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Hillsboro boys lose overtime crusher to Pratt

Girls fall 33-30, boys drop 61-55 OT crusher

Staff writer

Defeat eluded victory Friday night in Hillsboro with the visiting Pratt Greenbacks taking a pair of wins from the Trojan basketball teams.

More glaring was the fact both games were well within reach for the Trojans had their offense not been in a funk.

Instead, it added up to the girls falling 33-30, while the boys tumbled in overtime, 61-55.

Despite the loss, the girls remain a game above .500 at 8-7 and 2-3 in CKL play, with the boys dropping to 12-3 overall and 4-1 in the league.

Girls

The Trojans did enough defensively to knock off Pratt, holding the Greenbacks to a frosty 22 percent shooting and 33 points; however, Hillsboro’s offensive game never got out of park.

Abby Sechrist scored a game-high 13 points to go along with eight rebounds and six blocked shots, but outside of Sechrist, Hillsboro struggled for production.

Five of the Trojans’ 8 first- quarter points came from Sechrist, and Hillsboro was clinging to an 8-7 lead after one quarter.

Sechrist’s basket giving Hillsboro the lead was the last one that would fall for over 4 minutes

Pratt’s Kaitlyn Rasmussen buried a go-ahead three nearly 2:00 into the second quarter, and the Trojans spent the remainder of the game trying to catch the Greenbacks.

Along with the lead vanishing, so did what Hillsboro had used to stay in front: good ball movement for high percentage shots in the paint.

Even shooting a meager 17 percent the second quarter and just 23 for the game, the Trojans kept the Greenbacks from hopping away, down 17-14 at halftime.

The Trojans had numerous opportunities in the second half to overtake the lead with the frigid shooting that hampered Hillsboro the second quarter striking Pratt the third, going 3-of-19.

But Hillsboro knotted the game just twice and still trailed 23-21 to start the fourth quarter.

The Greenbacks shot a woeful 4-for-18 at the free-throw line the fourth quarter, but still managed to maintain the lead.

“I thought our defense did some good things, we held them to 33 points, offensively, we just didn’t move very well, we were pretty stagnant,” a sullen Trojan coach Nathan Hiebert said. “The first half when we attacked the basket, we got something positive, like getting to the free-throw line, a layup, or scoring in the paint.

“We didn’t get that enough and give it to Pratt, I thought they played fairly physical on the defensive end and it affected us.”

The icy shooting made for a rebounding battle, also decided by three, 43-40, and 25-18 offensively, with Pratt outscoring Hillsboro 6-3 in second chance points.

Boys

The Trojans got all they wanted from the Greenbacks from the get-go, unable to extend a lead any further than a possession.

Hillsboro has been at its best this year when the trio of Elias Werth, Darian Ratzlaff, and Wes Shaw are on.

Only Ratzlaff was, scoring a season and game-high 27 points, while Werth and Shaw combined for just 19 points.

With five lead changes and two ties in the first quarter, Pratt’s Lane Studer, who finished with a team-high 17 points, flushed a buzzer-beating three to put the Greenbacks in front, 13-11, to start the second quarter.

Hillsboro faced a deficit as great as 23-16 the first half, until Ratzlaff capped a 10-2 Trojan run with one of three threes with just over 1:00 left in the first half and regain the lead, 26-25.

The lead held for about 20 seconds and Pratt was up at the break, 30-26, behind a blistering 62 percent the second quarter from the floor and 49 on the night.

The Greenbacks neutralized Shaw the second half, keeping him out of the paint and Werth on ice, limiting him to a modest 1-for-11 from the floor.

That was instrumental in Pratt staying in control the third quarter until Ratzlaff drained his second three with 1:38 left for the 38-37 lead to start fourth quarter.

The seesaw battle continued the final quarter of regulation with the lead changing hands five more times.

Pratt had a chance to win it late in the game, but the potential winning shot drew iron to send the game into a bonus session, knotted at 51-51.

The Greenbacks put the game out of the reach, hitting a perfect 2-of-2 from the floor and 5-for-6 at the free-throw line, while the Trojans could only muster 33 percent the extra frame and 36 for the game.

Pratt only managed 31 percent from outside and 55 at the free-throw line, but the five of 16 from behind the arc came at pivotal times to thwart the Trojans pulling away.

“This was just a physical game and we didn’t match up the way we should have,” a disgusted Trojan coach Darrel Knoll said. “Defensively, we were a step behind all night, and we missed several transition baskets, it’s a bad one to lose.”

Hillsboro travels Friday to Kingman for a pair with the Eagles.

Tuesday results

A long trip west turned out bittersweet Tuesday night for the Trojan basketball teams at Lyons.

The boys, behind a balanced scoring attack from the trio of Darian Ratzlaff, Elias Werth, and Wes Shaw had little trouble disposing of Lyons, 60-31.

A team that relies heavily on its outside shooting, the Trojans, instead, did their damage inside.

The victory lifts Hillsboro to 13-3 overall and 5-1 in CKL play.

In girls’ action, the Trojans, already with a victory over Lyons under their belt from December, never could quite pull away from the Lions.

Clinging to a 38-36 lead to start the fourth quarter, Lyons outscored the Trojans, 18-12, for a 54-47 win.

The loss squares Hillsboro at 8-8 overall and 2-4 in league play.

Last modified Feb. 7, 2018

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