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Spartans shake off rust, defeat Trojans

Top-ranked Collegiate rolls Hillsboro, 70-37

Sports writer

Catching the Wichita Collegiate Spartans six days after winning the Class 3A state football title could have been an advantage Friday night for the Trojans.

Most of the top-ranked Spartans had only five days of practice under their belts, while Hillsboro’s been gearing up for the season-opener since Nov. 14.

As if having to start the year with perhaps the state’s best team wasn’t bad enough, the Trojans were a step slower than Collegiate, falling decisively, 70-37.

“I thought we played really hard. In the first half, I didn’t think we turned the ball over too much against their press,” Trojan coach Darrel Knoll said. “They’re just a great team, we struggled to get good shots, we missed free throws, we missed layups, and we had a hard time getting rebounds tonight.

“Rebounds are something we’ve talked about since the beginning of the year, and hopefully tonight will encourage us to work harder on the boards. Those guys are just a lot more athletic than we are.”

The Spartans dominated not only in the score, but in rebounding, too, racking up a 44-20 edge overall and a 17-2 edge offensively, which added up to 15 second-chance points.

With the way the game started — Collegiate jumping out to an 8-0 lead in the game’s first three minutes — few may have guessed all but starter Ty Fiegel hadn’t been practicing.

The Spartans’ dominance on the backboards allowed them to shoot 32-for-66 from the floor, while the slower, smaller Trojans struggled for half as many shots, going 11-of-33.

Ben Bebermeyer scored a team-high 10 points on a rugged 3-for-10 from the floor with Jesse Allen adding eight points.

The Trojans were able to stay within six points three times in the first quarter, but after that, they were trying to overcome a double-digit deficit the remainder of the game.

Bebermeyer got seven of his 10 points in the first quarter, but the Trojans were still trailing, 25-14.

Collegiate stretched its lead as far as 16 the second quarter, getting a slew of points off second chances, fast breaks, and turnovers.

Hillsboro got a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 29-21 after a pair of Allen free throws with 4:50 left in the first half.

From there, the Spartans went on to outscore the Trojans 11-4 to take a 41-25 lead at halftime.

The Trojans shot 7-of-19 the first half while Collegiate hit 18-of-36 with Blake Jablonski scoring 10 of his game-high 13 points.

The game continued to unravel on Hillsboro in the second half with the Spartans scoring the first six points to stretch the lead to 49-25.

Hillsboro got a mere 12 field goal attempts in the second half, hitting a cold 4-of-12, while turning the ball over seven times in the third quarter.

The Spartans blew the lead out to 62-32 to start the fourth quarter, leading to a continuous clock.

Knoll emptied his bench, but the reserves weren’t able to pull any closer than 29.

“I thought in the first half we played pretty well. We cut it down, right until that last minute. I thought we were playing reasonably well,” Knoll said. “Once it hit 30 at the end, I got some of my other guys in.

“We have a lot of stuff to do offensively. I didn’t think we made very good shots tonight.”

Hillsboro returns to action Thursday when they travel to Hesston for a 7 p.m. meeting with the Swathers.

Pending the outcome, the Trojans will play Saturday at a time yet to be determined.

Last modified Dec. 10, 2009

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