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Hesston puzzle stumps Hillsboro

Swathers take 2 wins from Trojans

Staff writer

The Hillsboro High School basketball teams’ struggles with the Hesston Swathers continued Friday at Hesston, with the Swathers prevailing in both contests. 

The Swather boys left little doubt why they’re the third-ranked team in Class 3A, using a big 20-7 second quarter to down the Trojans, 60-44. 

Opportunity to end seven years of misery against the Swathers knocked for the Trojan girls, but Hillsboro couldn’t get to the door in time. 

The Swathers made sure Hillsboro’s shortcomings wore on, dropping it to 9-6 by surviving a 37-34 scare. 

The Trojans travel to Larned Friday. 

Boys

The last time the Trojans took down the Swathers, Barack Obama was nearing the end of his first term at the White House in 2012.

Hillsboro appeared poised to put an end to its sorrows, building an 18-16 lead after the first quarter behind nearly 50% shooting the first half. 

It wouldn’t last, though, with Hillsboro going down for good the second quarter with Jason Richardson getting on track and Hesston shooting a blistering 60% the first half — 50 for the night. 

Richardson lit the Trojans up for a game-best 24 points, helping Hesston open a 36-25 halftime lead.

It’s been easier said than done for Hillsboro to put together a full 32 minutes of hot shooting, and neither team shot particularly fantastic the second half, with Hillsboro mustering 32% and 40 overall, but 20 from outside. 

Outside Matthew Potucek, who was hampered by foul trouble, scoring a team-high 14 points, Hesston kept the Trojans from getting uncontested shots.

Girls

For the second time in three days, the girls had the unthinkable happen. 

The Trojans survived a close 30-27 call against Smokey Valley, shooting a season-low 15%, despite holding the Vikings to 26.

On Friday, the Swathers were the team that survived, hitting an icy 23% and standout Elise Kaiser shooting 2-for-20 from the floor. 

It was 14 turnovers and the Swathers’ shooting 10-of-12 from the free-throw line that did the Trojans in, even shooting a season-high 35 percent from the floor, and outrebounding Hesston, 35-26. 

Usually when the Swathers and Trojans meet, games have the tendency of short circuiting on Hillsboro quickly. 

That didn’t happen Friday with Hesston jumping out to an 8-4 lead after the first frame. The lead changed hands five times throughout the game, and the Trojans were hot on Hesston’s tail by halftime, down 15-14. 

Teegan Werth and Kinsey Kleiner combined for 26 points, led by Werth’s game-high 16. 

With the game knotted up at 34-34 with under a minute left, Swathers escaped with the close win.

Last modified Feb. 12, 2020

 

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