If the Hillsboro boys gained any advantage from Wichita Collegiate?s limited practice time since football, it only portends how good the Spartans will be this season once they get in basketball shape.
The team that the No. 1 ranked and defending undefeated state champions put on the floor in Friday?s season opener was more than enough to handle the young and undersized Trojans, as Collegiate rolled to a 70-37 win at Wichita.
Athletic, quick and with a considerable height advantage, Collegiate got out of the gate quickly with a pair of 3-pointers and a 2-pointer for an 8-0 lead.
The Trojans didn?t take their first shot at the basket until Jarod Hamm scored at the 5:21 mark of the opening quarter. They held their own from that point to trail 25-14 after one quarter.
Collegiate scored the first two baskets of the second quarter, but Hillsboro countered with a 7-0 run, fueled by 4-for-4 free-throw shooting, to get within 29-21 at the 4:50 mark. But a 12-4 surge put Collegiate up at halftime, 41-25.
?I thought in the first half we played really well,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?We cut (the lead) down. Right until the last minute of the half I thought we were playing decently well.?
Collegiate put the hammer down in the third quarter with an 8-0 run fueled by a defensive surge that forced the Trojans to miss all three shots and turn the ball over five times through the first three minutes.
A 2-point and 3-point basket by Caleb Hilliard gave the Trojans some spark midway through the quarter, but Collegiate was relentless on its way to a 62-32 advantage by quarter?s end.
That 30-point margin prompted a continuous clock through the fourth quarter as both teams substituted freely.
For the game, Ben Beber?meyer scored 10 points to lead Hillsboro, which shot 11-for-34 (32 percent) from the floor and 12-for-22 from the free-throw line compared to 32-for-67 (48 percent) and 4-for-6 by Collegiate.
?We struggled to get good shots, we missed free throws, we missed layups,? Knoll said.
?We had a hard time getting rebounds,? he added. ?It?s something we?ve talked about since the beginning of the year. Hope?fully tonight will encourage us to work harder on the boards.?
Knoll gave Collegiate its due.
?Those guys are just deeper and a lot more athletic,? he said. ?They moved us pretty good. We made an attempt to block out, but we?re going to have to be a little tougher.?
Coming?After facing off against Garden Plain in the opening round Monday, Hillsboro will play Round 2 of the tournament at 5:30 p.m. Thursday against Hesston.
The tournament concludes Saturday with matchups based on won-loss records from the first two rounds. Call the Free Line (947-3363) or go to hillsboro?freepress.com for updates.