The Trojans never seriously challenged in the final period as TMP finished with a 14-point win and the third-place plaque.
Jost was the Trojans? brightest spot on offense, finishing with 16 points on 5-for-17 shooting, including 4-of-10 from behind the arc. No one else scored more than six points.
TMP, with three players in double figures, outshot the Trojans 47 percent to 36 percent from the field and enjoyed an 11-2 advantage in second-chance points. The Monarchs dominated the boards, 34-15.
?We didn?t make shots and we didn?t get any rebounds,? Knoll said. ?If you?re one and done every time down the floor, it?s going to be tough to score.
?We just need to see what we did, fix it and move on.?
Republic County 52, HHS 42
Hillsboro kept battling back from deficits Friday night to challenge the undefeated Buffaloes, but the Trojans ran out of ammunition down the stretch of their semifinal matchup.
Republic County jumped to a 9-2 lead after hitting their first four shots from the field. But the Trojans, fueled by the inside play of David Loewen and the outside shooting of Clay Shewey, responded with a 15-5 surge to take a 17-14 lead as the first quarter ended.
The two teams battled evenly early in the second period, but four Trojan turnovers contributed to a 13-4 Buffalo stampede that vaulted them into a 33-25 lead at intermission.
Even though HHS missed seven of its first eight shots to open the second half, the Trojans reduced a 39-28 deficit during the final three minutes of the third quarter to a 41-33 margin at the final break.
When Clay Shewey drained a 3-pointer at the 3:56 mark, Hillsboro was within 45-42. But that proved to be the Trojans? last score as they missed their last eight shots, allowing Republic County pushed the lead back to double digits at the end.
Shewey had his best night of the season, scoring 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting, including 4-for-7 behind the arc. Loewen contributed a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Colton Grove, a 5-foot-11 guard, dissected the Trojan defense for 19 points.
?They?re a really good team,? coach Darrell Knoll said. ?We just didn?t convert offensively. They did at key times.?
HHS 54, Wamego 51
Charity begins at home, and the Trojans tapped it greedily in the fourth quarter to claim the opening-round victory Tuesday over third-seeded Wamego.
Hillsboro trailed 34-31 heading into the final period, but nailed 17 of 21 free throws over the final eight minutes after making only two trips to the line the previous three quarters.
David Loewen set the tone, swishing two tosses 34 seconds into the quarter to pull HHS to within a point. He made six of eight for the period on the way to 14 points for the game.
But it was a steal, layup and bonus free-throw by Daniel Jost seconds later that gave the Trojans the lead for good at 43-40 with 4:18 to play. Jost cashed in all seven of his free-throw attempts and finished with a team-high 15 points.
Hillsboro led by as much as 50-44 when Jost hit two charities with 1:48 left. But the Red Raiders scored the next five points, including a layup off a steal, to pull to within 50-49.
After Clay Shewey made one of two free throws with 1:03 left, Wamego lobbed a pass into 6-foot-4 post Josh Dunback. But instead of scoring the easy lay-in, as he had several times earlier in the game, Taylor Hagen stepped in behind him and drew the charge with 21 seconds to go.
With the turnover, Loewen converted a lay-in on a nice feed from Jost with 14 seconds left for a 53-49 lead. Wamego scored with 2.7 seconds to go, but Shewey capped the scoring with a free throw after he was fouled on the inbounds play.
?I think we learned something from the Halstead game (about playing to win), and that?s what I was most proud of about these guys tonight,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?We did what we had to do to win.
For the game, Hillsboro converted just 35 percent (17-48) of its shots from the floor while Wamego converted 44 percent (18-41). Both teams shot an identical 2-for-13 from behind the arc.
Coming?Hillsboro, 6-6 for the season and 2-2 in league play, will get additional practice time this week with no games scheduled. The Trojans return to action Tuesday, Feb. 3, at Lyons (8-4, 3-1).