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Lady Trojans drop heartbreaker at Nickerson

Upstart Lady Panthers hold off Hillsboro, 41-38

It was a frustrating week for the Hillsboro High School girls’ basketball team. However at the same time, stumbling against teams like Haven and Nickerson aren’t necessarily steps backward.

Haven, Hillsboro’s Feb. 10 opponent, is state-ranked and demolished 13-4 Hesston earlier this season.

Nickerson is one of the MCAA’s best at 6-2 in league play.

The fact that Hillsboro had the Lady Panthers on the ropes of their possible third league loss could be what stings most.

After staying within an arm’s length of the Panthers (11-5, 6-2 MCAA) all night, the Trojans (8-8, 3-5) could have sent the game to overtime, only to fall, 41-38.

Hillsboro missed two three-point shots in the final 30 seconds, after Nickerson went up by three, which could have pushed the game to an extra quarter.

The Trojans stayed on the Panthers’ tail all night, trailing, 11-10, after the first quarter and just 22-19 at halftime.

Dakota Kaufman scored a game-high 16 points while Kassidi Luthi and Allie Faul combined for 18 with nine each.

Kaufman got six of her 16 in the third quarter and Hillsboro was still hot on Nickerson’s path, 32-29, heading into the final quarter.

The Panthers opened up a six-point lead in the fourth quarter before the Trojans rallied to knot the game at 37 with two minutes left in the game.

The free-throw line has hampered Hillsboro all year, and Friday was no different with the Trojans shooting 6-of-12 on the night, including 3-of-6 in the fourth quarter.

The Trojans traveled Tuesday to Ellinwood before returning home Friday to host Marion.

The Lady Warriors are hot off a pounding of Hesston Friday night.

Last modified Feb. 19, 2009

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