Hillsboro High School’s basketball seasons ended with both the girls’ and boys’ teams falling in the Ell-Saline sub-state at Brookville.
On Thursday in the semifinals, the Lady Trojans dropped a 60-57 overtime heartbreaker to eventual champion Moundridge Lady Wildcats.
Ratzlaff and the Trojans fought back the entire night after the Wildcats jumped out to a 17-7 lead after one quarter.
Scoreless for the first quarter, Ratzlaff supplied half of Hillsboro’s 16-second quarter points to help outscore Moundridge by eight and pull to 25-23 at the break.
Ratzlaff’s three-point play with 1:53 left in the third quarter put the Trojans over the hill for the first time, 35-34.
The lead changed hands three more times until Peri Lange’s two free throws eventually sent the game to an extra session on a 47-47 tie.
Sanchez gave Hillsboro its last lead of the game on a pair of free throws to start before Moundridge built a 55-51 lead.
Ratzlaff buried two huge threes late in the game, the first pulling Hillsboro to within 55-54 with just under a minute left.
With the clock becoming an enemy, the Trojans had to foul.
Moundridge responded by draining 5-of-6 at the free throw line—9-for-12 in OT—and make it a two- possession game with 10 seconds left.
With one last breath and the season all but over, Ratzlaff capped off her career burying a three to finish with a team-high 27 points to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds for a double-double.
Sanchez and Abby Sechrist combined for 18 points with nine a piece.
Hillsboro should return an experienced core in 16-17 with Sechrist and Callie Linnens, but Ratzlaff, Sanchez, and Marah Franz’ leadership will be missed.
Moundridge advanced to Manhattan’s Class 2A state championship outlasting Berean, 45-43.
The top-seeded and fifth-ranked Berean Academy Warriors were too much for the Trojans in Saturday’s finale, ending Hillsboro’s season on a 50-41 defeat.
Through 15 wins, one of the Trojans’ biggest weapons has been their ability to shoot the three and run good offense.
Unfortunately, at a time Hillsboro could’ve used it most going against perennial power Berean, the 3-point line was of no assistance in the finale.
The Trojans struggled to muster a cool 3-for-15 behind the arc and 15-for-41 overall, while getting blasted on the rebounds, 34-21.
Even with a rugged night shooting, Hillsboro was on the Warriors’ heels after the first quarter, trailing 13-8.
The second quarter was much of the same, but the Trojans managed to outscore Berean 7-5 to stay within 18-15 at the break.
Hillsboro’s making the title game was greatly attributed to a stellar third quarter the night before in a 57-48 semifinal win over the Moundridge Wildcats.
This time, the third quarter was where it started going downhill for the Trojans, who managed a meager two points as Berean raced to a 27-17 lead heading into the final stretch.
By the time Hillsboro got back into the game, time was working against it.
Elias Werth sank back-to-back threes to cut the lead to 44-39 with under a minute left in the season.
From there on, the Warriors’ free throw shooting stymied a Hillsboro comeback with Berean finishing 17-of-30 at the line—20 more attempts than the Trojans.
Playing his final basketball game, Austin Cross closed out his career with a team-high 12 points. Darian Ratzlaff also finished with 12 points.