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Wabaunsee ends Hillsboro girls' season

Trojans tumble to sub-state champ, 52-19

Staff writer

What success the Hillsboro girls’ basketball team had at the end of the year, winning three of its last four games, had a lot to do with the sophomore tandem of Teegan Werth and Kinsey Kleiner.

The duo combined for 44 points with 22 each to lead the Trojans past their first-round opponent of the Marion sub-state Tuesday night, at third-seeded Mission Valley.

The 53-42 victory marked the first time in two years the Trojans had won both a game in February as well as the postseason — perhaps the biggest considering the bumpy season.

Three nights later in the semi-final game against top-seeded and fourth-ranked Wabaunsee at Marion, Kleiner had no repellent to combat the flu bug.

What the Trojans got was one final flashback of everything that had bit them throughout the season all rolled into one game.

Hillsboro put up a valiant effort, but it wasn’t enough with Wabaunsee ending its season at 7-15 with a 52-19 loss.

“I was extremely proud of how our girls battled on Friday,” Trojan coach Nathan Hiebert said. “Wabaunsee is a very talented and very athletic team.

“Our girls did a fairly nice job handling pressure during the first half. We attacked the basket well and were able to keep the game fairly close.”

The Chargers advance to the Class 2A state tournament at Hays, where they’ll again be the top seed after whipping Northern Heights in the title game, 59-43.

Heading into the semifinal matchup, Hiebert was concerned about two Chargers: Madelyn Hutley up top, and Abby Oliver down low.

In better than half of the Trojans’ 15 losses, Hillsboro suffered through at least one quarter shooting under 20 percent from the floor.

Friday had three with Hillsboro finishing with an icy 24 percent, including a frozen 2-for-23 the second half.

Despite going nearly the first 5:00 of the contest without a basket and six first-quarter turnovers, the Trojans’ defense kept them in the game.

That was even with the Chargers opening with 9 unanswered points and a 13-4 lead after the first quarter.

The Trojans got their best quarter of the game in the second, shooting 63 percent from the floor, while holding Wabaunsee to 18 percent for a 23-15 halftime lead.

Overcoming deficits has been a sore spot for years for Hillsboro, though, lacking enough consistent firepower to keep games from slipping away.

Outside Werth’s team-high 9 points and 6 by Tuesday Weisbeck, the rest of the Trojans accounted for just 4.

Hillsboro limited Hutley to two points, but it was Oliver and Megan Strait that did the most damage with Oliver scoring a game-high 22.

Any momentum the Trojans may have had evaporated at halftime with Wabaunsee building a 39-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Wabaunsee stretched its lead as far as 30, kicking in the running clock to make for a quick finish for the Trojans.

The Chargers finished the game shooting 44 percent from the floor, but the Trojans’ 22 turnovers allowed easy transition baskets with Wabaunsee hitting a blazing 73 percent the third quarter.

“I’m very proud of our girls,” Hiebert said. “It had been two years since we won any game in February and two years since we had won a game in sub-state.”

Outside senior Eva Franz, the Trojans should return intact next year.

Last modified March 6, 2019

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