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Lady Trojans salvage fifth at Moundridge tournament

Hillsboro rolls Lady Lions for season’s first win, 44-14

Sports writer

For two-thirds of the young season, the Lady Trojans have been so close, but just couldn’t close the deal.

Outside of the season opener against perhaps Class 3A’s best team, Wichita-Collegiate, victory was well within range for Hillsboro against both Garden Plain and Hesston.

On Saturday, competing in the Moundridge preseason tournament, Hillsboro got a great chance to work out some kinks against the struggling Lyons Lady Lions in a battle for fifth place.

A “battle” it wasn’t with Dakota Kaufman pouring a game-high 22 points on the Lions as Hillsboro imposed its will on the undermanned Lions, 44-14.

“It gives us some confidence in some areas we need some confidence in,” Trojan coach Nathan Hiebert said. “We played three really good teams and I thought two of them we should’ve defeated.

“When you play good teams, they’re going to give you a battle. We talked at the beginning of the game about needing to finish. Collegiate, we came out strong; we didn’t finish the ball game. Hesston, we came out strong, we didn’t finish the ball game.

“Garden Plain, we had our issues. That wasn’t a tale of two halves as much, but we still needed to finish the game.”

With just four field goals the entire game, none in the second half, Lyons struggled.

The Trojans destroyed the Lions in every aspect of the game, getting more than half their points off second chances and Lyons’ 39 turnovers.

Hillsboro’s smothering defense limited Lyons to a paltry 17 shots of which four went down.

Kaufman scored the first basket of the game and the rout was on.

The Trojans went on to outscore the Lions 23-10 in the first half with Lyons spending much of the first half trying to score.

Hillsboro’s defense forced steals and the offense got the ball inside to Kaufman, who had 12 points in the first half.

The Trojans’ 57 percent shooting in the first quarter dropped to 23 percent the second quarter, but the smothering defense kept Lyons from ever getting into the game.

Hillsboro shot 43 percent for the game on 20-of-47 — more than twice as many shots as the Lions had.

Lyons’ second-half scoring came courtesy of the free-throw line and from about the one-minute mark in the first quarter, Hillsboro was able to enjoy smooth sailing with a double-digit lead.

“It’s not the caliber of what we’ve played the first three games, but we need to learn how to win,” Hiebert said. “Some schools play easy teams early to learn how to win, we play tough teams and we kind of get beat up. It’s hard.

“We did a better job of getting the ball inside; we had better patience swinging the ball. We knew their (Lyons) ball handling was a weakness and we wanted to do some things that way. We learned tonight. I was pleased with how we played. The girls did a much better job executing how we want to.”

After traveling Tuesday to Nickerson, the Trojan close out the year Friday at home against the Sterling Lady Black Bears in a 6 p.m. tip-off.

Last modified Dec. 16, 2009

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