The Hillsboro High School boys’ basketball team lost three games this year by an average of three points. Coach Darrel Knoll said the team’s effort in its 59-42 state quarterfinal loss Thursday was an anomaly.
“We just didn’t look like ourselves today for the whole game,” he said. “They made shots and we didn’t.”
Knoll credited Olpe for playing well but said he did not expect his team to play so flat, missing layups and struggling on defense.
“This one’s going to hurt for the guys because they think they had more, and they do,” he said.
Evan Ollenburger gave the Trojans a 3-2 lead with a layup less than two minutes into the game, but the Trojans were unable to compete for the lead afterward. The Eagles went on a 15-4 run from that point, scoring the majority of their points close to the rim.
“We knew they were going to be really strong in the paint,” Knoll said.
A Christian Ratzlaff three-pointer brought Hillsboro within seven at the end of the first, 17-10.
The Eagles continued to make high-percentage shots in the second quarter while causing Trojan turnovers, leading 31-18 at halftime.
Olpe continued dominating the pace in the third quarter, scoring nine unanswered points to begin the second half.
The Trojans began finding their stride toward the end of the third, creating steals and finishing fast-break opportunities. Trailing 46-27 heading into the fourth quarter, it was too late to turn the game around.
Creating steals from full-court pressure, Micah Allen, Ratzlaff, and Brett Weinbrenner were able to get to the free-throw line often in the fourth quarter, but Olpe did not let up, eventually winning 59-42.
Ratzlaff, 12; Ollenburger, 11; Allen, 7; Weinbrenner, 6; Jesse Brown, 4.