Trojan girls fall to Halstead, defeat Smoky

The Hillsboro High girls couldn?t cash in on opportunities to score late in the game and dropped a disappointing 26-25 decision Friday to Halstead in Brown Gymnasium.

The game was close from start to finish, though both teams struggled to put the ball through the basket. Halstead led 7-6 after one quarter and 11-9 at the half.

Hillsboro came out of halftime aggressively and took an 18-15 lead with just under four minutes left in the third quarter. Four Trojans contributed points to the surge: Dakota Kaufman, Kassidi Luthi and Candace Weinbrenner each tossed in a 2-pointer while Allie Faul drained a 3-point basket.

But Halstead finished the period with a 7-0 run to take its largest lead of the night, 22-18.

Halstead held a 26-22 advantage with a minute left in the game when Kirsten Sooter sank a pair of free throws. But Faul brought Hillsboro back into contention when she nailed her second 3-pointer of the night with 47 seconds left.

Halstead then opened the door for the Trojans when Marissa Vermillion missed the front end of a one-and-one with 34.9 seconds left. Hillsboro put up the last three shots of the game?but made none of them.

Kaufman led the Trojans with nine points.

Hillsboro managed only 11-for-41 shooting (27 percent) from the floor?missing several opportunities around the basket?and only 1-for-5 from the line.

Halstead shot 43 percent (10-23) from the field and 5-for-12 from the line. Alexi Bohling led the Dragons (2-2 in the league, 5-5 overall) with 10 points.

With the loss, Hillsboro dropped to 1-3 in league play and 4-5 overall.

Smoky Valley?The Trojans used an 11-0 run at the end of the first half to propel themselves to a 37-26 victory over Smoky Valley Friday at Lindsborg.

Both teams struggled to score through most of the first half. HHS led 8-5 after one quarter and went up 10-5 in the early seconds of the second quarter on a basket by Dakota Kaufman.

But Smoky Valley hit a pair of free throws and then tied the game at 10 when Jordan Sherwood drained a 3-pointer with 2:10 left.

Rather than retreat, Hillsboro suddenly caught fire. Kaufman started the scoring with an easy basket on a great feed from Candace Weinbrenner, then Allie Faul scored 24 seconds later after stealing the ball.

Hillsboro scored twice more following Viking turnovers: Abi Humber nailed a 15-footer and Kassidi Luthi scored on a great pass from Faul. Humber then added a free throw and Luthi topped the 11-0 run with a put-back in the final two seconds.

?We have that capability,? coach Nathan Hiebert said of the scoring burst. ?We just need to realize that and expect it.?

Hillsboro expanded its 21-10 halftime lead to as much as 29-10 when Cassie Kroeker hit a 15-footer with 4:50 left in the third quarter.

The Trojans led 33-18 at the final break and went on to preserve the victory with Hiebert clearing his bench at the end.

Hillsboro made 50 percent (8-16) of its field-goal attempts in the second half to improve its accuracy to 40 percent (17-42) for the game. HHS made only two of 11 free throws, though.

Luthi was the only Trojan to break double figures, finishing with 12 points, all in the paint.

?We talked before the game that we have to get a shot inside before we take a shot outside,? Hiebert said. ?We did a lot better job of that.

?Sometimes they try to force it in there, and that doesn?t really work. The time we scored the most was when we had patience, and the shot would come and it was wide open.?

Meanwhile, the Vikings shot 11-for-31 (35 percent) from the field and 3-for-13 from the line. No one scored more than seven points for SVHS.

Coming?Hillsboro claimed the No. 6 seed for this year?s Trojan Classic, and was scheduled to open Tuesday against No. 3 seeded Sunrise Academy, who was 8-5 through Jan. 9.

With a win, Hillsboro would play the winner of No. 2 Hesston and No. 7 Wamego at 8:15 p.m. Thursday. If the Trojans lost, they would play the loser of Hesston-Wamego at 4:45 p.m. Friday.

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