It wasn?t a work of art, but Hillsboro?s 43-38 win over Little River in Saturday?s final round of the Moundridge Preseason Tournament looked pretty darn good after an 0-3 start to the season.
?Any win?s a win right now,? coach Darrel Knoll said.
But it wasn?t an easy win. The Trojans? defense kept them in the game while its poor shooting kept Little River in the game.
For the night, Hillsboro made only 16 of 56 field-goal attempts (29 percent) while limiting Little River to 14-for-39 shooting (36 percent). Neither team sparkled at the line either; Hillsboro made eight of 14 free-throws while Little River managed only eight of 17, including four misses on the front end of a one-and-one.
?The best thing today is that I thought we finally turned out a defensive effort where we played hard, we rotated, we weren?t soft anywhere,? Knoll said.
Hillsboro claimed an 11-8 lead after one quarter when Jesse Allen bagged a 3-pointer in the final second. The Trojans bumped the lead to 24-20 by halftime.
Despite its aggressive defense, Hillsboro couldn?t build a significant lead because it couldn?t hit the outside shot against Little River?s second-half zone defense. Hillsboro made only one of 10 attempts from behind the arc.
?We shot the ball horribly bad today,? Knoll said. ?They were open looks, but we just need to shoot in better rhythm. That?s something we can work on.?
Hillsboro enjoyed its largest lead of the night when Ben Bebermeyer made the team?s only 3-pointer of the half?a 25-foot prayer at the buzzer to give HHS a 36-30 advantage heading into the final quarter.
The Redskins scored the first two baskets of the period to draw close at 36-34, but they never pulled even.
Bebermeyer scored 20 points to pace the Trojans, who finished 1-2 at the tournament for fifth place and stand at 1-3 for the year.
Hesston?Hillsboro dug itself a first-half hole that proved too deep to overcome in a 63-36 loss to the Swathers in Thursday?s second-round game.
The Trojans jumped to a 6-0 lead through the first two minutes, but when Hesston finally scored at the 3:44 mark, the game began to implode for HHS.
The Swathers scored 12 unanswered points for a 12-8 lead by the end of the quarter. Jesse Allen broke Hesston?s run with a basket with three seconds left.
It only got worse for the Trojans in the second quarter. Hillsboro committed seven turnovers and missed all five of its shots from the floor as Hesston?s lead ballooned to 29-8 with 1:44 left in the half. The halftime score was 31-11.
Nathan Vogel stepped up to score 11 points in the second half, but the Trojans never made a serious run at the Swathers en route to the 27-point loss. Vogel finished as Hillsboro?s leading scorer with 13 points.
Coming?The Trojans were scheduled to play at Nickerson Tuesday. Reports of that game will be posted on the Free Line (947-3363) and at hillsborofreepress. com.
On Friday, Hillsboro will close out its pre-holiday schedule with its first home game in six outings when Sterling comes to Brown Gymnasium. Game time is 7:30 p.m.