Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 13 February 2007 18:00The Hillsboro girls survived some late drama Friday to take a 45-38 win from Sterling at Brown Gymnasium.
The Trojans (13-3) had come through three quarters of play with a 34-25 lead, giving plenty of indication that they had superior talent-but also an inability to put the Black Bears (5-11) away.
With four of coach Dale Honeck's five starters sitting on the bench as the final period began, the Black Bears attacked.
Led by six points from 5-foot-11 senior Holly Anderson, Sterling launched a 9-2 run that that pulled the Bears to within a basket at 36-34. Honeck called a timeout with 5:00 to go, and reinserted his starters.
But the Black Bears, smelling blood, scored twice more. Heather Davis sank a pair of free throws and then Mia Barker drove the lane for a basket at the 3:15 mark to put Sterling on top for the first time since the early minutes of the game, 38-36.
Tina Frick came back with a basket in the paint off a feed from JuliAnne Chisholm to tie the game on Hillsboro's next possession. The basket ignited a 9-0 run to the finish line, fueled by the Trojans' defensive pressure.
Sterling's last four possessions ended with a Trojan steal, two turnovers and a blocked shot.
Hillsboro struggled to find its stride for most of the evening. Sterling took a 4-0 lead with a pair of baskets in the first 1:06. Hillsboro missed its first four shots before Chisholm scored at the 4:55 mark. Amy Neufeld came off the bench for a basket and then added a pair of free throws with 1:35 left to give HHS a 6-4 lead at the first break.
Hillsboro seemed in position to blow the game open with a 13-3 start to the second quarter. Chisholm tossed in six points and Neufeld five during the run.
But Barker and Brittany Bagby each drained a 3-pointer in the final 2:39 and another basket by Barker with 3.4 seconds left pulled Sterling to within nine points at intermission, 24-15.
The two teams played to a standoff in the third quarter. Hillsboro's defense forced Sterling into seven turnovers and 3-for-10 shooting, but the Trojans could not take advantage, thanks to their 5-for-14 shooting on the offensive end.
Chisholm finished as Hillsboro's high scorer with 17 points, but Neufeld's 13 points provided some needed spark.
For the game, Hillsboro shot just under 38 percent (20-53) from the floor while Sterling was a hair below 36 percent (14-39). Anthony led Sterling with 16 points.
Collegiate-When Hillsboro and Collegiate squared off in December, the contest was a nail-biter from wire to wire that Hillsboro won on a last-second shot.
What a difference two months make.
In last week's non-league rematch at Brown Gymnasium, the Trojans took charge from the outset and maintained control en route to a 59-49 victory.
Hillsboro came out hot, cashing seven of its first eight shots, capped by a 3-pointer by Hannah Marsh at the 1:49 mark to for a 15-9 lead. At the first break, the Trojans led, 18-12.
The lead was still five points at halftime, 29-24, but the game swung dramatically during the second quarter.
At the start, HHS bumped its lead to 23-12 when Marsh hit a 2-point basket and Samantha Soyez followed with a 3-pointer.
But then Hillsboro hit a dry spell over the next 4:30. Collegiate took advantage with an 8-0 run to narrow the margin to 23-20.
Dakota Kaufman's basket with 2:15 left in the period ended the Trojans' funk. Tina Frick and JuliAnne Chisholm followed with baskets for the 29-24 margin at intermission.
The game truly turned in the third quarter when the Trojans outscored the Spartans 11-1 by harassing the visiting team into 0-for-8 shooting from the floor and a couple of turnovers.
Collegiate then hit two 3-pointers and a 2-pointer in the final 2:14 to tighten the lead from a high of 15 points (40-25) to nine points at the final break.
Soyez hit another 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter and, thanks to four Spartan turnovers, Hillsboro built a 48-34 lead through the first three minutes.
But then Chisholm picked up her fifth foul with 4:37 still to play. Almost immediately, Collegiate's Kamri Phox responded with a basket and then a traditional 3-point play on a steal-layup-foul to cut Hillsboro's 14-point lead to nine in a span of 20 seconds.
To their credit, the Trojans didn't panic. The Spartans made them win it at the free-throw line-and the girls responded with 11 makes in 15 attempts to nail down the 10-point victory.
Soyez made all six of her attempts at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. But the freshman also bagged three of four attempts from behind the arc to finish with a game-high 17 points.
Also in double digits were Chisholm and Frick with 11 and Marsh with 10.
As a team, Hillsboro finished with 44 percent shooting (19-43) compared to Collegiate's 41 percent (15-37). Key to the win was the Trojans' 33-17 advantage on the boards.
The victory bumped Hillsboro's record to 12-3 while the Spartans dropped to 8-6.
Coming-The Trojans, tied for the league lead with a 6-1 record, were scheduled to play at Nickerson (3-4, 6-9) on Tuesday, They will close out their regular-season home schedule by hosting Halstead (1-5, 3-12) on Friday.
Next week, the Trojans travel to Lyons on Tuesday and Smoky Valley on Friday.