The Hillsboro girls got the scheduling break they needed Saturday, charging into the win column for the first time this season with a 44-14 laugher over Lyons in the final round of the Mound?ridge Preseason Tourn?a?ment.
The win salvaged a 1-2 record and fifth place in the Trojans? first appearance in the six-school tournament and put them at 1-3 for the young season.
The Trojans used full-court pressure to prompt 41 Lion turnovers for the game, and hold Lyons to no field goals in the second half and only four for the entire game.
Dakota Kauf?man scored 10 points in the first quarter to fuel the Trojans to a 16-5 start. By halftime, the margin was still relatively modest at 23-10.
But the Trojans, who struggled in the second half in their first three games, put the hammer down in the third quarter to build a 35-13 spread heading into the final period. Kaufman again fueled the surge, this time with six points.
When Elise Heyen scored with 3:21 to play, Hillsboro was up by 30 points at 44-14, kicking in the continuous clock the rest of the game.
Kaufman finished with a game-high 22 points for HHS.
Coach Nathan Hiebert said the game was worth more to his team than simply a win.
?It gives us some confidence in areas where we needed confidence,? he said. ?We played three really good teams (to start the season). I thought two of them we should have won, but when you play good teams they?re going to give you a battle.?
Hiebert said one improvement was that his team played a complete game for four quarters.
?We talked at the beginning of the game that we needed to finish,? he said. ?We won every single quarter, we pushed the lead?those are things we need to have.
?(Lyons) wasn?t the caliber of team we played in the first three games, but you have to learn how to win,? he added. ?Some schools play easy schools early just to learn how to win. We played tough teams and you can kind of tell, the girls were a little beat up.?
Hiebert said although the trio of Kaufman, Candace Weinbrenner and Allie Faul saw considerable playing time a year ago, the rest of his team didn?t.
?We?re still trying to learn,? he said. ?That?s what I appreciated about tonight. The girls were able to learn what it?s supposed to look like and how you?re supposed to do it.?
Hesston?Hillsboro saw a five-point halftime lead slip away in a 39-33 loss to Hesston in the second round of pool play Thursday at Moundridge.
With four players contributing points, Hillsboro staked a 12-7 lead after one quarter and was up 24-19 at the half. Dakota Kaufman scored 11 points by intermission.
The game clearly turned in the third quarter. Hesston, playing its first game of the season, raised its defensive intensity, forcing Hillsboro into eight turnovers and 1-for-2 shooting through the first 6:15 of the period.
By the time Allie Faul broke the Trojans? funk with a 3-pointer from the top of the key, Hillsboro was trailing 33-24. The score was 33-29 at quarter?s end.
Both teams had trouble scoring in the final quarter as the Swathers hung on for the six-point victory.
Kaufman did not score in the second half, but was Hillsboro?s leading scorer with 11 points.
Coming?The Trojans were scheduled to play at Nickerson Tuesday. Reports of that game will be posted on the Free Line (947-3363) and at hillsborofreepress.com.
On Friday, Hillsboro will close out its pre-holiday schedule with its first home game in six outings when Sterling comes to Brown Gymnasium. Game time is 6 p.m.