Hillsboro goes 1-1 against Sterling
Boys win, Black Bear-riddle remains unsolved for girls
One thing that’s been impossible to come by this year for anyone other than the Trojan basketball team’s opponents has been a sweep.
Outside tournament play, the Trojan teams haven’t won on the same night since last year.
Hillsboro salvaged another split Friday at home, with the boys using a quick start to down the Sterling Black Bears, 72-52.
The Black Bears stretched their record against the Hillsboro girls to 5-0 since 2014 with a frustrating 58-28 defeat.
The boys’ victory pushes their mark to 8-5 on the year, while the girls fell to 3-10.
The Trojans face a stiff challenge at home Friday against Hesston.
The opening minute was all it took the game to short-circuit on the Trojans, with a trio of Hillsboro’s 38 turnovers sparking a 14-0 run by the Black Bears early in the contest.
A 9-5 stretch to close the first quarter and a 9-4 fourth quarter were as good as it got for Hillsboro the remainder of the game.
In one of the Trojans toughest losses on the year, Sterling even went ice-cold the second quarter, shooting 15 percent— 27 for the game —while committing 21 turnovers.
“Friday’s game got away from us before we started,” a frustrated coach Nathan Hiebert said. “Sterling came out with more intensity, better execution, and seemed with more purpose.”
The Trojans’ shooting wasn’t much worse than Sterling’s, going 8-for-31 for 26 percent, however, Hillsboro’s mistakes allowed the Black Bears 42 more shots.
Half of Hillsboro’s turnovers came in the first half, helping Sterling to a 33-15 halftime lead.
The Black Bears whipped the Trojans rebounding also, 50-34, with Sterling grabbing offensively.
Scoring summary: Teegan Werth, 12 points; Kinsey Kleiner, 9; Jessica Saunders, 5; Addie Berens, 2; Emersyn Funk,1.
Friday’s nightcap had the same start the early game had, but it was the Trojans sprinting to a 19-6 lead after the first quarter.
Sterling caught fire the second quarter, particularly Tyus Wilson, who dropped a quartet of threes, and a game-high 20 points on Hillsboro.
“They got hot the second quarter and hit some tough shots,” Trojan coach Darrel Knoll said. “We got cold and had several good looks, we just didn’t make them, and we got a little slow with our ball movement.”
The Black Bears’ 55 percent shooting the second quarter took what was a 14-point Trojan lead for nearly half of the first 16:00 down to 28-22 at halftime with a 16-9 flurry.
The Trojans spent much of the third quarter trying to find the same groove they opened the game with, suffering through their roughest shooting on the night— 37 percent.
Sterling pulled as close as 41-38, but key shots from the Trojans Hillsboro in front.
Darian Ratzlaff erupted for 12 of his team-high 18 points in the final 7:00 of the contest, supplying nearly half of Hillsboro’s 25 fourth-quarter points.
Scoring summary: Ratzlaff, 18; Wes Shaw, 11; Caleb Rempel, 11; Brooks Gardner, 9; Jorge Hanschu, 6; Avery Unruh, 5; Caleb Potucek, 4; Matthew Potucek, 3; Grayson Ratzlaff, 3; Dillon Boldt, 2.