Trojans split at Kingman
Boys hang on, girls fall
A chance to create a three-way jam along with Hesston atop the CKL was within the Trojan boys basketball team’s grasp Tuesday night, hosting unbeaten Halstead.
But it wasn’t to be.
The Dragons stayed on top of the league, outlasting the Trojans in a double-overtime thriller, 56-49.
The loss drops Hillsboro to 14-4 and 6-2 in conference play.
With two weeks left in the regular season and entering what’s arguably the biggest week of the year, picking up all the momentum they can get will be key for the Trojan basketball teams.
Kingman was the wrong place for the girls to look as the fourth-ranked Eagles were too strong, easily prevailing, 55-30.
The Trojan boys had to dig down deep, but were able to knock out a 50-38 victory.
The win lifts Hillsboro to 14-3 on the year and 6-1 in league action, while the girls drop a game under .500 at 8-9 and 2-5.
While sticking around throughout the game has been accomplished throughout much of the year, overcoming big deficits hasn’t been so easy for the Trojans.
This time it was a 13-2 second quarter by the Eagles that buried the Trojans too deep in a hole to climb out, holding Hillsboro to an icy 13 percent shooting in the second and fourth quarters.
The Trojans began leaking oil late in the first quarter after playing Kingman to an 11-8 score with under 2:00 left before the engine froze up by halftime, 31-12.
Hillsboro got going the third quarter, shooting 50 percent from the floor for 31 overall, and playing the Eagles to a 13-13 stalemate.
Still, the Trojans were in jeopardy of being blown out of the gym to start the fourth quarter with the score 44-25.
Kingman dominated the glass 35-21, limiting Hillsboro to just 8 offensive rebounds for two points.
The worst came in the fourth quarter when the Trojans were able to muster a meager 1-for-11 from the floor.
Teegan Werth scored a team-high 11 points, including a trio of threes, but the Eagles trio of Carlie Kelley, Brianne Garrison, and Bailey Bangert outscored the Trojans, combining for 37 with Garrison’s game-high 15.
Hillsboro was able to hold Kingman to under 40 percent shooting the second half, and 45 for the game, but the Trojans never realistically posed a threat again.
While the Trojans pride themselves on finesse play and lethal perimeter shooting, back alley brawling isn’t their forte outside.
The contest turned into a wrestling match, which saw a pair of Eagles foul out and a quartet of players in foul trouble with 24 fouls called.
That was pivotal in Kingman taking a 7-6 lead after the first quarter while holding the Trojans to 7-for-27 in the first and third quarters and 35 for the game.
The Trojans would’ve put more distance between themselves and Kingman, but 15-for-29 at the free-throw line kept the Eagles hanging around.
Hillsboro finally caught fire the second quarter, hitting a blistering 56 percent from the field to take a 21-12 lead at halftime with Darian Ratzlaff scoring 8 of his game-high 20 points.
The game got really brutal the third quarter as both teams shot under 30 percent with Hillsboro going 4-for-18.
Still, the Trojans were able to stretch their lead to 35-23 to start the fourth quarter.
Elias Werth added 17 points, including a pair of threes, while Ratzlaff flushed three threes.
“It was a physical game,” Trojan coach Darrel Knoll said. “We were in control most of the way.
“We struggled at the line down the stretch, which made the game a little closer than it should’ve been, but I’m pleased with the team. We played tough and earned the win.”
The Trojans travel to sixth-ranked rival Hesston Friday with games slated for 6 p.m. and around 7:30.
Last modified Feb. 14, 2018