Trojans roll past Kingman

Hillsboro sophomore Elias Werth drives to the hole in the final seconds of the third quarter for two of the 10 points he scored in a 53-38 win at Kingman Friday.Hillsboro held off a scrappy Kingman squad in the second half to claim a 53-38 road victory Friday and improve its season record to 13-4.

Even though Kingman came into the game with a modest 1-15 season record, the Trojans had their hands full at the start.

Darian Ratzlaff hit back-to-back threes in the first 2:31 for a 6-0 lead, but the Eagles battled to within 13-12 as the first quarter ended.

The Trojans expanded the margin during the second quarter until it peaked at 28-14 when Wes Shaw hit a 10-footer with 25.2 seconds left in the half. Elias Werth tossed in seven points during a 15-2 quarter where Hills?boro limited Kingman to 1-for-16 shooting.

Five unanswered points in the first 36 seconds of the third quarter pulled King?man to within eight points, but Hillsboro used grit and hustle to expand the margin to 39-23 by the final break.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Austin Cross scored all eight points during an 8-2 Trojan run?including a dunk at the 4:41 mark?to put the Trojans comfortably ahead, 50-31, with three minutes left.

?I thought Austin played pretty well against their big guy,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?Really, everybody played well tonight.?

Cross finished as the game?s high scorer with 18 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. Ratzlaff added 13 points and Werth 10.

Hillsboro shot 39 percent from the floor (15-38) and made 19 of 23 free throws for the game (83 percent).

Knoll said he knew Kingman would be hard-nosed, despite its record.

?I talked to them all week about being tough and coming out to play,? he said about his team. ?Hoisington took it to us last game, and we didn?t respond like we should have. We?ve got to take it upon ourselves to come out and play with the same kind of toughness.?

Hoisington?Lacking the focus and drive they exhibited previously in a big win against Pratt, the Trojans weren?t up to the task Tues?day against an average Hoisington team.

By the time the final buzzer sounded, the Trojans found themselves on the short end of a 62-46 mugging on their home court.

The Trojans jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first minute of the game, but didn?t score again until Joe Knoll drained a three at the 2:18 mark. Elias Werth added a three with 51 seconds left, but Hoisington led, 17-11, at quarter?s end.

The Trojans went scoreless in the second quarter until Werth hit a three at the 3:38 mark. Darian Ratzlaff and Austin Cross each added a two-point basket before the first half ended, but the Cardinals were firmly in front, 34-18.

Hillsboro never made a serious run at the Cardinals in the second half. When Braden Vogt hit back-to-back three-pointers early in the fourth quarter, the Trojans were within single digits at 51-42. But Hoisington reasserted itself down the stretch with an 11-4 run over the final 5:45.

Vogt was the only Trojan to break double digits, finishing with 11 points. As a team, Hillsboro shot 36 percent (18-50) from the floor while the Cardinals shot a 51.1 percent (23-45). Hoising?ton also ruled the boards, with a 38-19 edge in rebounding.

?Defensively, we played flat. We were lacking the intensity level we normally have,? coach Darrel Knoll said. ?Offensively, we weren?t very sharp. It?s hard to put the ball in the basket when we?re not cutting hard, not passing sharp and not setting our feet.

?It was a physical game, and we just didn?t handle it as well as we should have.?

Coming?Hillsboro was scheduled to take on Haven (11-6) Tuesday at Brown Gymnasium. Friday, the Trojans travel to state-ranked Hesston, who leads the league at 8-0 and is 15-2 overall. Hillsboro will complete the regular season Feb. 23 with a game at Sterling (5-3, 12-5).

Written By
More from Don Ratzlaff
Hillsboro council plans increase in utility rates
Hillsboro residents and businesses should prepare for a utility rate increase in...
Read More