The Hillsboro boys used an early scoring burst to take charge of a Marion team playing without two injured starters, then went on to post a 59-24 running-clock victory last Tues?day at Brown Gymna?sium.
With the win, Hillsboro improved to 10-3 while Marion slipped to 6-7.
?I wanted us to come out and play hard,? Hillsboro coach Darrel Knoll said. ?I didn?t want them to feel they had a chance against us, and in the first half we shut them down.
?I really felt like we forced them into some tough shots, and then we cleaned up the boards really well.?
A Hillsboro win seemed inevitable within the first 5:30 of the tip-off. The Trojans nailed five of their first seven shots, including two three-pointers, for a 12-0 lead. A pair of Marion free throws made the score 12-2 at the first break.
But without Tyler Zinn and Jack Schneider, the Warriors struggled for offense. By the time they scored their first field goal?a basket by Zachary Stuchlik with 3:50 left in the half?the Trojans were leading 21-4. By halftime, the score stood at 27-7.
Marion coach Jeff McMillin said he was disappointed by the way his team responded to the loss of their two teammates.
?The next person up has to step up,? McMillin said. ?We can?t play the same way, but we?ve got to find the way that we can play effectively, and it wasn?t a success, that?s for sure.?
Marion did play effectively in the third quarter. Despite seven consecutive points by Hillsboro?s Carson Herbel within a 55-second burst, the Warriors began to step up their play on both ends of the court.
By the end of the period, Hillsboro still had a healthy 19-point lead at 39-20, but the Warriors actually won the quarter, 13-12.
?Defensively, I took the press off a little bit, and I thought we just let down,? Knoll said. ?All of a sudden they were finding guys for easy baskets. We picked up the pressure again and all of a sudden we changed it back around the other way.?
Hillsboro took control of the fourth quarter, exemplified by an alley-oop thunder-dunk by Austin Cross on a beautiful set-up pass from Loewen with 6:44 left in the game.
Hillsboro?s long-range artillery kicked in after that with four more three-point baskets on the way to a final margin of 35 points.
Herbel finished with a career-high 13 points while Darian Ratzlaff added 10. Mason Pedersen led Marion with 10 points.
As a team, Hillsboro shot 55 percent from the floor (23-42) while Marion managed just 18 percent (7-39).
Coming?Hillsboro was scheduled to host Nickerson Tuesday. The Trojans defeated the Panthers in the season opener, but this game will count for league.
Hillsboro will travel to Pratt Friday to take on the 8-4 Greenbacks in a Central Kansas League game. Hoi?sington will visit Brown Gymnasium next Tuesday.