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Trojans bounce back to sink Pratt

Hot-handed Hillsboro boys down Greenbacks, 65-50

Three days removed from a total meltdown against Halstead, the Trojan boys basketball team needed a good chance to prove Tuesday night’s showing was an anomaly.

The Trojans got just what they needed Friday night in Hillsboro in their inaugural meeting with CKL newcomer the Pratt Greenbacks.

Hillsboro (4-4) came back to life behind shooting 24-for-52 for 46 percent from the field, and 8-of-16 from outside to whip the Greenbacks (2-4), 65-50.

“I thought our intensity level against Halstead was not there, defensively and offensively,” said Trojan coach Darrel Knoll. “We just didn’t get it done. We watched ourselves on film and talked about things we had to do to get it done.

“(On Friday) I thought we just came out with the intensity right from the start and played really hard. Our defensive effort was absolutely tremendous.”

The same could be said for Hillsboro’s offense with Brett Weinbrenner scoring a team-high 15 points and freshman newcomer Christian Ratzlaff and Ben Bebermeyer combining for 28 with 14 each.

In what could easily be called Hillsboro’s best all-around game of the year so far, the Trojans quick ball movement created open shots while the Greenbacks idly watched.

Through much of the first half, it was Hillsboro against Pratt’s 6-foot-4 Payson Maydew, who finished with a game-high 16 points.

It started out looking like the Trojans were on their way to another defeat — they missed six of their first eight shots and went nearly four minutes without scoring.

Hillsboro’s transition game was firing on all cylinders, and a fast break by Bebermeyer with 1:41 left in the first quarter sparked life into the Trojans.

The lead changed hands two more times before Bebermeyer sank 2-of-3 free throws after the buzzer to put Hillsboro in front, 9-6.

The Trojans took off the second quarter, using a barrage of 3s and fast breaks to take over the game.

Jerod Hamm canned back-to-back 3s to go ahead 16-15, with 3:54 left in the half, and Hillsboro never looked back.

Hillsboro stretched its lead to double digits by halftime, 32-21, with the help of a pair of fast breaks by Caleb Hilliard.

The Trojans’ defense held the Greenbacks to just 30 percent the first half—40 on the night—while forcing 13 turnovers.

What’s more, they shut Maydew down the second half, holding him to 3 points.

A big part of keeping Maydew in check came from 5-foot-10 sophomore Tyrell Thiessen.

Despite being nearly 6 inches shorter than his counterpart, Thiessen’s strength and physical play kept Maydew on his heels.

Triples by Ratzlaff and Weinbrenner left Pratt trailing by 14 in the first four minutes of the second half before the Greenbacks were able to pull within 9.

The Greenbacks stuck around for about 50 seconds in the fourth quarter, still trailing by 9.

The game slipped out of Pratt’s reach with under 4:40 left after a 3-point play from Bebermeyer and a basket by Hilliard gave the Trojans’ their largest lead of the night, 58-43.

“Offensively for probably the first time this year we really moved the basketball,” Knoll said. “When we got a shot, we were in rhythm and ready to go.

“That’s something we’ve really struggled to do all year. I think the guys responded well to the game before this, they really wanted to come out and prove they could play better.”

Hillsboro will face Nickerson Panthers in a 7:30 p.m. tipoff Friday.

Last modified Jan. 13, 2011

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