair of free throws.

Kaufman scored 22 points and pulled down 13 rebound to pace the Trojans. Faul finished with a career-best 14 points on 4-for-6 shooting, including two of three shots from behind the arc.

Hett finished with 17 points and Julia Zeiner 11 for MHS.

The Trojans shot a season-best 59 percent (17-29) from the field compared to Marion?s 34 percent (15-44). But Hillsboro committed 25 turnovers to the Warriors? 19. Both had 12 steals.

?I was proud of the girls, that we can through at the right time?we did nice things when we needed it,? Hiebert said.

Hesston 45, HHS 28

The Hillsboro girls played a competitive first half against the Swathers, but couldn?t maintain their intensity through the second half.

The Trojans scored the first four points of the game and were still tied with the Swathers at 6-6 at the first break.

Hesston took the lead for good at 9-8 when Mallory Schroeder scored at the 6:21 mark of the second period. The Swathers bumped the lead to 16-12 by halftime.

Hesston started to pull away with a 10-2 surge through the third quarter before Dakota Kaufman scored a pair of baskets to cut the Swather lead to 26-18 at the 1:18 mark. But Hesston pushed the lead back to 30-18 by the end of the quarter.

Kaufman started the fourth quarter with a free throw, but Hesston scored the next six points to put the game safely away at 36-20 with 3:22 to go.

?We got tired, and we used that as an excuse,? coach Nathan Hiebert said, ?I thought Hesston outworked us in the second half.?

The Swathers outshot the Trojans 46 percent (18-39) to 35 percent (12-34) from the floor, and maintained an advantage at the line, 9-of-14 to 3-of-4. But the most glaring difference was rebounding, where Hesston dominated, 29-16.

?I talked at halftime how if we can win the rebounding battle in the second half, we?d give ourselves a chance,? Hiebert said.

Kaufman led HHS with seven points while Kelcie Frey scored 12 and Schroeder 10 for Hesston.

HHS 32, Sunrise 25

The Trojans used scoring runs on either side of halftime to propel themselves to the first-round win Tuesday over the third-seeded Buffaloes.

Locked into another low-scoring battle at 11-8 late in the second period, Allie Faul ignited the Trojan run modestly by making one of two free throws following a steal with 2:19 left.

Two more Buffalo turnovers led to a field goal by Cassie Kroeker and a lay-in by Dakota Kaufman on a nice pass from Kassidi Luthi for a 16-8 lead within 1:33 left. Kaufman added a put-back with 21 seconds left to give HHS a 10-point margin at intermission.

The Trojans expanded the 7-0 run to 17-0 through the first 3:07 of the third period on a basket by Tiffany Rooker and then three baskets and a pair of free throws from Kaufman for a 28-8 bulge.

Hillsboro went dry on offense the rest of the period, but still led 28-14 at the final break. With coach Nathan Hiebert subbing freely down the stretch, the Buffaloes were able to chip the lead to seven by the end of the game.

?We played a lot more unselfishly tonight and we played with a lot of heart,? Hiebert said. ?Our defensive intensity led to some easy steals and we got some good looks inside.?

Both teams finished with 23 turnovers for the night. Hills?boro was able to convert 38 percent of its shots (13-31) while hold Sunrise to 29 percent (9-31).

Kaufman, with 15 points, was the only player for either team to break double digits.

Coming?Hillsboro, 6-6 for the season and 1-3 in league play, will have the week off. Competition resumes Tuesday, Feb. 3, at Lyons (3-6, 1-3).

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