Zaylee Werth goes up for a layup against Berean in substate competition.
Savannah Shahan drives the lane against Berean in the substate competition.
Emersyn Funk scrambles for a loose ball against Berean in the substate competition.
It wasn’t the ending they hoped for, but the Hillsboro girls basketball team showed well in the substate tournament, beating Moundridge, 50-27, before eventually losing to Berean Academy, 37-36, in a heartbreaker in the second round. Berean Academy went on to win the substate tournament and earn a spot at state.
“Our ladies did an incredible job coming out focused and sharp,” Hillsboro head coach Nathan Hiebert said.
Against Moundridge, the Trojans got up early, 15-2, before closing out the first half with a 33-8 halftime score. Moundridge wasn’t ever able to mount a comeback in the second half.
“We jumped on them early and kept the pedal down. We forced a lot of turnovers and got several transition points. We also defended extremely well,” Hiebert said. “I was really pleased with the composure and the execution of our girls. It was a lot of fun.”
Savannah Shahan put on a show with 20 points and six rebounds to lead the Trojans offensively.
“She did a great job moving and getting great looks. She got a lot of great looks at the rim,” Hiebert said.
Zaylee Werth had nine assists and seven steals to go along with her five points and seven rebounds for a good all-around game for Hillsboro.
“She is pretty incredible on how she can have an impact on a game in so many different ways—both offensively and defensively,” said Hiebert.
Against Berean, the sledding was a lot tougher, and the two teams played to a 5-5 tie after the first quarter. Berean went into halftime with only a two-point advantage, 15-13, before extending that lead to 27-20 after three quarters.
A 16-point outburst by the Trojans got Hillsboro close in the fourth quarter, but they came up short by just one point in the end.
“The Lady Trojans played an incredible game on Thursday night. Berean is a very talented and disciplined team,” Hiebert said. “Our ladies fought hard all night long, and it was an exciting game.”
Zaylee Werth led Hillsboro with 14 points and six rebounds, while Shahan had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Trojans.
“Our girls did an incredible job, and I am so proud of the whole team. It was a fun game to be a part of but also a hard game to lose. The girls left everything on the court,” Hiebert said. “As a coach, to see the perseverance, unity and passion they played with was inspiring. It was an honor to coach this group of girls; they grew a lot this year, and they did some incredible things. As I told them at the end of the game, I love them and am proud of them.”