Top-ranked Collegiate sinks Lady Trojans, 52-34
When taking on the state’s top-ranked team, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring an extra tank of gas.
Unfortunately Friday night, the Lady Trojans didn’t have enough in the tank to stick with Class 3A’s top-ranked team, the Wichita-Collegiate Lady Spartans.
Despite a great first quarter, when Hillsboro led 14-11, the Trojans didn’t have enough gas or energy to stick with Collegiate, stumbling 52-34.
“We found out we’re not in shape. We got tired,” Trojan coach Nathan Hiebert said. “We were getting beaten too much on transition defense and rebounding. We got tired and we didn’t attack enough.”
Dakota Kaufman scored a team-high 16 points, 14 coming in the first half — the first 12 points for Hillsboro, going nearly flawless from the floor with 7-for-8.
Other than Kaufman, Hillsboro was pushed for offense shooting from the floor and falling behind 27-21 by halftime.
The game started crumbling on the Trojans in the second quarter, with Collegiate pulling in front just over two minutes into the quarter, 17-16.
The Spartans shut down Kaufman the second half, holding her to just one field goal.
The Trojans lead the first 9:38 of the game, but after that Collegiate outscored Hillsboro 30-9, which put the game out of reach.
Ashia Woods scored a game-high 19 points and eight steals, and Sadie Clark chipped in 14 points.
Clark scored four straight points, putting the Spartans over the hill with 6:56 left in the first half.
Hillsboro’s fire seemed to fizzle out after that, as they fell behind by as many as nine points before Allie Faul buried a 3-pointer for the final basket of the first half.
The Trojans stopped attacking the basket, going nearly six minutes without scoring while Collegiate built a 27-18 lead before Faul’s basket cut it to the halftime score.
Collegiate denied Hillsboro any penetration inside to start the second half, stretching its lead to 43-25 until Becky Faber hit a 3-pointer just before the end of the third quarter.
By that time, the Spartans had scored eight straight points, putting away the game.
Thirteen of the Spartans’ 30 points came courtesy of Trojan mistakes; the second quarter alone was the worst with Hillsboro committing nine.
“That’s when they pulled away,” Hiebert said of the second quarter. “I thought we were still within striking range, but that’s when we started getting tired. We didn’t execute as well. They changed some things up and they took Dakota away a lot.
“We just didn’t know how to handle it. Everyone tried to force something in and we didn’t know how to attack. We had some opportunities — we just didn’t go out and take them. We ran out of gas a little too early.”
The Trojans travel Thursday to take on the always-tough Hesston Lady Swathers in the second round of the Moundridge tournament. The preceding games will determine Hillsboro’s time on Saturday.