Top-seeded HHS girls finish in fourth place

The Hillsboro girls got off to a sluggish start and never fully recovered en route to 55-50 loss to Goodland in the third-place game at the Trojan Classic on Saturday afternoon.

Out-hustled on both ends of the court, the Trojans trailed the Cowgirls 11-4 after one quarter.

Frustrated by the second passive performance in two nights, coach Nathan Hiebert substituted three girls with limited varsity time this season: Maci Schlehuber, Christina Morris and Amy Bartel.

?We had a lack of toughness,? Hiebert said. ?That?s what happened last night and that was our challenge for today?and they just didn?t do it. So we gave the opportunity to those three girls and they were aggressive.?

With Schlehuber contributing four points, Hills?boro actually pulled into the lead late in the period before two baskets in the final 30 seconds put Good?land back on top, 25-22, at intermission.

Baskets by Tena Loewen and Allie Faul in the opening minutes of the third quarter put Hillsboro ahead again, 26-25, but for the last time.

The Cowgirls, responding well to Hillsboro?s trapping pressure, began to take advantage of the unguarded teammate for some easy baskets en route to a 42-34 lead by the end of the period.

Schlehuber scored Hillsboro?s first eight points in the fourth quarter, and the 8-3 surge pulled the Trojans to within 45-42 with 5:14 to go. Goodland nudged the margin back to seven within two minutes, and Hillsboro never got closer than three points after that.

Loewen led the Trojans with 15 points with Addie Lackey and Schlehuber chipping in 12 each.

The Trojans were outrebounded by the Cowgirls, 29-17, with 5-foot-10 M?Lynn Hinger pulling down 17 herself, including 13 on the offensive boards. She scored 14 points, while Ashley Archer led the team with 16.

?I told them these were girls from Goodland, and I imagine some of them come from farms,? Hiebert said. ?They?re just tough girls. They can handle body contact and our girls can?t.?

Hiebert said he hopes two straight losses will give his team pause.

?We?ve got to have some better intensity in practice,? he said. ?We?ve won quite a few games, and I told the girls our competition is going to get tougher. We just assume we can kind of go through the motions and have the same result. It doesn?t happen that way.?

Thomas More Prep?Hillsboro dug itself out of a late fourth-quarter hole during Friday?s semifinal game with fifth-seeded TMP, but came up short in overtime, 49-45.

HHS led the eventual tournament champions through most of three quarters in a close contest, but missed their first six shots to open the final quarter.

TMP used an 8-0 run to build a 36-29 lead before Addie Lackey finally broke the ice for HHS, scoring at the 2:38 mark. She followed that with a basket and bonus free throw with 2:05 left to pull HHS?to within 36-34.

TMP responded with a pair of free throws and a basket to push its lead back to 40-23. But Allie Faul drilled a huge three-pointer for Hillsboro with 48 seconds left to make the score 40-37.

After a couple of TMP turnovers and a missed one-and-one opportunity by Hillsboro, Lackey drained a three-pointer from the wing with 27 seconds left to tie the game at 40.

When TMP turned the ball over again, the Trojans had a chance to win in the final seconds. But a shot deep in the paint by a heavily defended Lackey bounced off the rim. The buzzer sounded the end of regulation as players scrambled for the rebound.

Momentum swung TMP?s way early in the overtime when Rachel Jacobs made a pair of free throws, then scored on a steal and a layup within a span of 19 seconds.

Hillsboro came back with a basket by Loewen and one of two free throws by Lackey to pull to within 44-43 with 2:06 to go.

When TMP?s Heather Ruder compounded two Hillsboro turnovers by hitting three of four free throws, the Falcons led 47-43 with 1:39 left.

After a basket by Loewen, Lackey had a chance to tie the contest when she was fouled after making a steal, but missed the front end of the one-and-one at the 1:10 mark.

Hillsboro got off only one more shot the rest of the way, while Ruder secured the victory by making two of four free throws in the final 25 seconds.

Sophomore Loewen and freshman Lackey finished as Hillsboro?s leading scorers with 15 points a piece. Ruder scored 19 for TMP, including 12 in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Coach Nathan Hiebert was disappointed in his team?s performance.

?We weren?t tough enough,? he said. ?TMP is a good team, but we wouldn?t attack inside. In the last stretch we finally attacked. We were aggressive to the basket and we got some open threes and some open shots inside.

?We?ve got a young, experience-wise, group and they look for someone else (to step up),? Hiebert added. ?I?want someone who says give me the ball, this is going to happen. I don?t think we have someone like that.?

Winfield?Hillsboro built a 20-point lead by halftime, then coasted to 59-43 victory in the opening round Tuesday.

The Trojans? defensive pressure contributed to 14 Winfield turnovers in the first quarter on the way to a 14-4 lead at the break.

Callie Serene started the second quarter with the first of her three three-pointers during the period. The third one came at the 3:00 mark, igniting a 10-4 run that carried HHS to a 35-15 margin at intermission.

Beyond Serene?s nine points by halftime, Tena Loewen and Addie Lackey each added seven.

?We came out with good intensity,? coach Nathan Hiebert said. ?We knew we could pressure them. We wanted them to play faster than what they wanted to.?

The Trojans? intensity level slipped a notch in the second half. Winfield started with a 7-0 burst in the first 1:12 of third period.

The Vikings got as close as 11 points when McKenzie Thiel sank a pair of free throws at the 1:02 mark. Serene ended the quarter with a bucket in the lane to give HHS a 44-31 margin at the final break.

?When you?re up 20 points and things are going really well for you, then you come out in the second half?to have the same intensity, that?s tough,? Hiebert said.

In the fourth quarter, Lackey contributed six points as Hills?boro pushed its lead back to 18 in the final minutes of the contest.

?I was proud we did some good things in the fourth quarter,? Hiebert said. ?We had an opportunity to work and be patient and get the opportunities we wanted.?

Lackey finished with 16 points, Serene added 12 and Loewen 11 to pace HHS. Loewen also pulled down 11 rebounds.

As a team, HHS shot 35 percent (20-57) from the floor. Winfield shot 41 percent, but put up 15 fewer shots thanks in part to 26 turnovers for the game.

Winfield?Following a week with no games, the Trojans (1-1, 10-3) will return to action Feb. 1 when they travel to Hesston to take on the Swathers (2-0, 9-3) in a key Central Kansas League showdown.

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