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Trojans stumble against Swathers

Scoreless second quarter pushes Hesston past Hillsboro, 53-27

After just seven games, it’s probably safe to say the Hillsboro boys basketball team is getting tired of seeing the Hesston Swathers.

Of the seven, two have come against Ty Rhodes’ Hesston High School basketball teams, resulting in two of the Trojans six losses.

More bad news for Trojan coach Darrel Knoll and his team: Friday night’s meeting against the hosting Swathers may not be the last time the two teams cross paths this year.

Hesston’s an annual attendant at next week’s Trojan Classic in Hillsboro.

The Swathers already owned a 63-36 win record over Hillsboro from the third game of the season, and they followed that up with a 53-27 win Friday.

The loss drops the Trojans to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in the MCAA.

“We played hard. Our defense was good most of the game, but we failed to score on offense,” Knoll said. “Our press forced several turnovers and we did a better job in transition defense than we did the first time we played and we limited transition baskets.

“But as the game progressed, Hesston was able to widen the margin.”

While this year’s Swathers aren’t quite as flashy as some of Rhodes’ previous teams, against a team as challenged for offense as the Trojans, Hesston’s been able to impose its will on Hillsboro. The Swathers did it with 24 unanswered points from a pair of 12-0 runs in the second and third quarters.

Averaging barely 40 points a game, the Trojans have been trying to win with defense.

That really hasn’t worked well either, with Hillsboro surrendering 57 points.

Still, Hillsboro was in the Swathers rearview mirror after the first quarter, 12-11, before the game skidded out of control in the second quarter.

Of the Trojans 10 attempts at the basket — several high percentage shots — none counted with Hesston holding Hillsboro scoreless to take a 24-11 lead into halftime. The Swathers defense limited the Trojans to a frigid 25 percent shooting on the night and a season-low 27 points.

Hillsboro’s leading scorer, Ben Bebermeyer, finished with a team-high seven points.

The Trojans were able to erase the Hesston lead to single digits in the opening minutes of the second half, but another 12-0 run nailed the game shut with a commanding 39-20 lead.

“Offensively, we missed several shots in the paint that would’ve kept us close,” Knoll said. “But when a team shoots around 25 percent from the field, it’s going to be tough to win the game.”

Hillsboro’s rugged road test concludes Friday at Halstead with an 8 p.m. tipoff.

Last modified Jan. 13, 2010

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