Hillsboro basketball fans got their money?s worth Tuesday night (Jan. 12) as the Trojans split a pair of cardiac contests with Smoky Valley. The Trojan girls escaped with a 49-48 win for their fifth straight victory, while the Hillsboro boys left disappointed following a 54-50 loss to their Viking visitors.
The girls? game was a tale of two halves, as both teams struggled for points. Hillsboro had ample shots at the basket but had trouble hitting (7-23). Smoky Valley made all but one of its field-goal attempts — but only managed seven shots against the Trojan pressure while committing 14 turnovers. At the end of the half, the Trojans took a 19-16 lead into the locker room.
The tone of the game changed markedly in the second half, as both teams began to score. Hillsboro found success away from the basket while the Vikings feasted off points in the paint. At times the Trojans seemed to have no answer for the inside fade pass to Lori Dauer, Smoky?s solid 5-foot-11 post player who finished with 26 points for the game on 12-for-14 shooting.
At the end of the third quarter, Hillsboro still led by three, 36-33, but the Vikings finally slipped into the lead early in the final quarter as the teams began trading points. With Smoky leading 48-47 with 1:29 left, Candace Weinbrenner stepped up with her second basket of the quarter to put Hillsboro ahead 49-48 with 51 seconds left. Both teams missed opportunities to score at the wire — Hillsboro missed two one-and-one opportunities in the final 25 seconds — before the buzzer sounded.
Dakota Kaufman finished with 14 points to lead Hillsboro, but Weinbrenner?s season high 10 points — all but two in the fourth quarter — was the difference in this game as Hillsboro stands at 5-3 for the year and 2-0 in league play. The Vikings are 1-2 and 1-5.
In the boys? game, Hillsboro played perhaps its best game of the season in a contest that was competitive from start to finish. Smoky Valley held a modest lead for most of the night, with a 14-11 advantage after one quarter and 31-24 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Trojans stepped up their game, as Ben Bebermeyer found his stroke with timely baskets. Points from four other teammates in the third quarter helped HHS close the gap to 39-34 at the final break.
With Caleb Hilliard completing a traditional three-point play and Bebermeyer hitting two more baskets, the Trojans pulled into a 43-43 tie with 3:38 left in the game. When Bebermeyer drained a 3-pointer from the wing with 1:27 to go, Hillsboro enjoyed its first lead of the night at 48-47.
Nick Deterding scored for Smoky with 57 seconds left, then Bebermeyer missed a 3-pointer with 26 to go. Smoky?s Cody Piper was then fouled by Nathan Vogel as he scored a layup with 19.5 seconds left; Piper added the bonus free-throw for a four-point margin. Hillsboro?s Jesse Allen followed with a basket in the paint with 12 seconds left. After an immediate Hillsboro timeout, Hilliard fouled Seth Nelson with seven seconds to go. Nelson made both ends of the one-and-one for the final 54-50 margin.
With the win, the Vikings improved to 3-0 in the league and 3-5 overall. Hillsboro fell to 1-7 and 0-2. Bebermeyer scored 14 points to pace HHS, while Deterding led SVHS with 13 and Nelson added 10.