The Hillsboro High School boys’ basketball team defeated Lyons, 58-45, Friday in Lyons.
With Evan Ollenburger in street clothes due to injury, Shaq Thiessen started for Hillsboro and did not disappoint. Thiessen scored 23 points, the most of any player in the game. He was also the team’s leading rebounder with 7 boards.
Thiessen scored the majority of his points off fast-break layups. Thiessen was adept at timing steal attempts to poke away a pass in stride and glide in for an easy lay-in before Lyons guards even realized what happened.
“We ran the floor extremely hard tonight,” head coach Darrel Knoll said of the team’s transition attack. “We made very few mistakes on defense. Extremely good defense usually turns into easy offense.”
Every Trojan relished getting a chance to run on the break. Reserve post player Brandon Rooker scored 9 points, the third most for Hillsboro; Brett Weinbrenner scored 13. Two of Rooker’s baskets were scored on fast-break opportunities including a crafty up-and-under layup around a charging Lyons defender.
“This was Brandon’s kind of game,” Knoll said.
Thiessen said the Trojans came into the game focused. Although they had already defeated Lyons twice, they made sure to not overlook the Lions during their homecoming game.
“We had very high intensity,” Thiessen said. “We worked hard in practice.”
The hard work also paid off in offensive efficiency. The Trojans had a 15-12 assist to turnover ratio but forced the Lions to the turn the ball over 21 times, 15 coming off steals.
Leading the way for the Trojans as a passer was Jesse Allen, who recorded 6 assists. Highlights from the Trojan forward include a kick pass to Devin Dick for an open baseline jumper and a high arching bomb to Thiessen over the outstretched hand of a defender for a layup.
“He’s very accurate,” Thiessen said, who benefited from three Allen assists. “He’s really stepped up with his passing.”
Seal-tight defense and efficient offense was a formula for Hillsboro to obtain a 50-26 lead after three quarters. Every Trojan played in the game and Lyons was able to score 19 points in the final frame to get within 13 points. Knoll was happy with the way the team weathered the storm to make a run and then pull away with the contest.
“We’re going to keep playing, stay with the game plan,” Knoll said of the philosophy in the fourth quarter.
Knoll was pleased that his team seems to improve every game and is peaking with five game remaining in the regular season.
“They’re coming together as a unit,” Knoll said.
The Trojans played Sterling at home Tuesday. They play Smoky Valley Friday at home.