The Hillsboro boys’ basketball team was missing starting point guard Brett Weinbrenner, but it was the girls’ team that needed overtime to win at Lyons and stay undefeated Friday.
Hillsboro led for most of the game, by as much as nine points in the second quarter. But the Lyons Lions made a comeback in the second half, scoring repeatedly in transition, before Hillsboro could get its defense set.
Hillsboro led by two going into the fourth quarter. Lyons quickly tied the game at 37. Hillsboro retook a five-point lead on a three-pointer and a drive by Addie Lackey.
Lyons continued to attack Hillsboro’s defense, taking the 45-44 lead with 43 seconds left. It was Lyons’ first lead since 2-0.
Alex Ratzlaff was fouled hard attempting a shot with 28 seconds left. She made both her free throws to give Hillsboro a one-point lead again. Ratzlaff was called for a foul on a loose ball with 11 seconds left.
The Lyons player made the first free throw to tie the game, but missed the second. Lyons players got several offensive rebounds, but none of them were able to score as the final 11 seconds ticked off, sending the game to overtime tied at 46.
Lyons began overtime with another basket in transition to take a lead. At the other end, Danae Bina made a pair of free throws to tie the game. Back on defense, Lackey came from behind a Lyons player, pickpocketed the ball, and drove the length of the court for a layup and the lead.
Lyons attempted to force the ball in to their 6-1 center, Alexis Lasater, but Bina and Darcy Heinrichs forced a jump ball which resulted in a turnover by Lyons. Heinrichs spent most of the game working hard to keep Lasater from getting the ball.
“We talk a lot about fronting the post,” coach Nathan Hiebert said.
He said he emphasized to Heinrichs that she should jump up and back when Lyons tried to lob the ball to Lasater, because staying in contact with her made it much harder for her to catch the ball and score. Lasater was only able to attempt five shots in the game.
Lackey hit both free throws on a 1-and-1 opportunity with 1:14 left to extend the lead to four points. After making a defensive stop, Heinrichs was fouled and made a free throw.
Lyons scored in transition with 24 seconds left to cut Hillsboro’s lead to three, 53-50. Bina was fouled with nine seconds left and hit both her free throws to seal the 55-50 victory.
Hiebert said the team can’t take any games for granted. The Trojans have challenging games coming up after Christmas break, including matchups with Pratt and Sterling.
Lackey led Hillsboro in scoring with 23 points; she also had 9 rebounds. Bina had 18 points and 6 rebounds, and Ratzlaff had 11 points and 9 rebounds.
Despite missing Weinbrenner and trailing at the end of the first quarter, the boys’ game wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the girls’.
From the second quarter on, Hillsboro utilized its superior team speed and ball movement to get and extend a lead. Christian Ratzlaff gave Hillsboro the lead for good with a mid-range jump shot to start the second quarter. Micah Allen closed the quarter with a layup in transition to take a 23-16 halftime lead.
Ratzlaff started Hillsboro’s scoring in the third quarter with another mid-range jumper and a reverse layup. Evan Ollenburger found Jesse Brown on a fast break for a layup and made an assist to Avery Franz before scoring on his own repeatedly from the free-throw line. Allen found Franz under the basket to end the third quarter with a 39-26 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Ollenburger kicked the ball out of the paint to Allen for a 3-pointer. Allen was fouled on the play and made his free throw to complete a four-point play. After coach Darrel Knoll sent in the reserves late, Grant Knoll made a free throw and scored a layup after making a steal. Hillsboro won the game 55-36.
Ratzlaff scored 14 points and had 9 rebounds. Allen and Ollenburger each had 11 points.
Hillsboro’s first matchup after Christmas break will be Jan. 3 against Marion at home.