The Hillsboro girls followed a blowout win Tuesday over previously unbeaten Sterling with a another lopsided win over Lyons Friday.
The week left the girls, ranked third in Class 3A, standing alone at the top of the Central Kansas League at 4-0 and with a 14-1 season record.
Friday’s win was the Trojans’ third of the season against Lyons, and the outcome of this one, 63-38, was all but determined after the opening quarter.
Fueled by Addie Lackey’s 11 points, Hillsboro raced to a 17-2 lead after one quarter and didn’t slow down until halftime.
Reminiscent of their sizzling shooting late in Tuesday’s game, the Trojans were on fire the entire first half Friday, making 17 of 23 shots (74 percent) from the floor and all four free throws on the way to a 43-7 bulge by intermission.
Lackey accumulated 19 of her game-high 22 points by then.
“We talked about how we played against Sterling in the fourth quarter,” coach Nathan Hiebert said. “I think it was fresh in their minds how we did that—we ran our offense, took what they gave us and just relaxed and shot.”
Not that it mattered much, Lyons actually won the second half, 31-20, as the visitors found considerably more success getting shots to drop, especially beyond the three-point line.
With Hillsboro leading 55-20 after three quarters, the continuous clock kicked in for the entire final period. Hiebert pulled his starters with about 6:30 to play and Hillsboro leading, 57-27.
For the game, Hillsboro finished with 58 percent shooting (25-43), including 6-for-8 from three-point range. The defense limited Lions (2-2, 9-5) to 31 percent shooting for the game after 13 percent shooting in the first half.
“I was pleased with our execution and focus,” Hiebert said. “Defensively, we did a great job on (Lyons guard Brenna McClure, five points). It’s amazing how they rely on her penetration—either for her to get points, or to break people down to give other people shots.
“Danae (Bina) did a great job, and we had other people—multiple times—stepping out and helping with defense to stop the penetration.”
Sterling—Hillsboro enjoyed some serious payback against the only team to defeat them this season with a 67-42 blowout of previously unbeaten Sterling Tuesday at home.
The Trojans got off to a good start against the Black Bears, building an 18-9 lead after one quarter. But as the game progressed, it appeared the Trojans would be forced to defend that early margin to claim a victory.
By halftime the lead was only seven points (29-22), and remained in that vicinity through the first six minutes of the third quarter.
“We started off pretty well, but after that we got frustrated for about two quarters,” coach Nathan Hiebert said. “Passes weren’t happening and we were missing shots.
“Sterling started getting what they wanted—we were fouling, and we were giving up layups. Everyone was frustrated.”
It didn’t seem pivotal in the moment, but when Addie Lackey hit a 12-footer at the 1:45 mark of the third quarter, the floodgates suddenly flew open.
Backup guard Maddi Duerksen stepped up out of nowhere to hit back-to-back jump shots in the final 1:06 to suddenly bump the lead to a game-high 12 points as the quarter ended at 39-27.
After Sterling scored five points in the first 48 seconds of the final quarter, Hillsboro lowered the boom. Once again Duerksen lit the fuse, this time with a 17-footer from the baseline. It ignited a 28-5 deluge that kicked in the running clock at 67-37 with 44 seconds to play.
Hiebert put in the reserves at that point, and Sterling finished with five unanswered points.
Lackey scored nine points in each half to lead the Trojans with 18. Tena Loewen, who scored 12 in the first half, finished with 14. Duerksen tossed in a career-high 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting.
“Maddi’s a good shooter,” Hiebert said. “We did a good job of getting her into positions where she was successful. Those are shots she makes all the time in practice.”
Danae Bina, who struggled even to get a shot off through the first three quarters, scored all eight of her points in the final period, including back-to-back three-pointers 23 seconds apart.
As a team, Hillsboro hit 15 of its last 21 shots (including three three-pointers) to finish with 27-for-60 shooting for the night (45 percent). On the other end of the floor, the Trojans limited Sterling to 13-for-45 shooting (29 percent).
Hiebert said he didn’t emphasize the revenge factor much during practice last week, but simply prodded his team to play to its capabilities.
“(Sterling) beat us the first time, but it was something where none of the girls were pleased,” he said. “We didn’t play well. Some of it was (Sterling), but there was a lot of stuff where we just didn’t focus well. That’s kind of how Sterling makes the other team play.”
Coming—Hillsboro was scheduled to play Smoky Valley (0-4, 2-13) Tuesday in Lindsborg. The Trojans will travel Friday to Hesston to take on the rival Swathers (3-1, 13-2), a team the Trojans toppled from the unbeaten ranks during the Trojan Classic.
For same-night reporting on both games, call the Free Line at 620-947-3363 or go to hillsborofreepress.com.