Loewen's double-double moves Hillsboro to 3-2


Sports writer

Without a player listed on the roster taller than six feet, one inch matching up inside against a taller team could be a challenge for the Halstead Dragons.

In 2007's finale Dec. 21 in Hillsboro, the Trojans had the big advantage in size with 6-5 David Loewen.

That still didn't make it easy however, as the undersized, physical Dragons gave the Trojans all they could handle.

After seven ties and 14 lead changes, Hillsboro (3-2) came out on top.

Clay Shewey drained a pair of free throws with 1.9 seconds left to grind out a 51-48 victory against the 3-3 Dragons.

"When we got to the line in the last minute that was good," Trojan coach Darrel Knoll said. "We've still got to get into better shape, that's the bottom line. It was really a physical game inside and we've got to learn to be a little tougher in the post."

HHS held the Dragons to 37 percent from the field while shooting a blazing 20-37 for the game.

Loewen flourished inside, scoring a game-high 13 points to go along with 11 rebounds, while blocking six shots to lead a balanced scoring attack which saw three other Trojans break double figures.

Shewey added 11 points, and Daniel Jost and Andy Klausen combined for 20 with Jost grabbing six rebounds and dishing out a game-high six assists.

This game was a see-saw battle from the tip-off with the lead changing hands a combined 10 times in the first half alone.

Tyler Armendariz capped a 6-0 run for Halstead, giving the Dragons a 19-13 lead with just more than six minutes, 30 seconds left in the first half.

Shewey's three-point play with 3:23 left helped give Hillsboro the lead, 22-21.

The Trojans led 26-25 at halftime and shot 53 percent from the field.

The lead changed hands four more times in the opening three minutes of the second half before Jost gave Hillsboro a 35-29 lead.

Matt Vermillion's long range shooting kept the Trojans from extending their lead, knocking down three triples, including one that broke even with Hillsboro with 5:45 left in the game, 41-41.

The score was knotted four more times the closing 4:00 until Shewey drained a three that put Hillsboro back up by that many until Tyler Ratzlaff answered to tie it again at 48.

Loewen could have made it a two possession game with 1:44 left had he made two free throws, but the Dragons were beaten, failing to score in the final 1:58.

"We didn't handle ourselves the way we should have in the fourth quarter," Knoll said. "We've got to learn about time management and understanding situations better."

The Trojans open the new year Friday, traveling to fourth-ranked Hoisington to take on Cameron Horesky and the Cardinals.