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Trojans shake off slow start, crush Celtics to advance

Staff writer

Few teams have had luck standing up to the Hillsboro High School boys’ basketball team this season. 

The Hutchinson-Trinity Celtics, who the Trojans already crushed earlier in the season, 63-36, did something few have been able to do this season in the opening round of sub-state Tuesday at Hillsboro. 

They stayed within shouting distance of the Trojans after the first quarter, trailing just 14-9. 

The Trojans’ trio of Grayson and Brekyn Ratzlaff and Matt Potucek soon squashed any chance of Trinity gaining ground, however. 

Hillsboro hit 52% from the floor the first half, breaking the game wide-open with a 22-3 run to open a commanding 36-12 lead by halftime. 

Grayson scored a game-high 17 points, and Potucek and Brekyn each tossed in 15 to thrash the Celtics by a nearly identical score from the first meeting, 63-30. 

Hillsboro, the top seed in this week’s sub-state at Remington, jumped to 20-1 on the season and awaits the winner of fourth-seeded Sedgwick and the fifth-seeded Remington in Friday’s semifinals at Remington.

In Tuesday’s game, Trinity shot 31% the first half and 29% on the night, but 19 turnovers, combined with the Trojans’ swarming defense, kept the Celtics off balance. 

Thirteen of the Celtics’ 19 blunders were pilfered, and Frank Wichert had a game-high four steals to go along with Potucek’s three. 

Hillsboro’s lead swelled as big as 36 with just under two minutes left in the third quarter before coach Darrel Knoll went to his reserves during a running clock fourth quarter. 

The Celtics outscored the Trojans 9-7 quarter in garbage time the fourth with Hillsboro hitting 46 percent of its shots.

Last modified March 2, 2022

 

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