Trojan girls 0-3 at Moundridge

Hillsboro sophomore Rebecca Kaufman drives the baseline against her Mound?ridge defender during the first half of Friday?s finale. Don Ratzlaff / Free PressFailure to execute at critical moments undermined an otherwise credible effort in Hillsboro?s 41-35 loss to the home team on the final night of the Moundridge Preseason Classic.

Six Trojan turnovers in the first quarter helped the Wildcats build a 9-5 lead at the first break. Scoring for both teams picked up in the second quarter, but the margin remained the same going into halftime, 21-17.

Hillsboro pulled to within 25-24 at the 4:24 mark of the third quarter on consecutive baskets by Darcy Heinrichs and three free-thows from Callie Linnens. But a stretch with two turnovers and 1-for-4 shooting by Hillsboro enabled the Wildcats to extend the lead to 33-27 by quarter?s end.

In the fourth quarter, Moundridge enjoyed its biggest lead at 38-28 with 4:33 to play on a three-pointer by Ashley Holler, who scored 21 points to lead Moundridge.

Alex Ratzlaff scored eight of her team-high 25 points?including two three-pointers?in the final 3:40 to help narrow the final margin to five points.

Coach Nathan Hiebert said his young team made too many mistakes at inopportune times.

?Execution was the thing that killed us,? he said. ?Defensively, we didn?t jump to the ball. We?ve got to find ways to pressure teams. We sit back, and we?re not very good when we sit back.

?Offensively, instead of making easy passes, we?re trying to force things and making hard passes. When we have easy passes and easy looks, it looks great.?

Losing all three games at the tournament gives the Trojans a 1-3 record for the season.

?We?ve got young girls and I have high expectations,? Hiebert said. ?Some?times it feels like with a young team that you have to hold their hand through everything, but we?re playing games now?you can?t.?

Inman?The Trojans let a winnable game slip through their fingers Thursday, 35-30.

Despite shooting troubles that plagued them all night, the Trojans led the Teutons 9-5 after one quarter and 13-9 at intermission?largely on the strength of a defense that limited Inman to 3-for-14 shooting from the floor and contributed to 16 turnovers.

Hillsboro made only five of 31 shots in the first half, but the game seemed well in hand anyway.

The Trojans provided more evidence for that when Allison Weber hit a three-pointer and Alex Ratzlaff followed with a two to bump the lead to 18-9 at the 6:09 mark of the third quarter.

But back-to-back baskets by Inman?s Abby Ropp and Krystan Miller over a 12-second span midway through the period seemed to energize Inman, who closed the gap to 23-19 by quarter?s end.

Inman?s play continued to strengthen as the fourth quarter began, while the Trojans seemed unable to flip the ?on? switch.

Inman finally pulled into a tie at 28-28 with 4:15 left to play, then took the lead on a basket at the 3:13 mark. Hillsboro made only one more basket the rest of the way as the Teutons pulled out the five-point win.

For the game, Hillsboro shot 20 percent from the floor on 12-for-59 shooting. Ratzlaff led the Trojans with 11 points.

?We didn?t have a lot of girls who looked like they were excited to play or ready to play,? Hiebert said. ?Then all of a sudden you give Inman confidence.?

Lyons?On the heels of a gallant third-quarter comeback, the Trojans suddenly lost their scoring touch in the final quarter and lost to Lyons, 57-37, in Tues?day?s opener.

The Lions, the Class 3A state runner-up a year ago, led the Trojans 14-6 after one quarter and 27-16 by halftime.

?You could tell at the beginning of the game a lot of the girls were nervous and tight,? coach Nathan Hiebert said. ?Lyons is a really good team. ?

Hills?boro came out of halftime with confidence, draining five three-point shots during a 21-11 surge that closed the margin to 38-37 as the quarter ended.

Alex Ratzlaff scored 12 of Hillsboro?s 21 points, including a traditional three-point play to start the quarter and three baskets from behind the arc as it continued. Also hitting threes were Tara Proffitt and Brooklyn Wiens.

?Alex hit a few (threes that) were more difficult, but everyone else?s were on time and in rhythm,? Hiebert said. ?Those are shots we?re going to take.?

But the Trojans? hot shooting hands suddenly went cold. Hills?boro missed all nine shots from the floor and committed five turn?overs. The Lions didn?t waste the opportunity, rolling up 19 unanswered points on the way to their second win of the season. Hillsboro dropped to 1-1.

?The two things we need to do a great job are avoiding turnovers and limiting offensive rebounds,? Hiebert said. ?I don?t feel we did what we needed to do on those two things. But I?m pleased with the girls and proud for how they fought.?

Unofficially, Hillsboro shot 29 percent (12-41) from the floor while Lyons made 35 percent (20-57). Ratzlaff led all scorers with 21

points while Brenna McClure led Lyons with 20.

Coming?Hillsboro will conclude the pre-holiday schedule Friday with a game against Reming?ton (4-0) at Whitewater.

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