Lady Trojans escape disaster with 45-42 victory versus Remington
All the play was designed to do was to simply get the ball inside near the basket.
Instead Allie Faul decided to make it interesting.
With Monday night’s first round of the Marion sub-state game between sixth-seeded Hillsboro High School and third-seeded Remington threatening to go to overtime, the Lady Broncos got more than they bargained for.
After trailing by as many as 10 to start the second half, the Lady Broncos’ smothering defense allowed them to knot the game at 42 with just more than 30 seconds left in one team’s season.
While Trojan sharpshooter Faul has come up big often this season, she’s not likely to be forgotten at Remington for a while.
Her cold-blooded three with less than five seconds left kicked the Broncos out of the playoffs, and kept the 11-9 Trojans alive.
Hillsboro moves on to Thursday’s second round game at Marion against the seventh-seeded Sedgwick Lady Cardinals, who outlasted second-seed Hutchinson Trinity, 33-31.
“I was just hoping it was going in,” a shocked Faul said of her heroic shot. “I’m not sure we really even had a (play set up). We were supposed to be high-low, but I’m not sure if there was anything we were supposed to do. I was just relieved when it went in.”
Faul scored 14 points in the victory with 12 coming from behind the arc on 4-of-6 shooting.
The Trojans gave Remington two chances to change the outcome in the final minute.
Hillsboro, leading 42-41, could have been in trouble with turnover and fouls that sent Remington point guard Quin Tillotson to the free-throw line.
However, in the end the only thing that could have stopped the Trojans were the Trojans.
Hillsboro opened the game with a 14-5 run, hitting a perfect 9-of-9 in the first quarter and 14-of-17 in the first half.
The hot shooting led to a 20-11 lead after the opening frame.
The Trojans scored at will by attacking the basket and getting the ball inside to Dakota Kaufman, who scored a game-high 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting, and a flawless 6-of-6 in the first half.
Faul’s three with just more than five minutes left in the first half helped Hillsboro construct a 27-15 lead before the Broncos scored five straight points to cut the lead to 27-22.
Kaufman scored on three consecutive possessions to push the Trojans’ lead back to double digits before Hannah Brown flushed a three to cut the deficit to 33-27 at the break.
“The first half I thought we were aggressively attacking the basket,” said Trojan coach Nathan Hiebert. “We were taking it to them the way we were supposed to and my fear was that it came to easy.
Part of the problem was the Broncos picked many of those passes off, especially in the third quarter where they forced eight turnovers while suffocating Kaufman inside.
Hillsboro elected to run a of time off the clock in the second half, only attempting and allowing nine shots.
Still, the Trojans were up 39-33 to start the fourth quarter, despite 2-of-5 shooting from the field.
Remington opened the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run, tying the game at 39 on Shelby Beougher’s three-pointer with 4:30 left in the game.
Tiffany Rooker pushed the Trojan lead back to 42-39 with 3:29 to go, making the first of two free throws.
Hillsboro’s defense has been huge all year, but never more than the final three minutes when it kept the Broncos from taking the lead.
Remington had a chance to take the lead after a traveling call, but Kaufman ruined that by intercepting a pass.
Tillotson would have given the Broncos their first and only lead of the game had she been able to make both free throws instead of one.
The Trojans ran 35 of the final 40 seconds off the clock, trying to get the ball inside before Faul buried the winning shot.
Was the game-winner what Hiebert drew up?
“Not exactly,” he said. “We were running a play where we wanted Allie to come through to the base-line and we were trying to get the ball to the hole, but sometimes it’s just a matter of getting it done.
Thursday’s action is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Marion.
With a victory, the Trojans will play either top-seeded Southeast of Saline or fifth-seeded Halstead Saturday at 6 p.m. to decide who moves on to the state tournament at Hutchinson.