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Hillsboro salvages fourth, fifth places at Trojan classic

Staff writer

Hillsboro High School basketball teams closed out the 2016 Trojan Classic tournament Saturday in Hillsboro with mixed results.

In girls’ action, frigid shooting combined with Riley County’s athleticism spelled doom for the Lady Trojans, who had to settle for fourth place after a 46-34 loss.

Overall, the second-seeded Lady Trojans posted a 1-2 finish, while dropping to 8-4 overall, notching their win Tuesday in the opening round against Holcomb, 41-34.

Hillsboro’s chance to play for the title collapsed Friday in the semifinals with state-ranked and eventual tournament champ Hesston prevailing 56-37.

Shooting a meager 23 percent from the floor, Hillsboro’s lone bright spot came from Tassanee Sanchez, who led all scorers with 20 points.

“I love playing in this tournament,” Lady Trojan coach Nathan Hiebert said. “We get some solid teams here that help us improve down the stretch. We had opportunities, but the shots weren’t there.”

The boys secured fifth place and upped their record to 9-3, buffaloing Republic County, 49-33.

The Trojans’held the Buffaloes to a blustery 26 percent shooting and without a field goal the entire fourth quarter, while using a 19-2 run and a perfect 10-10 at the free throw line to finish the game.

Hillsboro benefited from Austin Cross’ double-double for a game-high 18 points and 12 rebounds to go along with three blocks.

Freshman Darian Ratzlaff contributed greatly, coming off the bench to help Hillsboro outscore Republic County’s bench 14-2 and shoot 40 percent for the game.

The Trojans dropped their opening game to Sunrise Academy 59-48, but bounced back Friday to top Riley County, 61-52.

“Offensively, we were just off today,” coach Darrel Knoll said. “We’re a good shooting team, but we shot poorly and stayed ahead. We’re fine defensively and happy to be where we are right now.”

Last modified Jan. 28, 2016

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