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Lady Trojans clinch ticket to state

Hillsboro outlasts Remington in overtime thriller, 37-35

Remington Lady Bronco basketball coach Ben Wertenberger has to be growing weary of seeing the Lady Trojans in sub-state.

Each time the Broncos have played against the Hillsboro High School girls basketball team in the past three years, the outcome has been the Lady Trojans walking away as winners.

Freshman Trojan Addie Lackey scored a team-high 14 points Saturday night, including 6 in overtime to help the Trojans survive a 37-35 thriller.

The victory secured Hillsboro (19-4) a third-consecutive ticket to this week’s Class 3A state tournament at the Hutchinson Sports Arena — the Trojans fourth in five years.

The sixth-seeded Trojans will take on third-seeded and third-ranked Osage City in the first round at 8:15 p.m. tonight.

While Wertenberger may be tired of seeing Hillsboro, Trojan coach Nathan Hiebert wasn’t the most comfortable playing the Broncos.

“He (Wertenberger) does a fantastic job with them. He’s a quality guy and coach and I honestly don’t like playing him,” Hiebert said. “He’s a good coach and he gets those girls prepared and they play their game to a ‘T’. We were just fortunate to be on top.”

How the game ended in overtime was surprising considering how it started. The Trojans jumped out to a 5-0 lead, limiting Remington to 2 field goals in the first quarter.

However, the Trojans slowed down because of foul trouble and cold shooting.

Before the 4-minute mark of the first quarter, Lackey picked up her second foul. Allie Faul’s second came almost 3 minutes later. Krista Reimer got her second foul with 12 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

Quin Tillotson scored a game-high 17 points for the Broncos and her 3-point play on Lackey’s second foul marked the first of three times the score was tied.

Reimer hit a pair of free throws with just over 3 minutes remaining in the first quarter to help Hillsboro regain the lead, 7-5. But, Hillsboro played from behind until overtime after the first quarter ended in a 7-7 tie.

After Callie Serene’s 3 about 2:30 into the game, the basket closed up for the Trojans as they went the entire second quarter without a field goal.

The Broncos made it difficult for Hillsboro to get the ball inside, limiting the Trojans to just 2 free throws in the second quarter and a chilly 13 percent shooting in the first half.

Tena Loewen tied the game at 9, 3:06 into the second quarter, but the Broncos overtook the lead on the next possession to grab a 16-9 lead at halftime.

“We practiced everybody against certain situations with certain players,” Hiebert said of the early fouls taking the Trojans out of their game. “We were ready for everything.

“But it does make a difference when those top girls that you rely on so much are not on the floor and we’re in a little different position. It does make a difference.”

Sensing their season was under duress, the Trojans came out a different team in the second half.

Serene canned a 3-pointer 13 seconds into the second half to put an end to the Trojan drought, which lasted more than 11 minutes.

Serene stole the ball and scored on a fast break to pull the Trojans to within 4 as Hillsboro was able to get 8 points in the third quarter off Remington turnovers. The Broncos committed 26 turnovers for the game.

The Broncos were still able to maintain at least a possession lead, stretching it as far as 25-18 with 2:35 left in the third quarter on a 3 from Mandy McNeil.

Faul erased the lead to 27-24 with 41 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The Trojans put together their best quarter of shooting for the night — 7-for-12 — but Remington was still up, 28-24, to start the fourth.

Both baskets closed up in the fourth quarter. Hillsboro suffered through 1-of-10 shooting and Remington shot 1-for-9 from the field.

Lackey’s basket 25 seconds into the fourth quarter was the Trojans’ only field goal in the final period, but Reimer’s free throw nearly a minute later had Hillsboro within 1 at 28-27.

The Broncos were ice cold, too, going the first 7 minutes of the fourth quarter without a basket.

Still, the Trojans didn’t have enough steam to get over the hill, trying to make-do hitting 4-for-7 at the free-throw line in the closing 6:47.

Tillotson scored Remington’s only basket with 43 seconds remaining, putting the Broncos in front, 30-28, before Loewen sent the game into overtime sinking two clutch free throws with 27 seconds left in the game.

Remington regained the lead in the extra session, but Lackey kept Hillsboro on top until the end.

There was a faint chance remaining for the Broncos after Lackey scored the winning basket with 16 seconds to go.

Loewen stole the ball on the inbounds play to slam the door on Remington’s season, running out the clock.

“We were a little more aggressive to the basket in the second half, but we still took a lot of outside shots,” Hiebert said. “A lot of my timeouts were spent talking that we needed to attack the basket. We needed to get a shot in the paint. The next shot would be outside.

“I’m very proud of the girls. I think our defensive intensity picked up. In the third quarter, we started causing them some problems. We got some steals that really helped us out.”

The Trojans struggled for 14-of-55 in the game for 25 percent with the Broncos going 12-for-38.

Last modified March 9, 2011

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