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Staff writer

Power went out with 24 seconds left in the first quarter of the men’s varsity basketball game Friday between Marion and Goessel.

Goessel had a slight lead over Marion 14-11, but the game was postponed until 3 p.m. Dec. 17 in Goessel.

Girls teams played before the blackout. Both struggled in the first half, with the Bluebirds leading,14-12.

Grace Hett hit a three-pointer for Marion to grab a one-point lead in the third period, but Goessel outscored the visitors 15-3 and led by as many as 11 points.

The Warriors cut the lead to three early in the fourth quarter, but Goessel responded by extending its lead to a final score of 41-33.

Cheyenne Sawyer scored 12, and Jaicee Griffin added 11 with Riley Graber contributing 9 points for the Bluebirds.

Calli Burkholder and Grace Hett each scored 11 points for Marion.

The Bluebirds committed 17 turnovers and forced Marion into 19 turnovers.

Glaring advantages for the Bluebirds were successful free throws. Goessel hit 65%, and Marion connected on only 25% of its free throws.

“We got to the foul line 19 times but only made 5,” Marion coach Jason Hett said. “This group will continue to get better each day and improve in all areas. I like their effort and attitude.”

Marion and Goessel both have four-day classic tournaments this week that will conclude Saturday.

Centre falls to Wakefield

Both of Centre’s teams lost their opening home games Friday against Wakefield. Both teams started several inexperienced players.

Nick Krch opened boys’ play with two consecutive baskets, the second one on a steal. The Cougars continued in the lead almost the entire game, surging ahead, 36-26, early in the fourth quarter.

Centre’s shooting turned cold, however, and Wakefield crept back to tie the game, 36-36, with 1:45 remaining. The Jets scored another four points to win,40-36.

Krch led Centre’s scoring with 13 points, followed by Robert Spohn, 9, and Gentri Holub, 8.

The girls struggled against an aggressive Jets team. They held their own for a few quarters, trailing by five points at halftime, 18-13, but a 17-2 scoring deficit in the third quarter allowed Wakefield to pull ahead in the second half and win, 42-22.

Hailey Barton was Centre’s leading scorer with 8 points, followed by Jenaya Plett, 7.

“After a slow start found us trailing in the first and midway through the second, I was pleased with the way we fought back into the game at half,” coach Alan Stahlecker said.

The Cougars are playing this week in a pre-season tournament at Herington.

Hillsboro girls win, boys lose

A pair of defending Class 2A state champions both lost in season openers Friday night in Hillsboro with the Trojans taking on the Sterling Black Bears. 

Graduation took its toll on the champion Trojan boys team and the Sterling girls. 

Hillsboro split the doubleheader with the Trojan girls exacting eight years of revenge on Sterling, 44-18, while the Bears hung on in the boys nightcap, 66-60. 

The Trojans will be in action this week in the Moundridge preseason tournament with games against Inman, playing host to the Wildcats on Thursday.

The Obama administration was in the District of Columbia the last time when the Trojan girls tasted victory against the Black Bears. 

The series has been dominated by Sterling since the Trojans prevailed in the sub-state final on March 6, 2014. 

The Black Bears aren’t the force they have been in the past, though Sterling was ranked one higher than the ninth-ranked Trojans in the preseason. 

Girls coach Micah Ratzlaff got off to a fast start, and Hillsboro wasted little time exploding for a commanding 19-0 lead after the first quarter. 

Savannah Shahan and Zaylee Werth stung the Bears for a combined 26 points with Shahan tallying a game-high 14. 

Kori Arnold added 13 points off the bench despite the Trojans managing a cool 29% for the game. 

“The girls played hard and did some really good things,” Ratzlaff said. “Our length really frustrated them, and we took care of the ball. We didn’t shoot it very well, which we’ll improve on.”

It’s not often you’ll come out on top shooting less than 30% from the floor, but it can be done if you force 29 turnovers. 

That kept Sterling from ever threatening, trailing 25-4 at halftime and shooting a ghastly 7% from the floor in the first half, 23% overall. 

The Trojan boys bagged a state title earlier this year, but the Black Bears have made it a habit of being a pesky opponent for coach Darrel Knoll. 

It’s a new season, but Hillsboro’s luck hasn’t changed with having its hands full with Sterling.

The Trojans hardly got off to a hot start, shooting an icy 24% the first quarter while Sterling extended a 9-8 lead to double up the Trojans at the break, 34-17. 

Brekyn Ratzlaff scored a game-high 26 points, but he was ice-cold from outside, with 10-for-12 coming from the free-throw line.

Lincoln Wichert asserted himself offensively and defensively, scoring 10 points and making a game-high 4 steals. 

Sterling stretched its lead as far 27 late in the third quarter, and the Trojans were down 53-30 heading into the final

stretch. 

Hillsboro shot nearly 50% the second half, rallying furiously for a 30-13 fourth quarter. But playing from behind took too much steam.

“I was proud of the fact that we regrouped at halftime and battled to the end,” Knoll said. “We shot the ball better, especially down the stretch, and we were able to get enough stops to cut the lead to 6 and had the ball. We had a couple good looks but did not connect, but at least we gave ourselves a chance to get the win.

“We will learn from this loss and clean up a few things defensively, and we will get more comfortable shooting the ball. Also, we have to be tougher on the boards.”

Hillsboro will be on the road Friday in Moundridge to play Lyons.

Warriors working on chemistry

Peabody-Burns Warriors boys and girls lost their season opener Friday against Central Christian Academy.

The boys barely lost, 43-37, while the girls, who did not field a team last year, lost 50-9.

The Warriors will travel to Marais des Cygnes for a tournament this week.

“We are continuing to work on chemistry on the court as we have a quick turnaround going into the tournament,” girls coach Austin Weaver said.

Staff writers Delbert Peters, Rowena Plett, and Ryan Richter contributed to this story.

Last modified Dec. 8, 2022

 

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