Shewey set the tone by hitting the first points of the game—a 3-pointer from the right corner 29 seconds into the contest. The first quarter went back and forth with the Trojans from Hillsboro holding a 16-13 edge at the end of one quarter over the Trojans from Southeast.
David Loewen drives around his defender during the first half of Monday’s sub-state victory.
Greg Peterson tied the game at 18 two minutes into the second period, but a 15-footer by Shewey launched a pivotal 16-5 surge that gave Hillsboro momentum and a 34-23 lead at intermission.
By the end of three quarters, Hillsboro had bumped the margin to 50-35. Southeast rallied to pull within seven, 54-47 with 4:11 left in the game. But Shewey drained another 3-pointer and Hillsboro made 14 of 16 free throws in the final 2:13 to seal the victory.
David Loewen, playing huge in the paint, added 15 points as Hillsboro improved to 12-9 for the season and will meet either Hutchinson Trinity or Remington in the semifinals at Brown Gymnasium on Thursday.
Hillsboro’s 67-54 loss to the visiting Vikings in the regular-season finale on Thursday was the tale of two very different halves.
The Trojans, led by a dominating 18-point performance by David Loewen in the post, looked to be the superior squad as they carried a 36-29 lead into halftime.
But the team that took the floor in the third quarter looked very different than the one that had left it minutes earlier.
For the record, it was different. Trojan sharpshooter Clay Shewey went down with an ankle injury with 1:54 left in the second quarter and did not return to action. The loss of the team’s top scorer seemed to strike a psychological blow.
Furthermore, it made Smoky Valley’s switch to a zone defense in the third quarter all the more effective. When the Vikings coagulated around Loewen in the lane, no one stepped up to fill the outside-scoring void created by Shewey’s absence.
The Trojans looked befuddled on offense for the first 4:30 of the third period while the Vikings broke loose for a 12-0 run.
It didn’t help that Loewen was being manhandled in the paint while at the same time he was whistled for two marginal fouls on the other end. The discrepancy was evidenced by a marked advantage at the free-line, where Smoky Valley made 15 of 18 attempts while the Trojans shot only four charities all night and made two.
The combination of factors resulted in a 20-point swing in the second half.
Trojan coach Darrel Knoll was not pleased with the turn of events.
“It was pretty physical underneath, and I didn’t understand what was going on there,” he said. “They were shoving Dave pretty hard down there, and we were having trouble getting him the ball.”
But Knoll also was frustrated by his team’s failure to adjust.
“We just didn’t attack the zone like we normally do,” Knoll said. “Not having Clay in the second half, we lost a little scoring power and we didn’t handle it well.
“There was no reason we couldn’t run better offense with the team we had in there,” he added.
Loewen finished with a career high 27 points on 13-for-17 shooting from the floor. The rest of the team shot 33 percent, including 4-for-16 from behind the arc.
Shewey’s 10 points in the first half was enough to make him the only other Trojan to reach double digits.
The Vikings, meanwhile, scorched the Trojans for 68 percent shooting (25-37).
“They came out hard and they deserved to win by the way they played,” Knoll said.
A 16-1 second quarter blew the lid off a close game Tuesday and fueled Hillsboro to a 67-42 pounding of Lyons at Brown Gymnasium.
The Trojans got off to a 9-0 start when Clay Shewey and Gavin Serene combined for three 3-pointers in just over 2 minutes. Lyons responded with a 12-4 surge that got the visitors back to within a point with just over two minutes left in the quarter.
Hillsboro clung to a 19-16 lead at the break.
Shewey then broke loose with 10 unanswered points, including two 3-pointers, in the first 2:15 of the second period. David Loewen and Taylor Hagen each chipped in a basket before Lyons finally made a free throw with 2:57 left in the half to break the run of consecutive points at 14.
Andy Klassen capped the scoring for both sides with a bucket at the 2:46 mark and Hillsboro enjoyed a 35-17 lead at intermission. The defense contributed to 10 Lyons turnovers during the quarter.
“I felt that if we came out and turn up the defense a little bit we could take care of them,” coach Darrel Knoll said about the early minutes of the game. “Offensively, we were shooting the ball well and hitting our shots from the outside.
“Then I thought we got a little impatient offensively later in the first quarter, and defensively we left too many things wide open,” he added.
“In the second quarter we turned up the pressure a little bit and started to create a few turnovers and got down the court. I thought from there we played pretty well.”
By the end of three quarters, Hillsboro pushed the margin to 56-31 with seven players contributing points.
Trojan fans got their only real scare of the night when Shewey stole a Lyons pass near midcourt in the first minute of the final quarter and was undercut as he drove in for the layup. The junior marksman landed on his back and stayed down. He eventually walked to the bench on his own power but did not return to action.
A basket by Loewen with 4:12 to go cracked the 30-point-lead barrier, kicking in the continuous-clock rule for the rest of the contest.
Shewey finished with 23 points after an 18-point first half. Daniel Jost added 12. As a team, the Trojans shot 51 percent (25-49) from the floor compared to 40 percent by Lyons, who had no scorers in double digits.