Hillsboro girls win at Marion

Hillsboro?s Tara Proffitt scores in the lane against Marion defender Bailey Robson during last Tues?day?s matchup in Marion. Proffitt contributed five points to the Trojans? 54-30 victory. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press

A second-quarter shooting drought by Marion enabled the Hillsboro girls to take control of the game and cruise to a 54-30 win last Tuesday at Marion.

The teams traded blows at the start. Hillsboro slowly built a 13-6 lead when Alex Ratzlaff hit a pair of free throws at the 3:07 mark.

But when Marion?s Mar?shelle Mermis hit a pair of free throws and Bailey Robson scored moments later off a Hillsboro turn?over, the Warriors were within 13-10 with 2:40 to go.

A basket by Hillsboro?s Darcy Hein?richs established a 15-10 margin at the first break.

The second quarter was the turning point in the game. Marion struggled from the floor, missing all 10 of its field-goal attempts, but did make three of five free throws.

Meanwhile, Ratzlaff tossed in seven points and Rebecca Kaufman contributed a three-pointer and a two. Mesa Merrell came off the bench to hit a three and a two in the final 45 seconds of the half to vault the Trojans into a 34-13 halftime lead.

Erika Hess eyes the basket as Hillsboro?s Rebecca Kaufman defends Tuesday. Hess scored five points in Marion?s 54-30 loss.  Janae Rempel / Free Press

Marion coach Kelly Robson said shot selection was a key issue in the quarter.

?I believe we?re an OK shooting team, but when we have a quarter where we shoot all jump shots, we tend to lose a lead or let a team stretch something out on us,? he said.

Marion continued to struggle offensively heading into the third quarter, enabling Hillsboro to build a 42-15 lead by the 4:52 mark on a three-pointer by Marah Franz followed by a three and a two from Ratzlaff, giving her a game-high 18 points for the night.

With the score 51-20 at the start of the fourth quarter, the rest of the game was played with a running clock.

That seemed to work in Marion?s favor, as the Warriors outscored the Trojans 10-1 over the final seven minutes to tighten the spread to 54-30 before the buzzer sounded.

Hillsboro coach Nathan Hiebert was pleased with the effort he saw from his team.

?I honestly wasn?t sure what we were going to get tonight,? Hiebert said. ?Sometimes we have games like this, where the girls feel ready to go and execute really well.?

Ten girls contributed points for the Trojans, and the team shot nearly 42 percent for the night, including 6-14 shooting from behind the arc.

?A lot of our shots were one girl to another girl?there wasn?t a lot of one -on-one stuff,? Hiebert said. ?I think we made the most threes we have in quite a while, and most of those were inside-out (passing), which is really huge for us to improve our shooting percentages.?

Marion, meanwhile, shot around 22 percent (7-32) from the field. Mermis finished with 10 points to lead the Warriors.

?(The Trojans) were shooting the ball well, and we just weren?t shooting the ball very well,? Robson said. ?I thought (our) jump shooting contributed to the stretching of the lead. I didn?t feel like we played with enough intensity defensively.?

With the win, Hillsboro raised its record to 5-8 while Marion slipped to 6-7.

Coming?Hillsboro is scheduled to play a league game Tuesday at Nickerson (0-13), a team the Trojans defeated in their season opener. On Friday, Pratt (9-3) will come to Brown Gymna?sium with the tip-off set for 6 p.m.

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