The Hillsboro High School boys’ basketball team lost 48-43 to Moundridge in the finals of sub-state Saturday in Sedgwick.
The Trojans trailed most of the game but with a flurry of offensive rebounds in the third quarter a Shaq Thiessen free throw put Hillsboro up 29-28 with 4 minutes, 34 seconds left in the period. Moundridge regained the lead, but Christian Ratzlaff was able to score on a reverse layup off an offensive rebound to beat the buzzer and put the Trojans within a point 34-33 at the end of the quarter.
After being held scoreless in the third quarter by Hillsboro senior forward Jesse Allen, Moundridge star guard Trey Unrau went to work in the fourth.
With a Josh Wiebe putback, Hillsboro led by 1 until Unrau unleashed an NBA-range 3-pointer over Allen to put Moundridge up 2, 37-35, with 4:49 left in the game. Unrau proceeded to knock down six consecutive free throws, drawing fouls with Hillsboro in the bonus.
Hillsboro continued to fight in the contest. Ratzlaff hit a corner 3-pointer off an inbounds play to put the Trojans within 2 points, 41-39. Wiebe followed on the next possession with an offensive rebound and a putback to tie the game at 41 with 2:30 left in the game.
However, Alexander Otte scored four times in the final 2:30, a layup and three trips to the line, to put the game away for Moundridge.
The 5-point defeat was especially tough for Allen in his last game as a Trojan.
“Jesse has put in a lot to everything,” head coach Darrell Knoll said. “We could have easily won this one tonight.”
Knoll was pleased with the group effort against Unrau; Allen, Brett Weinbrenner, Evan Ollenburger, and Luke Moore all took turns guarding the dynamic Moundridge guard. Even though Unrau scored 20 points, 10 of those points came from the free-throw line.
What was the killer for Hillsboro was allowing Otte to score 12 points and Alex Bumgarner to score 6 points.
“You have to give it to Moundridge’s supporting cast,” Knoll said. “They made the plays they had.”
The effort of Moundridge role players and four turnovers in the second quarter were the main reasons Knoll pointed to for the loss.
The silver lining for Hillsboro is that all of the Trojans except Allen, Moore, Devin Dick, and Brandon Rooker should be back next season. Two underclassman, sophomore Ratzlaff and junior Wiebe had two of their best games against Moundridge. They were the top two scorers for Hillsboro with 13 and 10 points respectively. Ratzlaff, especially, knocked down big shots down the stretch to keep Hillsboro in the game. Wiebe did his work on the boards, securing 8 rebounds, 5 offensive. Ratzlaff was second on the team with 6 rebounds.
“I’m really proud of what we did this year,” Knoll said. “The guys gelled really well. They’re a fun group to coach. We’ll be very competitive next year.”
The Hillsboro High School boys basketball team survived a 48-44 win over Remington Thursday in Sedgwick.
With less than 2 minutes remaining in the game Hillsboro led 45-37 after a Christian Ratzlaff layup. But, the Broncos had battled all game and had yet to throw in the towel. Forward Tim Wedel hit a layup, with Hillsboro center Josh Wiebe contesting the shot, trying not to pick up his fifth foul. After two Hillsboro free throw misses, Caleb Cherryholmes responded with two made free throws.
Shaq Thiessen knocked down a free throw on the ensuing possession and the Trojans led by five, 46-41. With time running out, Remington resorted to fouling to stop the clock. Wiebe could knock down either of two free throws to ice the game.
After the second miss, Jesse Allen corralled the wayward offensive rebound but was tip-toeing along the sideline and had to throw the ball behind his back up court to avoid going out of bounds. Remington intercepted the pass and quickly rushed up court. Kyle Regier, normally a post player, caught the ball near the corner of the court, stepped back behind the 3-point arc, and launched a prayer that swished through the net.
Suddenly an 8-point lead was now a 2-point advantage, 46-44 with 2.3 seconds left. On the inbounds, Trojan point guard, Brett Weinbrenner was wrapped up, leaving 1.6 seconds on the clock. Weinbrenner calmly stepped to the line and knocked down the first free throw. After a timeout he canned the second. In a last ditch effort, Remington tried to lob the ball down the court but Thiessen intercepted the pass while fighting off a Bronco player.
Defense was a key for the Trojans all game. Knoll gave credit to Allen and Ratzlaff for their performance against forward Caleb Tanner, who scored 11 points for the Broncos. Knoll praised the job by Weinbrenner on Cherryholmes who scored 11 points but only 4 through three quarters.
Thiessen was the leading scorer for Hillsboro with 13 points and he was tied for the team lead with 6 rebounds. Weinbrenner was second in points with 10 and he led the team in assists with 3. Allen scored 9 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and led the team in steals with 4. Ratzlaff scored 8 points. Wiebe scored 4 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.