HHS girls battle past Southeast in sub-state semifinals

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HHSgbSESMaci164  HHSgbSESDanae172  It wasn?t a work of art, but the Hillsboro girls battled their way into the sub-state championship game by defeating Southeast of Saline, 45-33, in a gritty matchup Friday night at Sedgwick.

Coming off a tremendous shooting performance on Tues?day against Marion, Hillsboro struggled all night to find rhythm on offense against a scrappy Southeast squad.

Both teams had trouble scoring during the first half of the first quarter. Callie Serene finally broke the ice with a 3-pointer at the 4:34 mark. Maci Schlehuber came off the bench and gave her team on offensive lift with a 2-pointer and two 3-pointers over a three-minute span to help the Trojans to a 13-10 lead at the first break.

Hillsboro started the second quarter with a flurry of seven missed shots, but Courtney Weber finally found the bottom of the basket at the 4:30 mark. A score by Addie Lackey 36 seconds later gave HHS an 18-10 lead as the defense forced four turnovers and three missed shots by Southeast. But the purple-clad Trojans finished the quarter with a 7-2 run to close the gap to 20-17 by halftime.

Playing well on the defensive end, Hillsboro slowly built a 12-2 surge through the first 7:05 of the third quarter. By the end of the period, the Trojans were ahead 35-23.

After Weber started the fourth quarter with a pair of free throws, SES countered with seven unanswered points before Serene hit a 12-footer at the 2:48 mark to make the score 39-30. SES got as close as 39-33 with 2:00 to go, but Hillsboro finished the game with a basket by Krista Reimer and four free throws in six attempts — although both misses came on the front end of a one-and-one.

Serene finished with 13 points to pace HHS, and was the only Trojan to score in double figures. As team, Hillsboro made 15 of 40 shots (38 percent) from the field while SES made 13 of 36 (36 percent).

The victory gave Hillsboro 20 wins for the season against two losses. The Trojans will play for a state berth at 6 p.m. Saturday against the winner of the Moundridge vs. Reming?ton semifinal matchup.

The Hillsboro boys will be playing top-seeded Moundridge for the sub-state championship at 7:30 p.m.

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