Hillsboro?boys start season 2-1 at Moundridge tournament

The Hillsboro boys capped a positive first-week of the season Friday with a 48-34 come-from-behind win over Lyons in the final night of the Moundridge Pre-Season Tournament.

Hillsboro opened the week with a double-overtime loss to Garden Plain at home, then overcame a 29-point effort from Trey Unrau to beat Moundridge Thursday.

?We had a great tournament,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?We were a free-throw or a turnover away from being undefeated. I just have a good feel for the way we?re competing.?

Lyons?Jarod Hamm came off the bench to score nine first-half points, sparking Hillsboro to a dramatic second-quarter turnaround that ended in a double-digit victory.

The Trojans, having finished a physically and emotionally draining win over Moundridge less than 18 hours earlier, started this game out of sync on the offensive end, missing seven straight shots before Hamm drained a three-pointer at the 4:31 mark for a 10-3 deficit. HHS trailed 15-8 at the end of the quarter on 3-for-11 shooting.

A 5-1 Hillsboro run to start the second quarter put the Trojans in a position for Hamm to tie the game with a basket on a drive to the hole, plus a bonus free throw.

After Lyons missed three shots on the other end, Hamm came right back with a three-pointer from the top of the key to give Hillsboro its first lead at 19-16. The Trojans led at intermission, 28-21, for a 14-point swing during the second period.

The defensive effort that kept the Trojans in the contest until the offense got going in the first half, held Lyons at bay in the second half. The Lions shot 3-for-10 for the third quarter with five turnovers, enabling HHS?to bump its lead to 36-27 heading into the fourth quarter.

Lyons, committing five more turnovers, managed only five points the rest of the game to Hillsboro?s 12, including six from freshman point guard Brett Weinbrenner, who finished with a team-high 13. Hamm finished with 10 and Ben Bebermeyer nine.

?I thought we were really sluggish in the beginning,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?The guys played really hard last night (against Moundridge) and seemed to have a hard time finding a rhythm tonight.

?I kept telling the guys during the timeouts that we can?t be worried about things not going our way. We have to continue to play. That?s what it?s all about.

?The best part I?ve seen about this team so far is that when we have somebody struggling, somebody else comes in and can up make the difference. Jarod came out and competed hard, playing to earn a spot. I couldn?t be more pleased. He played to win.?

Moundridge?The Trojan boys displayed competitive ferocity from the start against the home team, riding 11 points from Jesse Allen to a 19-15 lead after one period.

Ben Beber?meyer and Brett Weinbrenner each contributed four points. Moundridge sharp shooter Trey Unrau kept his team in range with three three-pointers and 11 total points during the opening period.

That pattern set the tone for the game. Except for a dry second quarter, those three Trojans supplied a counter balance to Unrau?s long-range artillery.

Hillsboro made only one of 11 shots during the second period while the Wildcats scored 10 points to take a 25-21 lead at intermission. Unrau had 16 points at the break.

HHS came out determined in the third quarter, getting two buckets from Bebermeyer and a three-pointer from Weinbrenner to vault to a 28-25 lead.

Unrau countered with a trey, but Bebermeyer, Allen and Wein?brenner combined for nine more points.

After Josh Wiebe chipped in a bucket with 25 seconds left, the Trojans led 39-36 at quarter?s end ?despite two more three-pointers from Unrau.

In the final period, Wein?brenner was the difference maker on offense, scoring eight more points while Caleb Hilliard shined on defense, frustrating Unrau to the tune of only seven points down the home stretch, including one three-pointer from NBA range.

Even though Unrau finished with 29, Hilliard and his teammates harassed him well enough all night long to tilt the game Hillsboro?s way.

Weinbrenner finished a strong all-around floor game with 19 points while Allen and Bebermeyer each chipped in 14.

As a team, the Trojans shot nearly 48 percent for the game (21-44), despite the atrocious second quarter. Moundridge, meanwhile, managed 47 percent (17-36), including 10 three-pointers.

?I thought our first quarter was really good offensively?we ran the floor well and took good shots,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?In the second quarter we got a little stagnant offensively. Our defense still wasn?t bad, we just didn?t put the ball in the basket.

?The third quarter I think we attacked their zone much better. Once they got out of that we were able to put up some good shots.?

?I was really pleased with our effort.?

Garden Plain?After a slow start, the Trojans fought a gallant battle against a physically superior Garden Plain team last Tuesday, but saw victory slip away in double overtime, 64-58, at Brown Gymnasium.

Facing a height disadvantage against the Owls, the Trojans appeared to be in for a long night when the visitors built a 16-4 lead with two minutes left in the first quarter.

But a basket by Jesse Allen and a late three-pointer by Ben Beber?meyer brought HHS back to within 16-9 at the break.

?Early on, we were trying to do everything off one pass, and defensively we weren?t playing the way we said we were going to play,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?We just made a lot of mistakes.?

The Trojans came together defensively in the second period, holding the visitors to two points through the first 5:45. By halftime, Hillsboro was within 23-21.

The Trojans kept the momentum going into the third period and may have played their best offense of the night while building a 36-31 lead at the 1:29 mark. Garden Plain rallied to close the gap to 38-36 by quarter?s end.

The margin between the teams never exceeded two points in the fourth quarter. Hillsboro led 49-47 with 1:42 left in regulation on a basket by Bebermeyer. But the Owls came back to tie the game as regulation ended.

The standoff continued into the first overtime. When Brett Weinbrenner?s shot in the final seconds was blocked, the game went into a second overtime tied at 54.

Four turnovers and 1-for-6 shooting by HHS opened the door for the Owls. Their 6-foot-6 post player, Chris Sponsel, scored 12 of his team-high 16 points during the fourth quarter and two overtimes.

Coming off a frustrating offensive season in 2009-10, Bebermeyer turned in a strong performance in his first game as a senior, scoring a game-high 26 points.

As a team, HHS shot 46 percent (22-48) with six three-pointers. The Trojans made eight of 19 free throws. Garden Plain shot 49 percent (26-53) from the floor and 10-for-23 from the line.

?The biggest thing I was proud of tonight was that we competed,? Knoll said. ?We had two chances to win this ball game tonight. Without a few unfortunate turnovers at the end, and if we made a few more free throws, we win the game.?

Coming?Hillsboro was scheduled to play Smoky Valley at home Tuesday before traveling to Sterling Friday. The Trojans will complete their pre-holiday schedule with a game at Marion next Tuesday, Dec. 21.

Call the Free Line at 947-3363 or go to hillsborofreepress.com for same-night reports on all three games.

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