The Hillsboro girls overcame a ragged first half to pull away from Little River and post the school?s first Class 2A postseason victory in 40-plus years with a 48-28 final score.
If the Trojans felt stepping into 2A would be a walk in the park, they were right?only in the sense they almost got mugged.
The Redskins pestered the Trojans into uncharacteristic turnovers, poor shooting and multiple fouls en route to a 10-8 lead after one quarter.
Danae Bina?s steal and layup enabled the Trojans to take an 18-16 led by halftime even though Alex Ratzlaff?one of Hills?boro?s few sources of offense in the first half?and leading scorer Addie Lackey were sitting on the bench with foul trouble.
The Trojans stumbled out of the gate in the third quarter, but finally found their stride as they amped up the defensive pressure to move from a 20-20 tie to a 31-20 lead at the 3:27 mark.
Hillsboro took a 34-21 lead into the final period and were never seriously threatened down the stretch?even though Lackey, fouled out with 6:12 to play.
Bina finished with 16 points, Ratzlaff added 15 and Lackey 12 as the Trojans improved to 16-5 while the Redskins ended their season with a 15-6 record.
Kingman?Addie Lackey made senior night the best scoring night of her Trojan career?so far, at least?with a 31-point performance in Hillsboro?s 61-32 win over Kingman in last week?s regular-season finale.
With the win, the Trojans finished in a tie for second with Sterling in the Central Kansas League at 7-2 and a 15-5 mark overall.
Kingman scored the first basket of the game, but by the time the first quarter ended the Trojans led 12-7. Hillsboro outscored the Eagles 17-8 in the second quarter for a 29-15 halftime lead. Lackey had 16 points and Danae Bina nine by intermission.
Hillsboro began the third quarter by holding Kingman to one made basket on three shots while forcing five Eagle turnovers. By the time Kingman?s Madison Bangert scored at the 4:53 mark, Hillsboro was leading 41-17. Lackey and Alex Ratzlaff each added four points to Hillsboro?s 12-2 run over that stretch. By the end of the period, the Trojans were leading 45-23.
Hillsboro continued to force turnovers?21 for the night?building the lead to 57-27 with 3:13 to play. But the running clock did not kick in until the Trojans hit the 30-point spread a second time on a pair of Bina free throws with 2:39 to go for a 59-29 lead.
Complementing Lackey?s scoring were Bina with 15 points and Ratzlaff with 11. Bangert finished with 17 to lead the Eagles, who dropped to 8-11 for the season.
Coming?With their first-round sub-state win over Little River, the Trojans will face the winner of the first round game between No. 1 seed Sterling (18-2) and No. 8 seed Canton-Galva (6-15).
The semifinal game will be played Thursday at Berean Academy. At press time the starting time had not been established. The championship game will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday.