Berean eliminates Trojans from postseason play
Hillsboro girls’season ends on 50-28 loss
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Through 12 losses for the Hillsboro girls’ basketball team, a good share of them all had the same things that proved fatal.
The Trojans went toe-to-toe with the Central Kansas League’s best for one half, only to have games slip away the other, shooting 20 percent or less, and going away from what had kept them in contention.
It all came back to bite the Trojans one last time at an inopportune moment Monday night at Berean in the first round of the Hillsboro substate.
Unfortunately, instead of two quarters, Hillsboro got three, being outscored 41-19 after leading 11-9 heading into the second quarter.
The Trojans bowed out of the postseason, falling to the Warriors, 50-28.
Playing their first game in over a week, Hillsboro showed no signs of rust, building a 9-5 lead just over midway through the first quarter.
“The girls came out with intensity and focus and what I thought got us easy opportunities,” a somber Trojan coach Nathan Hiebert said. “The second quarter was still good, but the third quarter, we just dropped off. Berean’s pressure did a good job of forcing us into mistakes.”
The smothering Warrior defense woke up the second quarter, though, after Trinity Malm sank one of two free throws 45 seconds into the second quarter, putting Hillsboro up, 12-9.
That’s when the game slowly began unraveling on the Trojans, dipping to 11 percent, going over 5:00 without a basket, and kissing the lead goodbye.
Teegan Werth scored a team-high 10 points, pulling Hillsboro to 18-16 by halftime, draining a free throw with 14 seconds left.
The Trojans simply couldn’t get the lid off their basket the second half, only scoring off free-throws and a mere pair of field goals for 21 percent shooting.
Hillsboro was only down 25-18 by the time Werth scored the Trojans’ only points of the third quarter from the free-throw line with 2:05 left.
Seven points turned to 31-18 by the start of the final quarter, leaving the Trojans in grave danger of elimination.
Playing her final game, Sienna Kaufman supplied Hillsboro its pair of field goals the second half, canning one of her two threes to shrink the lead to 33-23 with 5:51 to go.
With the game well out of reach and Berean up 42-28, Kaufman scored Hillsboro’s final points of the year with 2:52 remaining.
Senior Abby Sechrist closed out her career with 2 points and game-highs of 7 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
Despite ending the season at 8-12 and bidding farewell to Kaufman and Sechrist, the young corps of returners keep Hiebert optimistic for next year.
“I was proud of our seniors, Abby and Sienna have put in a lot of time and effort in and you can tell it’s meant a lot to them,” he said. “That’s what hurts, I don’t like seeing seniors’ seasons end this way.
“We’ve got a young team and we’ve got some girls that gained a lot of good experience. That’s a good thing to build on. The underclassmen have seen what it takes to succeed at this level, hopefully, we can continue to improve on that.”
Last modified March 1, 2018