The Hillsboro High School girls’ basketball team placed fourth in the Trojan Classic over the weekend. They defeated Republic County in the first round Jan. 21, but lost to Riley County on Thursday and Hesston on Saturday.
The third-place game against Hesston was a close, back-and-forth game for most of the way.
Hillsboro trailed 17-10 at the end of the first quarter, but came back to take a lead at halftime after a run when Danae Bina made a corner 3-pointer and four free throws. Hillsboro led 26-23 at halftime.
Hesston came back early in the third quarter, taking a six-point lead several times. The Swathers led 39-33 at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter began with Tara Proffitt and Alex Ratzlaff hitting 3-pointers from the same spot in the right corner on consecutive possessions to tie the game at 39.
Hesston then went on its own run to take a 49-39 lead with about three minutes left in the game. Hesston eventually pushed its lead to 57-42 before a 3-pointer by Bina cut the deficit to 12. The Swathers won third place, 57-45.
Coach Nathan Hiebert said he was pleased with the team’s energy after its semifinal loss against Riley County. Hesston entered the tournament ranked No. 1 in 3A, and only lost to Wamego, who was ranked No. 1 in 4A Division 1.
Hiebert said the team was hurt by mistakes made on the little things and unforced errors. He also said the team gave up some easy baskets to start the second half, but he added that Hesston has some talented post players in Cami and Caylee Richardson.
“If we play together, I think we can play tough,” he said. “We’ve got to put together a full game.”
Hillsboro’s next game will be Tuesday at Sterling after having this week off. He said it will be good to have a break for players to heal from injuries that kept them from playing their best.
The Trojans got off to a quick start in the semifinals against Riley County on Thursday, jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. But after the Falcons tied the game at 12 in the second quarter, the Trojans never led again.
Riley County led 19-14 at halftime. The Trojans tied the game at 19 just over a minute into the third quarter with baskets by Ratzlaff and Bina and a free throw by Lackey.
Riley County quickly retook the lead with a 3-pointer, one of seven the Falcons made in the game. The deficit gradually increased to 12 in the fourth quarter. The Trojans didn’t get closer than six points the rest of the way, losing 47-37.