More good news for the Hillsboro girls’ basketball team; in a 56-24 victory over Nickerson Friday in Nickerson, neither of the Trojans two most important players were not the team’s normal top scorer and rebounder.
Tena Loewen still scored 8 points and led the team in rebounds, 4, and steals, 3, but Addie Lackey and Callie Serene were more instrumental to the victory.
Lackey scored a layup to for Hillsboro’s first lead at 6-4. Then, only up 13-10 after one quarter on an overmatched Nickerson team, Lackey forced consecutive tie-ups and two steals in the second quarter, and then she began to attack the basket, hitting one free throw after being fouled on multiple drives.
Lackey made the two most electric plays of the game. After a steal, she began the Hillsboro fast break. She then threw a lofting but pinpoint accurate pass to Danae Bina three quarters of the court up the floor. Bina caught the ball in stride and let the Nickerson defender run into her body before knocking down the layup. It put the Trojans up, 20-10, and forced a Nickerson timeout.
At the end of the second quarter with time running down, Lackey had the ball on the left wing at the 3-point arc. Nickerson fans sitting near the sideline began a mocking count down a second ahead of the clock to throw off the sophomore Hillsboro shooter. In rhythm with their counting Lackey, nailed a 3-pointer a step before the buzzer sounded.
Lackey continued attacking on both ends of the floor in the third quarter, and she ended the game tied as Hillsboro’s leading scorer with 9 points; she also recorded 3 rebounds, 2 steals, and an assist.
“She can be one of our better defensive players, and she’s one of our better passers,” head coach Nathan Hiebert said of Lackey.
Although she recorded 6 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Serene’s impact on the game was on the defensive end of the floor. Nickerson senior Ashley Almquist scored 9 of the Panthers’ 10 points in the first quarter and 17 in the game. She had limited playing time because of foul trouble but Serene shut Almquist down for the middle two quarters.
The Hillsboro defense shut Nickerson down for only three points between the first and fourth quarters.
The other offensive revelation for Hillsboro was senior forward Courtney Weber, who tied for the team lead with 9 points. Weber relentlessly attacked the basket in the second half, often penetrating along the baseline.
“She did a good job of being aggressive,” head coach Nathan Hiebert said. “She did a nice job of getting to the basket. That’s what we talked about at half time and she took advantage.”
The undefeated Trojans, 10-0, achieved their goal of a No. 1 seed in the Trojan Classic. They played Goodland on Tuesday.