Entering his 31st year at Hillsboro High School, boys basketball head coach Darrel Knoll has a deep team coming back this year. The Trojans finished 16-6 last year with a 6-3 Central Kansas League record, good for third place.
Two seniors, Darian Ratzlaff and Wes Shaw, will be key for Hillsboro to make a splash this year.
Ratzlaff has been CKL All-League each of his three seasons and has received All-State honors all three years as well.
“He is an excellent floor leader, can score both inside and out, and is an excellent defender,” Knoll said of Ratzlaff.
Shaw is athletic and strong and he uses those skills to be an excellent rebounder at 6-foot-2-inches’. He received 2A All-State Honorable Mention and CKL Honorable Mention last year.
The team is deep, with plenty of experience, including Caleb Potucek, who earned CKL All-League Honorable Mention last year. Joe Knoll, Caleb Rempel, Brooks Gardner, Jorge Hanschu and Avery Unruh will all be key for Hillsboro as well.
“This year’s team is full of experience, so we will have good play off the bench as well as from our starters,” Knoll said. “We are quick and play solid defense, and we have the ability to score from multiple positions with several players. I anticipate a team with good chemistry, so we should be very competitive again this year.”
Defending 3A State Champions, Halstead, is likely going to be toughest competition in the CKL this year, with Hesston and Pratt also being tough outs.
Hillsboro opens up the season with a road trip to Belle Plaine on Friday, Nov. 30.