The main event of the first night of the Moundridge Preseason Basketball Classic turned out to be as good as advertised.
The main event of the first night of the Moundridge Preseason Basketball Classic turned out to be as good as advertised. The Moundridge boys, ranked eighth in Class 2A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches' Association, squared off with Class 3A No. 4 Hillsboro in a slugfest in front of a solid crowd for both teams that ended with a 59-52 Trojan victory. Hillsboro set the tone early, though Moundridge responded quickly, going up 5-2 after a 5-0 run. Hillsboro would respond off the sharpshooting of senior Shaq Thiessen and end the first quarter with a 14-10 advantage. The battle would continue into the second period, with Thiessen once more triggering the offense for Hillsboro. The Wildcats would battle back and reclaim the lead 16-15 with 4:39 left in the half thanks to Daniel Ratzlaff, who put up a couple of clutch three-pointers for Moundridge. A 9-2 run from Hillsboro, though, would give them a 24-18 lead at the half. The Trojans kept their momentum going in the second half, going up as much as 11 in the third quarter before Moundridge made some adjustments defensively and came back swinging, cutting the lead to 46-41 with 4:21 left in the ball game. The athleticism of Hillsboro would prove too much, though, as the Trojans kept Moundridge from getting over the hump and reclaiming the lead. “I didn't like the level of confidence tonight,” Moundridge coach Vance Unrau said. “We didn't quit. We're resilient, and that's a fine quality to have, but I told the guys, 'you need to feel like you can (win) against quality ball clubs.'” Thiessen led all scorers with 23 points, while Ratzlaff had 17. The only other Trojan in double digits was Brett Weinbrenner with 13. Tyler Kaufman had 12 points for the Wildcats, all off three pointers, while Hunter Enyart added 10. Moundridge now faces Lyons Thursday night during day two of the Classic. Hillsboro will face Inman. Moundridge — Lorimor 2 0-0 4; Kaufman 4 0-0 12; Ratzlaff 6 2-5 17; Huxman 0 4-4 4; Frazer 1 3-4 5; Enyart 5 0-2 10. Hillsboro — Thiessen 10 1-2 23; Ollenburger 4 0-2 8; Brown 1 0-0 2; Weinbrenner 2 9-10 13; Wiebe 4 0-0 8; Faber 2 0-0 5.