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Hillsboro tumbles to Nickerson

Staff writer

Losing 69-50 to Nickerson isn’t necessarily a step backward.

The Panthers aren’t ranked among Class 4A’s best because they’re a pushover, even without 6-foot-3 standout Morgan Stout in the lineup.

The Trojan girls’ basketball team still had plenty to feel good about Thursday, hosting the Panthers in the regular season finale on senior night.

The loss dropped the Trojans to 6-14 with the Marion sub-state underway.

“Our girls played a nice game on Thursday,” Trojan coach Nathan Hiebert said. “We had about a four-minute stretch in the third quarter that Nickerson made a pretty big run and pulled away further than we could handle.”

Teegan Werth and Kinsey Kleiner combined for 34 points with 18 and 16, unfortunately with the rest of the Trojans combining for just 16.

That’s not enough to keep pace with a team the caliber of Nickerson down the stretch, and Hillsboro’s struggled greatly when it’s only Werth and Kleiner doing the scoring.

Especially with the Panther trio of Brylee Engelland, Alexandra Altum, and Madison Ontjes, who accounted for 55 of the 69 points.

The Trojans never led, but Kleiner and Werth did enough to keep Hillsboro within shouting distance, trailing 14-10 after the first quarter and 35-25 at halftime.

The game begin slipping away the second half and the Panthers built a lead as deep as 24 with a 22-13 third quarter behind 50 percent shooting for 44 on the night.

While 35 percent shooting for the game is not blazing, Thursday was one of the few times Hillsboro shot over 20 against a ranked opponent this year.

The Trojans limited the Panthers to a rocky 3-for-12 for outside while hitting 32, however all three came from Engelland when Hillsboro was within striking distance.

“Once again, our girls are doing some really nice things, but when we play solid teams, we cannot have quarters or big chunks of time that we give up big runs as we did again on Thursday,” Hiebert said. “Execution, composure, and urgency will be key for us moving into sub-state.”

Scoring summary: Werth, 18; Kleiner, 16; Jessica Saunders, 8; Emersyn Funk, 4; Katie Evans, 2; Tuesday Weisbeck, 2.

Last modified Feb. 27, 2019

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