Trojans sweep week, storming past Sterling, soaking Lyons


Cassie Kroeker cuts off a Black Bear attacker?s dribble drive Friday night at Brown Gymnasium. Hillsboro defeated Sterling 53-41.

The Hillsboro High girls jumped to a 13-1 start against last-place Sterling and were never seriously threatened on the way to a 53-41 home-court victory Friday

After Tiffany Rooker hit the first basket of the game at the 6:15 mark, Cassie Kroeker drained back-to-back jumpers and Allie Faul followed with seven consecutive points over a 32-second span?including two baskets on steals?for the 13-1 margin.

?I thought we were a little sluggish the first minute or two, but then we got a nice little run early?and that was the result of our pressure (defense),? coach Nathan Hiebert said.

The score was 14-4 by the end of the quarter. Two unanswered baskets by Sterling in the final minute of the half pulled the Black Bears back to within single digits by halftime at 25-17.

Hillsboro took control of the game with a 9-2 run through the first four minutes of the third quarter for a 34-19 lead. Both teams struggled to score in the second four minutes as the quarter ended at 37-23.

Sterling got a 3-pointer from Heather Davis and a 2-pointer by Crystal Colston to pull within 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter, but Dakota Kaufman stole the ball and scored to spark an 8-2 surge that put the game out of reach.

?We started to pick up the pressure again to get some easy buckets,? Hiebert said of the surge. ?That?s what we talked about?they don?t handle pressure well and they?ve struggled against that all year. We wanted to get some easy buckets on that.?

In part because of the transition game, the Trojans outshot the Black Bears 53 percent (21-40) to 26 percent (15-57) from the floor, but made only 10 of 24 free throws. Kaufman led HHS with 16 points while Rooker and Faul added 10 each as the Trojans improved to 8-6 for the season and 3-3 in league play.

?I told the girls I was proud because we got more than one girl involved in the offense, and we did that with penetration and passing,? Hiebert said.

Lyons?Tiffany Rooker and Dakota Kaufman each scored 13 points to fuel the Trojans? 41-23 win Tuesday at Lyons.

The Lions scored the first two points on a pair of free throws, but Rooker and Kaufman alternately scored two baskets each for an 8-2 lead.

Lyons cut the lead to 8-6 by the end of the quarter.

Amy Faul?s 3-pointer 15 seconds into the second quarter set the tone as Hillsboro took control of the contest with a 20-10 halftime lead.

Consecutive three-point plays by Rooker and Frannie Gottsch past the midway point of the third quarter enabled Hillsboro to bump the lead to 28-15 at the final break.

The Trojans established their largest lead, 37-17, on Gottsch?s second three-point play, this one on a drive and underhanded layup with 4:09 to play.

Finishing well near the basket, Hillsboro outshot the Lions, 58 percent (18-31) to 32 percent (8-25), and forced 23 turnovers while committing 19.

?We did some things that were pretty good, but there are still some areas that scare me a little bit,? coach Nathan Hiebert said. ?We got some easy buckets, we were pressuring well and held them to 10 points in the first half.?

Hiebert complimented Rooker?s effort on offense.

?She played to her strength?she is a runner, she moves well and is really smooth,? he said. ?She got a lot of easy buckets off the break. She had some people right on her hip, but tonight she really finished everything.?

Coming?A report of Hills?boro?s Tuesday night game against second-place Haven appears on the Free Press Web site. On Friday, the Trojans will entertain a salty Nickerson squad (10-4, 5-1) at Brown Gymnasium, then hit the road Tuesday for a game at Ellin?wood (10-5, 3-3).

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