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Hillsboro girls survive first-round scare

Staff writer

It certainly won’t go down as one of the Trojan girls basketball team’s best games of the season, but it sometimes goes that way when it’s win or go home. 

And Hillsboro hasn’t had the easiest time picking up wins in the postseason, going 0-4 in first round games until last year. 

The Trojans did just enough to avert a season-ending loss Monday night, hosting the Herington Railroaders in the first-round of the Herington sub-state. 

The fourth-seeded Trojans stayed alive at 13-8 while the fifth-seed Railroaders ended the year at 11-10. 

At a time when Hillsboro’s top two scorers, Teegan Werth, and Kinsey Kleiner, couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean, it was Tuesday Weisbeck and Reese Hefley coming to the Trojans’ rescue. 

Weisbeck scored a team-high 9 points, and Hefley buried two threes to give the Trojans a much needed boost with Kleiner and Werth going a combined 2-for-26 from the field and 10 points. 

The Trojans already did the impossible earlier in the season, winning while shooting 15 percent from the floor, and it wasn’t much better against Herington with both teams finishing shooting under 25 percent. 

That was part of the reason Hillsboro was only up 6-2 after the first quarter and 18-15 by the break. 

The two teams couldn’t take of the ball either with the Railroaders committing 4 more turnovers than the Trojans’ 14, to make matters worse.

The second half was downright miserable with both teams’ baskets covered by lids. 

Despite shooting a ghastly 18 percent the second half and Herington hitting 16, the Trojans were hanging on for dear life heading into the fourth quarter with a 23-20 lead. 

Hillsboro’s defense saved the day then, holding the Railroaders without a field goal the final 6:28 of the game after Herington had a 24-23 lead. 

The Railroaders still had a 26-24 lead with 2:00 left, but Hillsboro’s 6-2 run in the waning minutes were enough to overcome Herington’s 8-7 quarter. 

Both teams hit three field goals the second half with Herington finishing with 21 percent shooting and Hillsboro 23. 

The Trojans also narrowly beat the Railroaders rebounding, 38-35, with Hillsboro getting a 9-6 edge offensively. 

Kleiner and Weisbeck combined for 8 with four each. 

The Trojans face top-seed Chase County Thursday in the early game of the semifinals. 

The Bulldogs put the brakes on Marion’s season with a 54-25 victory.

Boys roll past Marion

Tuesday night’s 69-32 win over Marion was all Trojans, outside of the Warriors pulling within four points early in the game.

The win sends them to the second round of substate Friday where the Trojans will face third-seed Chase County.

The Trojans built a 24-10 lead after the first quarter and had Marion blown out of the gym by halftime, up 42-16.

Breckyn Ratzlaff scored a game-high 16 points, including 4-of-5 from three, Matthew Potucek added 13 points, and Carson Linens chipped in 11 coming off the bench.

The Trojans’ defense was a nightmare for Marion, forcing 21 turnovers, including 19 steals.

Hillsboro shot a blistering 52% from the field, including 54% the second half and 38% from 3-point range.

Trojan coach Darrel Knoll pulled his starters midway through the third quarter and the reserves stretched Hillsboro’s lead as far as 42 before the final.

Last modified March 4, 2020

 

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