Trojans upset 7th-ranked Wildcats
The Hillsboro Trojans boys’ basketball team defeated Inman on Thursday and Moundridge on Friday to finish a sweep of the Moundridge Tournament, having already defeated Lyons.
Inman and Moundridge will be in Hillsboro’s substate tournament in March at Berean Academy, and Moundridge was ranked ahead of Hillsboro by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association. The Wildcats were ranked No. 7 and the Trojans No. 10 in 2A.
Trojans hold off Teutons with outside shooting
The Trojans struggled from 2-point range Thursday against Inman, making only 7 of 25 tries. Instead, the team’s 3-point shooting and ball security propelled the Trojans to victory.
Hillsboro struggled at the start of the game, not scoring until Micah Allen hit a corner 3-pointer almost five minutes into the game. Three more 3-pointers by Christian Ratzlaff gave Hillsboro a 12-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, and Hillsboro led the rest of the game.
The score was 23-16 at halftime and 39-33 at the end of the third quarter. The Teutons got as close as two points in the fourth quarter and tried to press the Trojans into turning the ball over, but Weinbrenner re-extended the lead with a driving basket and free throw.
Jordan Faul and Allen hit a pair of corner 3-pointers, extending the lead to 55-47. With less than a minute left, the Teutons started fouling to extend the game. Brett Weinbrenner hit 1 of 2 free throws, Inman hit a 3-pointer, and Weinbrenner again made 1 of 2 free throws to keep a six-point lead.
After a missed Inman 3-pointer and a free throw by Ratzlaff, Hillsboro led 59-52 with 28 second left. On Inman’s final possession, Faul tipped the ball to Weinbrenner, who passed ahead to Allen for a game-ending layup and a 61-52 victory.
Head coach Darrel Knoll said he was most pleased that his team continued to play its game even when they were frustrated about shots not falling. He was also pleased that the Trojans didn’t turn the ball over when Inman used pressure late in the game.
Hillsboro only turned the ball over eight times in the game. They also hit 11 of 29 3-pointers, including many of them from the left corner.
“That’s what they were giving us,” Knoll said. “I think we shot it at the right times.”
M. Allen, 8 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists; C. Ratzlaff, 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals; B. Weinbrenner, 16 points, 4 assists, 2 steals; Jesse Brown, 3 rebounds; J. Faul, 17 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals; Evan Ollenburger, 5 rebounds; Avery Franz, 2 points, 4 rebounds.
Trojans overcome foul trouble against Wildcats
Ratzlaff and Weinbrenner poured in the points while Jesse Brown, Evan Ollenburger, and Avery Franz battled to limit Moundridge post player Hunter Enyart’s scoring.
Weinbrenner hit a pair of early 3-pointers and another jumper to stake Hillsboro to an 8-4 lead early, and a drive and a 3-pointer by Ratzlaff kept the lead for Hillsboro at 13-8. The Wildcats made a run to tie the game at 15, but Weinbrenner and Ratzlaff scored on consecutive drives to give Hillsboro a 19-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter featured four lead changes. Franz got in on the scoring, posting up and scoring on an assist from Weinbrenner. Hillsboro went into halftime with a 29-26 lead.
Ratzlaff hit a pair of 3-pointers and a midrange jumper, Weinbrenner hit a pull-up jumper and a driving layup, and Ollenburger hit a pair of free throws as Hillsboro built its largest lead of the game at 43-33.
The Wildcats cut the lead to 43-39 before Weinbrenner ended the quarter with a driving layup and free throw with 4.7 seconds left to extend the lead to 46-39.
Moundridge made another comeback attempt in the fourth quarter, cutting the Trojans’ lead to one at 49-48 and 51-50. Allen hit a 3-pointer from the corner to lead 54-50.
Brown fouled out trying to block a shot by Enyart, then was assessed a technical foul on top of the shooting foul. Enyart, who finished with 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting, made two of four free throws and Moundridge got the ball back. Hillsboro’s defense turned Moundridge away on the possession, though.
Weinbrenner hit a corner 3-pointer to extend the lead back to 5 points, and Hillsboro got another stop on defense. Moundridge started fouling with 1:24 left in the game, but had so few fouls it took until 45 seconds were left to put Weinbrenner at the free-throw line. Weinbrenner made 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch, and Ratzlaff made both of his free throws as Hillsboro finished the 62-55 victory.
Knoll said he was impressed by how his players reacted to the technical called on Brown.
“We didn’t let that affect us,” he said.
Hillsboro had another strong 3-point shooting game, hitting 8-of-20 from behind the arc, but Knoll said it is important that the team is able to score from midrange and in the paint.
“We don’t want to fall in love with the 3,” he said.
B. Weinbrenner, 27 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists; C. Ratzlaff, 26 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal; A. Franz, 4 points, 1 rebound; M. Allen, 3 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal; E. Ollenburger, 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal; J. Faul, 2 rebounds, 1 steal; J. Brown, 1 assist.
The Hillsboro boys defeated Halstead 46-34 at home Tuesday.