The Hillsboro girls closed out the pre-holiday portion of their schedule with a convincing 52-21 victory at Marion last Tuesday.
The Trojans used their depth and defensive intensity to secure the largest victory margin of the season against a young Warrior squad thin on numbers. The win kept Hillsboro?s season record unblemished at 6-0 while a Marion slipped to 2-2.
After Tena Loewen registered an old-fashioned three-point play 43 seconds into the contest, Marion standout Whitney Gordon responded with a basket a minute later. Hillsboro pushed its 3-2 lead to 9-2 before Marion?s Emily Hett nailed a three-pointer at the 2:30 mark. The quarter ended with Hillsboro ahead, 14-7.
The second quarter became decisive as Hillsboro created a 13-0 run over the final 5:45 of the first half to take a 29-11 lead into intermission.
?In the first quarter we gave them some looks we didn?t want to give them,? coach Nathan Hiebert said. ?We knew they could hit some shots. We made some adjustments and tried to force them into spots where they didn?t want to go.?
Marion?s offense continued to struggle in the third quarter, managing only one field goal in nine attempts with seven turnovers.
Meanwhile, Hillsboro got points from five players to build a 41-15 lead by quarter?s end.
Even after Hiebert pulled his starters at the 6:41 mark of the fourth quarter, Hillsboro?s lead grew to as much as 32 points (50-18) before Marion?s Katey Ehrlich drained a three-pointer with 3:35 to play.
Loewen finished with 16 points and Allie Faul added 11 for Hillsboro, who had nine players score. Gordon led Marion with six points.
As a team, Hillsboro shot 43 percent (22-51) from the floor while Marion managed 22 percent (7-32), thanks in part to a Trojan defense that contributed to 30 Warrior turnovers.
Hiebert said going into the break undefeated is a testament to how hard his girls have played so far, and it will help with tournament seeding later on. But it?s no guarantee of future success.
?We have some of our tougher competition coming up after Christmas, so we can?t take any breaks,? he said. ?We?ve got some stuff that we really have to work on.?