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Cowgirls corral Lady Trojans for 3rd

Goodland tops Hillsboro, 55-50, in Trojan Classic

After suffering a tough loss Friday night of 49-45 to eventual Trojan Classic champions Thomas More Prep, Trojan basketball coach Nathan Hiebert told his Hillsboro High School girls team that if they played the same way on Saturday, they’d see the same results.

The loss Friday night didn’t light a fire under the Trojans Saturday in the third-place game against the sixth-seeded Goodland Cowgirls.

The Lady Trojans tumbled, 55-50, for 1-2 finish in the tournament. The two losses drop Hillsboro to 10-3 on the year.

“I was disappointed in how our first group started off,” Hiebert said.

“Lack of toughness. I said that last night (Friday) that’s where we lacked, that’s what our challenge was today and we just didn’t come out and do it.

“We were down quite a bit early and we gave them easy stuff. Goodland just had tough girls. They’re thick; they have upper body contact. Our girls don’t.”

Few were quite as tough as the Cowgirl duo of Ashley Archer and M’Lynn Hinger, who combined to drop 30 points on the Trojans with Hinger hauling in an impressive 17 rebounds — 13 offensively — and Archer’s game-high 16 points.

Hiebert used his entire bench, looking for players who could meet his challenges.

The little-used trio of Maci Schlehuber, Christina Morris, and Amy Bartel were the ones providing a spark.

Tena Loewen scored a team-high 15 points while grabbing 8 rebounds, and Schlehuber and Addie Lackey combined for 24 points with 12 each.

“The three girls I was the most proud of during our run were the three girls who had the least experience. They came in and gave us a spark,” Hiebert said.

Whether it was not being able to play for the Classic title as the top seed or the Lady Trojans’ continuing problems, it probably didn’t help that Hillsboro shot only 1-for-8 from the floor in the first quarter while turning over the ball five times.

The Cowgirls jumped in front 11-4 after one quarter, building a lead as great as 13-4 through the first half.

Schlehuber’s 4 points and a basket by Loewen helped to pull Hillsboro within 1 at 19-18 with just less than 2 minutes 30 seconds remaining before the break.

A pair of free throws from Becky Faber gave Hillsboro a 20-19 lead 45 seconds later.

The lead changed hands one more time before 4 points by Goodland in the waning 30 seconds made for a 25-22 game at the break with the Lady Trojans making a modest 6-for-21 from the floor.

Baskets by Loewen and Allie Faul in the opening minutes of the second half again regained the lead for the Trojans before the Cowgirls started to catch on to their schemes.

Hillsboro’s trap defense allowed open shots and Goodland took advantage of high percentage shots to begin taking control of the game, and shot 55 percent from the floor in the second half — and 40 for the night.

The Cowgirls outscored the Lady Trojans, 17-12, to construct a 42-34 lead closing out the third quarter.

With 8 more points to start the final period, Schlehuber got the Trojans as close as 45-42 with just over 5 minutes remaining.

Hillsboro was never able to inch any closer than 3 and Goodland held on for the win.

“We let too many opportunities slip by,” Hiebert said. “We just seemed satisfied, hoping it would happen.”

The Lady Trojans get a week off to regroup before returning to action Tuesday at Hesston.

Last modified Jan. 27, 2011

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