One week after thrashing Lyons by 23 points, the Hillsboro girls had to stave off a second-half home-team rally to nail down a 57-46 victory on the road.
Hillsboro coach Nathan Hiebert said the Lions who showed up this past Friday played more to their capabilities as a 4-2 team.
“Last week they came off a game in overtime the night before, and (team leader Brenna McClure) was banged up and didn’t play as much last Friday,” he said. “I told the girls, this is definitely a different team on the floor.”
Even so, Hillsboro pulled ahead to a comfortable 14-5 lead after one quarter and maintained a 27-17 advantage at halftime.
But if Trojan fans were waiting for their team to break the game open in the second half, it never happened. By the end of three quarters, the lead had tightened to 42-35 as Lyons outscored the Trojans 8-2 in the final 2:00.
Finally finding success going inside to Alexis Lasater, their 6-foot, 3-inch sophomore, early in the fourth quarter, Lyons closed the gap to as little as 49-46 with 3:07 to play before Hillsboro suddenly took off.
Addie Lackey lit the fuse with a three-point basket at the 2:06 mark, setting off an 8-0 burst down the home stretch. Maci Schlehuber contributed a basket, Tena Loewen drained a pair of free throws and Danae Bina hit one of two charities.
Meanwhile, the Trojan defense shut out Lyons over the final 3:00 of the contest.
“I was proud with how we finished,” Hiebert said. “We had some good patience. Addie took a great shot for a three, and we talked about working on getting a stop, getting a score and then getting another stop.”
Loewen finished with 17 points, Bina 14 and Lackey 13 for Hillsboro, the top-ranked team in Class 3A at 5-0. As a team, the Trojans shot 42 percent (18-43) from the field while limiting the home team to 28 percent (15-53).
Halstead—The Trojans used a 23-4 second quarter to blow open a close game on the way to a 56-19 rout of the previously undefeated Dragons last Tuesday at Halstead.
The first quarter was actually competitive at 13-6. But Hillsboro removed all doubt about the best team on the court with Addie Lackey scoring eight points and Tena Loewen six during the decisive second quarter.
Defensively, Hillsboro forced seven turnovers and held the Dragons to 2-for-8 shooting while making nine of 16 shots for the 36-10 halftime lead.
“We just did a better job,” coach Nathan Hiebert said about the pivotal quarter. “We got in the passing lanes, we pressured them. I was really pleased with the girls.”
In the second half, Hillsboro picked up where it left off, launching a 13-0 run over the first 4:12 of the third quarter. By the end of it, Hillsboro led 49-15, having forced nine more Halstead turnovers and holding the Dragons to 1-for-8 shooting.
The final quarter was played with a running clock and reserves playing most of the minutes for Hillsboro.
“I saw some girls who were excited about how they’re playing,” Hiebert said. “What I was pleased about this time is that we had a lot more assists.”
Loewen finished with a team-high 17 points and Lackey added 15, all in the first half. As a team, Hillsboro shot 46 percent from the field (23-50) while limiting Halstead to 23 percent (7-30).
“Games like this kind of help our chemistry just because of the excitement about the things we can do,” Hiebert said. “It’s not necessarily going to be this easy all the time, but it’s one of the things that helps build confidence in our offensive game.”
Coming—After starting the season with five straight road games, the Trojans (5-0) were scheduled Tuesday to play their home opener against Smoky Valley (1-4).
They will wrap up the pre-holiday schedule Friday at Marion (2-3).