HHS girls succumb to Black Bears

Hillsboro senior Rebecca Kaufman drives the lane during the first quarter against Taya Wilson of Sterling. The visiting Black Bears rolled to a 43-26 win Friday night at Brown Gymnasium.A shaky first quarter put the Hillsboro girls in a hole from which they could not recover in a 43-26 loss to Ster­ling in the season opener Fri­day at Brown Gymna­sium.

The Trojans turned the ball over 13 times in the opening quarter and managed one basket on only four shots to trail the Black Bears at the first break, 11-2. Junior Abby Sechrist provided the lone basket at the 4:15 mark.

“I think we were scared,” coach Nathan Hiebert said of the rough start. “We threw things away. I called a timeout and all I said was ‘calm down.’ We were just rushing our passes, our decisions. The second quarter we settled down and did some good things.”

By the middle of the second quarter, the Trojans began to come together. Trail­ing 17-2 at that point, Hillsboro launched a 9-0 run to finish the first half with Sechrist contributing five points and Paige Proffitt and Sienna Kaufman each adding two.

Hillsboro pulled as close as 25-19 when Sechrist drained another three from the wing at the 2:22 mark of the third quarter, and was still in contention with a 27-19 deficit at the end of the period.

Unfortunately, the Tro­jans slipped back into struggle mode in the final quarter. Sterling went on an 11-0 run in the first four minutes for a 38-19 lead, stifling any hope of a home-court comeback. Hills­boro made three of 12 shots during the quarter.

“We did some good things at times,” Hiebert said. “When we had positive runs, it was because we (defended) well, we rebounded, and offensively we were strong with the ball.”

Sechrist finished with 10 points and Sienna Kaufman added nine. As a team, Hills­boro shot 10-35 from the floor (28 percent) while Ster­ling shot 15-49 (30 percent). Hills­boro made only four of 14 free-throws during the game while the visitors cashed in 11 of 23 opportunities. For the game, the Trojans committed 30, Sterling 17.

“When we played as a team, good things happened,” Hiebert said. “When we didn’t, bad things happened.”

Coming—Hillsboro (0-1) will be competing this week at the Mound­ridge Pre-Sea­son Tourna­ment. The Tro­jans were scheduled to take on Lyons on Tuesday, then will play Inman at 4 p.m. Thurs­day and Mound­ridge at 7 p.m. Friday. Look for same-night reports at hillsborofreepress.com.

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