Hillsboro swept by Indians
Hillsboro basketball is in dire need of confidence and momentum.
Time is running out for both teams, with two games left in the regular season.
The Trojans capped off a 1-3 week with both teams falling at home to Larned on Friday.
The girls are in what could be the easiest part of their schedule, with three straight games against sub-.500 teams. The Indians would have none of it, though, dropping Hillsboro to 4-13 with a 51-37 loss.
The boys had a 12th victory within reach, but Larned survived a 62-59 overtime thriller, knocking Hillsboro to 11-6.
The Trojans travel Friday to Lyons, before closing out the regular season Tuesday at home against Nickerson.
In each of Hillsboro’s 12 prior losses, the team has gotten at least one quarter that wipes out any chance of staying within striking distance.
With the Trojans’ inability to overcome double-digit deficits, the game was all but over in the first eight minutes with Larned’s 14-point lead the difference in the game.
Kinsey Kleiner finished with a team-high 16 points. Her basket nearly 40 seconds into action gave the Trojans their only lead, but it was the sole basket they scored for eight minutes.
Teegan Werth added 13 points, but she and Kleiner accounted for all but two of Hillsboro’s 12-first half points to still trail by 14 at the break, 26-12.
The Indians built a 40-21 lead, but Hillsboro mounted a small comeback in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, pulling to 41-28.
Despite outscoring Larned 16-11 the fourth quater, the Trojans never got within single-digits, going 1-for-11 on 3-pointers.
Scoring summary: Kleiner, 16; Werth, 13; Dani Klein, 2; Emersyn Funk, 2; Mallory Ediger, 2; Tuesday Weisbeck, 2.
Wes Shaw was ready to impose his will on the Larned Indians, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
Shaw bullied the Indians for a game-high 23 points, and pulled down 14 rebounds.
Despite a 17-14 first quarter lead for Hillsboro, the Indians used perimeter shooting to open a 27-19 lead with 3:42 left in the first half.
Hillsboro cut the lead to 27-26 by halftime with Caleb Rempel draining a three that just beat the buzzer.
The Trojans finally caught the Indians in the fourth quarter, with Larned going the first 4:30 without a basket. Shaw gave Hillsboro its first lead since the first quarter with 5:30 left in regulation.
Even with Larned shooting a game-low 15 percent the fourth quarter, the Trojans couldn’t get the knockout.
Grayson Ratzlaff sunk two free throws with 5 seconds left to give Hillsboro a 54-51 lead, but Larned buried a 30-footer at the buzzer to force overtime.
Hillsboro could only muster one field goal in overtime, and Larned hit 6-of-10 at the line to seal the victory.
“We kept battling and didn’t give up anything easy,” Trojans coach Darrel Knoll said. “The biggest thing tonight was the free throws, we’ve got to make them. In a three-point game, that will cost you.”
Scoring summary: Shaw, 23; Matthew Potucek, 12; G. Ratzlaff, 8; Caleb Potucek, 8; Rempel, 6; Brooks Gardner 2.