Ranked No. 10 in preseason
The Hillsboro High School Trojans boys’ basketball team hopes to use quickness and basketball IQ to finish at the top of the Central Kansas League this year.
“We should have excellent guard and perimeter play,” head coach Darrel Knoll said. “We don’t have great size, but we have quickness and players who understand the game, so we should be able to utilize our talent effectively inside.”
Senior guard Brett Weinbrenner is the team’s leading returning scorer. He averaged 13.5 points a game last year, to go with 2.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.8 steals a game.
“Brett handles the ball really well and has the ability to score,” Knoll said.
Senior forward Evan Ollenburger averaged 3.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.9 steals a game last year. Senior forward Jesse Brown averaged 1 point, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal, and junior guard Micah Allen averaged 1.6 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1 assist.
Two seniors return after missing time because of injuries. Forward Christian Ratzlaff missed all of last season, and guard Jordan Faul missed most of the season.
“Christian missed last season due to injury, but he brings excellent leadership and a complete game,” Knoll said. “Jordan, Jesse, and Micah will play a much bigger role this season.
“Everyone has come with a great attitude (to practice),” Knoll added.
Knoll has his sights set on a strong year in the Central Kansas League.
“We always want to finish the season knowing that we played up to our ability, but we certainly want to have a solid winning record and finish toward the top of the league,” he said. “Hesston is the favorite to win the CKL, but we feel like we should be competing for a top spot.”
Knoll said team chemistry and toughness — both mental and physical — are points of emphasis to reach those goals.
Hillsboro moved from 3A to 2A this year with a decrease in enrollment. The Trojans are ranked No. 10 in 2A in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association preseason poll.
Last year the Trojans finished the season with an 18-5 record, and 6-3 for second place in the CKL. Knoll is entering his 25th year as Hillsboro’s head coach with an overall record of 431-154.
The Trojans begin their season against Lyons in the Moundridge tournament on Tuesday.