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| Don Ratzlaff / Free Press<p>Clay Shewey wards off Justin Axman in transition at Hoisington Friday. Shewey had a particularly hot hand in the first half of Hillsboro’s 60-46 road win over the state-ranked Cardinals.
“Clay was not feeling very well tonight, but he really came out and played,” coach Darrel Knoll said. “He took the ball to the basket really well and hit his shots.”
Shewey’s teammates were equally hot from the free-throw line. Together, they made all 10 of their attempts in the first half.
But as well as the Trojans played through the first two quarters, the Cardinals led by as many as six points late in the first quarter. Hillsboro’s Gavin Serene stepped up with a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to pull the Trojans to within three at the first break, 18-15.
Serene then hit another 3-pointer to start the second quarter, igniting a 9-2 run that lifted the Trojans to a 24-20 lead midway through second period.
But Hosington’s athleticism and depth fueled a 9-0 run that carried the Cardinals to a 29-24 advantage. Shewey broke the run with four free throws and a basket, then Serene added two more free throws to pull Hillsboro back into the lead at 32-29.
A traditional three-point play by Hosington’s Trace Hughes with 8.6 seconds left the teams in a 32-32 deadlock at intermission.
With a chance to rest and refuel, Hillsboro started the third quarter with a 9-0 run that was capped by Serene’s third 3-pointer of the night with 5:14 left in the period.
Led by Cameron Horesky, the Cardinals chipped Hillsboro’s lead to 43-40 before a basket by David Loewen gave the Trojans a 45-40 lead at the final break.
Loewen then put the team on his shoulders down the home stretch. The 6-5 post scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and was huge on the defensive end and the boards.
“I thought Dave Loewen played the best game I’ve ever seen him play,” Knoll said. “He did a really good job inside.”
As the game wound down, the Trojans’ lead grew more comfortable as the Cardinals began launching—and missing—3-pointers in an effort to catch up.
Shewey finished with a career-high 27 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 from the line. Loewen tossed in 18 points and Serene 11 as the Trojans improved to 4-1 for the season and 1-0 in league play. Loewen completed his third double-double of the season with 11 rebounds.
The Trojans made their first 13 free throws of the game and finished with 16 makes in 19 attempts for the night.
Beyond the productivity of Shewey and Loewen, Knoll said he was pleased with his team’s effort across the board.
“We played to win,” he said. “That was the big speech over Christmas. I can’t be more pleased.”
Coming—With Monday’s makeup game at Nickerson in the books, Hillsboro (4-2) will return to action Friday at Ellinwood (2-1).
On Monday, Jan. 14, the annual Trojan Classic begins. The pairings for the tournament will be available on the Free Press Web site as soon as the information becomes available.
Trojans lose at Nickerson
The Hillsboro boys and girls both lost their non-league games at Nickerson Monday night in a make-up date originally scheduled for Dec. 14.
In the girls’ contest, Nickerson (5-2) prevailed 40-24. The Panthers led 14-9 after one quarter, 23-16 at the half and 29-20 after three quarters.
The Trojans, who committed 24 turnovers, were led in scoring by Amy Neufeld and Dakota Kaufman, who each pitched in 6 points. Samantha Heinrichs added 5 as HHS dropped to 3-4.
The Trojan boys also struggled, dropping a 56-42 decision. Nickerson jumped to a 17-6 lead after one quarter, then extended the margin to 19 points by halftime, 36-17.
Hillsboro (4-3) did chip away at the lead in the second half, but never made a serious run at the Panthers (4-1).
David Loewen led HHS with 18 points.