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Trojans win slips away at Halstead

Fifth-ranked Dragons hold off Hillsboro boys, 54-47

You can’t find fault with the Trojan basketball team’s effort Friday night at fifth-ranked Halstead. For 24 minutes, Hillsboro had one of Class 3A’s premier teams on the ropes. But it was a rugged 2-for-15 shooting the third quarter, which proved instrumental in the Trojans’ 54-47 loss.

“It was a good effort,” Trojan coach Darrel Knoll said. “We actually had a chance at the end.

“We fought all night and I think people thought we were done when we got down by nine or 10. I was really happy with the effort tonight, and we kept battling.”

Heading into this week’s Trojan Classic in Hillsboro, the hosting team finds itself at 1-7 overall. The Trojans hardly looked intimidated by the 8-1 Dragons, overtaking the lead, 8-7, on Caleb Hilliard’s basket with about four minutes in the first frame.

Mason McCarty scored a career-high 12 points —Hillsboro’s first and last four of the first quarter to keep the Trojans within one.

Jesse Allen added a team-high 13 points, but it was a quick dish off to Nathan Vogel underneath the basket that gave the Trojans their last lead nearly 20 seconds into the second quarter.

Ben Bebermeyer swiped the ball and scored on a fast break with 3:11 still left in the first half — the final time Hillsboro was able to tie the game.

Bebermeyer landed hard on the court going up for a block with 1:30 to go before halftime, forcing him to finish the remainder of the half on the bench.

Halstead took the lead at halftime, 31-27, with both teams shooting an identical 11-for-21 from the floor.

Halstead started crowding the lane in the second quarter, pushing the Trojans into quick shots and quit attacking the basket. As a result, Hillsboro started slipping away, working through much of the third quarter scoreless as the Dragons stretched their lead as far as 40-28.

The Trojans came storming back the fourth quarter, outscoring the Dragons 19-10 to help cut the lead to five after a pair of free throws from Allen with just over three minutes remaining.

Jared Hamm came off the bench to drain a pair of threes to also help the Hillsboro flurry.

Allen’s 3-point play with 1:18 pulled the Trojans to within three, 50-47. The Dragons won the game at the line, though, making a flawless 10-for-10 in the waning 4:07.

“Offensively, we’ve got to keep working so we can stay consistent,” Knoll said. “The guys are working hard, we played a great team tonight and we had a chance.”

Last modified Jan. 21, 2010

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