The Hillsboro High School girls basketball team’s 59-34 victory over Lyons Friday in Lyons was the beginning of a learning process.
It was the first game the team played without leading scorer and rebounder Tena Loewen. Loewen suffered an ACL and slight MCL tear in the Trojans’ game against Hesston Jan. 31. Coach Nathan Hiebert said she will be out the remainder of the season and the entire spring sports season, with an expected return to competition in August.
Visibly, not much was different for Hillsboro against a team they have now defeated three times this season. They still played lock-down defense, only allowing Lyons to shoot 18 percent from the field. The Trojans still held a 33-22 rebounding advantage in the game.
However, certain players contributed more in certain areas. Addie Lackey was the team’s leading scorer with 15 points, a total she is more than capable of.
“I’m proud of Addie,” Hiebert said. “It feels like you have to learn how to play all over again.”
Reserve guard Maci Schlehuber was second in scoring with 13 points.
Over the course of the past five games, Schlehuber has seen a definite increase in playing time. Hiebert said the reason is simple: she is doing what he asks. He instructed his players to get into the lane and try for more pull-up jump shots. That is the way Schlehuber scored the majority of her points on Friday.
“Offensively she did what we were looking for,’ Hiebert said.
Schlehuber added 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and a block to her total stats.
“I felt like my team was supporting me,” Schlehuber said. “We were all helping each other.”
Schlehuber said that everyone on the team needed to pick up the offensive rebounding production in Loewen’s absence. It was one of the arenas where Loewen picked up many of her points.
“She was the one person we depended on for rebounds,” Schlehuber said. “We all need to box out, board hard.”
The leading rebounder for Hillsboro Friday was Courtney Weber with 7. Danae Bina also picked up the scoring and rebounding slack. She was the third leading scorer for the team with 11 and had 6 rebounds, two of which were of the offensive variety.
Also aiding the Trojans was the return of senior point guard Stephanie Sanders. Sanders suffered a left knee injury early in January. Hiebert said she had just begun to practice at full speed this past week. She played well enough in practice Thursday that he felt he could not keep her out of the lineup.
“She was passing up OK shots to get great shots,” Hiebert said of Sanders. “She does a great job of running the point; she’s a smart player.”
The Trojans played Sterling at home Tuesday. They will play Smoky Valley on Friday at home.