Boys survive, girls stumble in Trojan War
A pair of top 10 matchups highlighted the card Friday night in Gypsum with Hillsboro facing Southeast of Saline in the fall finale of the 2021-’22 basketball season.
The northern Trojans have made a practice of being a nuisance for both southern Trojan teams, but Hillsboro’s top-ranked Class 2A boys were able to close out 2021 with a 66-57 win over Class 3A’s 10th ranked team.
Hillsboro’s girls kept it close; however, 10th ranked Southeast of Salina fouled up Class 2A’s sixth-ranked Trojans’ bid to close out 2021 on a winning note with Hillsboro suffering a 49-36 setback.
The boys stay unbeaten at 6-0 while the girls drop to 4-2.
Hillsboro coach Nathan Hiebert will be quick to tell you his team’s not brimming with experience.
SES is well-seasoned, and that, along with 16 more attempts at the free throw line and all five Hillsboro starters in foul trouble, proved costly.
Hillsboro had SES doubled over after the first quarter at 12-6, and had a 19-16 lead by the break while shooting 36% from the field. But foul trouble bogged Hillsboro down the second half.
Despite hitting south of 30% from the floor, SES used 15-for-22 shooting from the line to keep Hillsboro playing from behind.
SES put the game away the fourth quarter, outscoring the Trojans 22-10.
Savannah Shahan scored a team-high 10 points to pace Hillsboro. Three other starters added eight apiece. A meager two points was all Hiebert could get from his bench with two of his starters fouling out and the other three one away.
Outside a rugged first half in the opener at Sterling, Hillsboro’s boy have had little trouble with anyone this season.
The Trojans got their toughest test of the season in SES, but a balanced scoring attack, spearheaded by a game-high 18 points from Frank Wichert, helped Hillsboro stave off defeat.
Brekyn Ratzlaff and Matt Potucek combined for 28, with 14 points each, and Grayson Ratzlaff added 12.
Hillsboro wasted little time jumping on SES, sprinting to a 22-13 lead after the first quarter. They were in the driver’s seat by halftime, 39-37, courtesy of a 26-15 second quarter.
Hillsboro created havoc on defense, forcing 16 SES mistakes, which led to 20 points, with both teams shooting nearly 50% from the field.
Hillsboro shot 56% from the free throw line, but 14-for-25 was 20 more shots than SES got.
The Trojans also beat SES narrowly in rebounding, 31-30, with Hillsboro’s 11 offensive rebounds leading to a 14-5 edge in second-chance points.
Last modified Dec. 23, 2021