Hillsboro High School senior girls’ basketball players Kassidi Luthi slapped the floor of Hillsboro’s Robert C. Brown Gymnasium Friday night in frustration.
Luthi had good reason to as the contest against the beatable Halstead Lady Dragons turned out much like many of the others have so far for the Trojans — a close loss.
Hillsboro (4-5) came close, but not close enough, as Halstead (5-5) was able to grind out a disheartening 26-25 win.
Friday night was a familiar story that’s hampered the Trojans all year.
Hillsboro had been consistent defensively, but not enough to spell a struggling offense with the Trojans suffering through a rough 28 percent night shooting on 11-of-40.
Despite the fact all the doors in the gym were closed and the air conditioning was off, an Arctic blast blanketed both teams’ offenses.
Halstead wasn’t much better than Hillsboro, hitting 10-for-27, however, if there was a point in the game where it slipped away for Hillsboro, it was the second quarter.
The Trojans jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but the Dragons used a 7-2 run to stake a 7-6 lead after the first quarter.
The game came unwound on Hillsboro in the second quarter, hitting a meager 1-for-10 from the field and 4-for-17 the first half.
Halstead didn’t do any better the first quarter — 2-for-11 — and the Trojans held the Dragons to a frigid 25 percent the first half.
The Dragons went the final 4:38 without a basket and the Trojans didn’t score the final four minutes.
The icy shooting kept either team from extending a lead, but the Dragons were able to grab an 11-9 lead at halftime.
The Trojans tied the game twice in the opening 2:30 of the second half on baskets by Dakota Kaufman and Luthi.
Abi Humber canned a three with about four mintues left in the third quarter, giving Hillsboro its first lead since it was 4-0 at the 5:35 mark, 16-15.
Candace Weinbrenner scored on a fast-break to stretch the Trojans’ lead as far as 18-15 with just less than four minutes still left in the third.
Unfortunately for Hillsboro, that was the last shot it would get the remainder of the quarter.
The Dragons used a 7-0 run to regain the lead to start the fourth quarter, 22-18.
Halstead couldn’t get anything to fall for the first four minutes of the final stretch and the Trojans again tied the score at 22 off Weinbrenner’s basket.
The Dragons only got a trio of shots the fourth quarter, making one, but Hillsboro encountered another scoring lapse while Halstead again pushed the lead to four.
The Trojans are at home this week competing in the Trojan Classic, opening Tuesday night against the Sunrise Academy Lady Buffaloes.
Pending the outcome, Hillsboro will play either Wamego or Hesston Thursday at 8:15 p.m. or Friday at 4:45.