The Hillsboro High School boys’ basketball team went on the road Tuesday and defeated the Halstead Dragons 49-37.
Christian Ratzlaff led all scorers with 25 points. Micah Allen scored 13 in the game.
The Trojans finish the regular season with a two-game home stand. They play Haven on Friday and Kingman on Tuesday.
The playoffs begin with substate March 3 at Berean Academy.
Trojans push Swathers to the limit
The Hesston boys’ basketball team hasn’t lost a game all season, and until Friday night its closest victories were by six points. The Hillsboro Trojans pushed the top-ranked 3A team in the state to the very last second.
Hillsboro fell behind 7-0 in the first quarter but battled back to trail by only 12-11 at the end of the quarter. The Trojans tied the game at 22 at halftime with a buzzer-beating three by Brett Weinbrenner.
Weinbrenner took over in the third quarter, making several jump shots as Hillsboro took the lead 32-29 at the end of the quarter.
Neither team led by more than three points in the fourth quarter, which included four lead changes and two ties. With Hillsboro trailing by three, Evan Ollenburger made two free throws, and Christian Ratzlaff made a three with a defender in his face to take the lead, 43-41.
Hesston tied the game at 43 with a pair of free throws with 1 minute, 7 seconds left. Hillsboro held the ball to attempt a game-ending shot, and coach Darrel Knoll took a timeout to set up the play. He wanted the Trojans to try to find something in the paint, but Hesston stopped that, packing the lane with 6’6” Wyatt McKinney and 6’7” Brad Simpson.
With about six seconds left, Weinbrenner attempted a jumper from the right corner that missed.
Hesston came up with the rebound, and raced down the court for a layup contested by two Trojans with less than a second left. The basket gave the Swathers a 45-43 victory.
Although the result wasn’t in Hillsboro’s favor, Knoll complimented Weinbrenner’s effort at the end.
“Brett was making a play for the win,” he said. “I think he thought there was less time on the clock than there was.”
Knoll said he thought the Trojans played well on defense. They held Hesston 15 points below their scoring average for the season.
Ratzlaff led all scorers with 17 points. Weinbrenner had 15; Ollenburger, 6; Micah Allen, 3; and Avery Franz, 2.