At the start it appeared Hillsboro might have an easy time of it. Aided by nine Nicker?son turnovers, the Trojans built a 9-2 lead by the end of the first quarter?despite seven turn?overs of their own.
Nickerson composed itself in the second period, but the Trojans still managed to extend the lead to 25-12 by halftime. Loewen got his dunk off a steal midway through Hillsboro?s 7-1 run to end the quarter.
Jost scored seven points in the third period as HHS pushed the lead to 36-21 at the final break.
With 3:22 left in the game, the Panthers trimmed the lead to 42-33. But Jesse Allen scored on a drive to the basket with a foul called on Nicker?son away from the ball. HHS retained possession and Loewen then scored on an inbounds pass from Ben Bebermeyer.
The burst seemed to deflate Nickerson?s momentum and the Trojans went on to post the 10-point victory.
?At times I thought we looked really good tonight?when we weren?t turning the ball over,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?The hard part about a lot of those turnovers was that they were our fault. It wasn?t like they were making us turn it over. We went into stints when we just didn?t execute on offense.?
For the game, Hillsboro (10-6, 6-2) shot 52 percent (22-42) from the floor and made eight of 13 free throws. Nickerson (7-9, 2-6) managed only 35 percent (16-46) shooting from the floor and made 10 of 13 free throws.
?Nickerson played really hard?you have to give them credit on that,? Knoll said. ?I was happy with win, and that we held them off in the fourth quarter because we weren?t quite finishing the way we?d like to.?
Haven?Sophomore Ben Bebermeyer stepped into the starting lineup in the absence of an ill Clay Shewey Tuesday night and promptly lit up Brown Gymnasium for 37 points in the Trojans? 73-54 victory.
Beber?meyer signaled what was to come by cashing in a 2-pointer and 3-pointer to put Hillsboro into the lead for good at 5-2. By the end of the quarter he had drained two free throws and another 3-pointer for 10 points as Hillsboro led 15-7.
Bebermeyer was quiet in the second quarter until the 2:55 mark, when he hit a 3-pointer at the top of the key, then added another one at the halftime buzzer to extend Hillsboro?s margin to 31-16 at intermission.
In the third period, with Haven creeping back into contention after a 5-0 run in the early going, Nathan Vogel hit his second 3-pointer of the night. Then Bebermeyer broke loose with seven unanswered points in just over a minute to give HHS a 44-28 lead, which became 51-34 by quarter?s end.
Bebermeyer, who made 10 of 14 shots for the night, including 5-for-8 from behind the arc, capped his performance with 10 more points in the final quarter before leaving the game with just over a minute to go.
Though Bebermeyer stole the headline with his shooting, the Trojans played a strong team game as they improved to 9-6 for the season and 5-2 in league play.
?It didn?t hurt to have Bebermeyer shoot the ball like he was?he really had a great game,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?But I also thought Dave (Loewen) played really well defensively and cleaned up the boards, Daniel (Jost) made some great plays also and Nathan hit a couple of key threes.?
Less noticeable but even more unusual than a scoring burst by Beber?meyer, who burned Hoisington for 22 points Jan. 6, was the Trojans? exclusive use of zone defense.
?That was the first time since I started coaching that we played zone the entire game,? Knoll said. ?With Clay out I thought maybe we were a little thin, so I thought maybe a zone would take them out of some of their sets. We did an outstanding job with the zone.?
Haven (10-5, 2-5), which shot 40 percent (19-47) from the floor and made nine of 11 free-throws, was fueled by a 25-point performance by Devin Callon.
?I didn?t think we did that bad of a job defending him, but he just knocked down shots,? Knoll said of the 6-foot junior guard.
Meanwhile, the Trojans shot 52 percent (24-46) from the floor and 76 percent (16-21) from the line.
?When we started taking the shots we should take, we played well,? Knoll said. ?We had that one stretch in the first half where I thought we were a little quick on the trigger and took some shots that were ill-advised. But once we got better shot selection we were able to control the game the rest of the time.?
Coming?The results of Tuesday?s game at Ellinwood (11-6) will be posted on the Free Press Web site and the Free Line (947-3633).
On Friday, Hillsboro plays host to Marion (5-12), then travels to Wichita on Tuesday to take on No. 1 Collegiate, who defeated HHS 60-37 in the season opener back in early December.