Drama came in threes for the Hillsboro girls Thursday and Friday, one salvaging the Trojans from impending collapse in a 60-52 win over Moundridge, while an overtime bomb came too late to prevent a 60-57 loss to Lyons.
Hillsboro and Moundridge had far more action at the free-throw line than the 3-point arc in a foul-plagued first half Thursday. The teams shot a combined 44 charities in the first two quarters, with the Trojans taking a 39-34 halftime lead.
By the start of the fourth quarter, the Trojans were comfortably ahead and in control, 53-43.
Then came the drought, nearly six minutes long. Moundridge went on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 53-52.
Seniors Alex Ratzlaff or Tas Sanchez might have been expected to come through at that point for the Trojans; each scored 19 points to tie for scoring honors.
However, sophomore substitute Sienna Kaufman took a pass at the top of the key and had a wide-open shot. Her 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 13 seconds left reignited the Trojans, who clamped down defensively and came away with a 60-52 win.
The only solution Lyons had for Ratzlaff on Friday was the clock, as she scorched the nets for 29 points, with two late-game 3-pointers figuring in the outcome.
The first came with 3 seconds left in regulation and Hillsboro trailing 50-47. Ratzlaff curled around defenders to the top of the key, took a pass, and nailed a trey to send the game to overtime.
Lyons ripped off 5 unanswered points to take control of the extra period, and a free throw with 1.7 seconds left gave them a 60-57 lead.
Ratzlaff took the inbounds pass and launched a desperation shot from about 10 feet behind the half court stripe that ricocheted through the hoop, but it didn’t count. Officials ruled the buzzer sounded before she released the shot.
Counting an opening night win over Inman, the Trojans went 2-1 in the Moundridge tournament.
Hillsboro will play Remington on Thursday at home, and will start 2016 with a rematch against the Lions on Jan. 5 in Lyons.