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Kaufman's scoring takes Lady Trojans to sixth win

Hillsboro crushes Halstead, 50-31

You can’t blame Lady Trojan basketball coach Nathan Hiebert for being in a good mood these days.

Why shouldn’t he be?

His team is red-hot, has won six straight, and is getting a better understanding of what Hiebert wants, not to mention he’s getting production from his bench, too.

Hillsboro picked up its sixth consecutive win in convincing fashion Friday night in Halstead, dismantling the Lady Dragons, 50-31, behind a season-high 28 points from Dakota Kaufman.

Kaufman’s game high was three points shy of tying last year’s career-best, and she made 16 of her 28 in the second half.

The win boosts Hillsboro’s record to 6-3 on the year and an unbeaten 3-0 mark in MCAA play.

“We were sharp tonight, they played really well,” Hiebert said. “I was real proud of them, I thought we got great contributions from everybody, I thought everybody played their roles a lot better.

“I felt like our energy was good on defense and it carried over on offense just having confidence in what we did.”

Confidence was never any problem for Hillsboro, who controlled the game from the tip-off, opening with an 8-0 run in the game’s first 4:42.

Kaufman scored the first basket of the game and the stampede was on, helping the Trojans to an 11-point lead near the end of the first quarter.

Halstead cut the lead to 15-11 nearly three minutes into the second quarter, but Kaufman fueled an 11-0 run during which the Dragons hit a lapse that lasted nearly four minutes.

Callie Serene came off the bench to bomb the Dragons with eight points, draining a pair of triples, and kept Hillsboro firmly in control at the break, 28-13, after outscoring them 15-2.

The Trojans were able to feed the ball inside to Kaufman for high-percentage shots and Hillsboro punished the Dragons, shooting a blazing season-high 59 percent.

“That’s good,” Hiebert said of the Trojans burning the nets.

The worst was yet to come for Halstead and it needed no more of Kaufman or to give up another 11-0 run.

The Dragons limped into halftime despite shooting 43 percent, but that dropped down to an icy 29 after a dreadful 1-for-10 third quarter.

Kaufman scored all but two of the Trojans’ 11 points in the third quarter, and by the time Hiebert finally pulled her with 2:45 left in the game, her 28 points alone had single-handedly outdone Halstead.

The Dragons yielded another 11-0 run and the Trojans had their largest lead of the night —39-13 — by the time Jill Armendariz scored Halstead’s first basket of the second half with 10 seconds left.

Kaufman stayed on the rampage in the fourth quarter, scoring the first eight of the Trojans’ 12 points.

Halstead outscored Hillsboro the fourth quarter, 15-12, shooting 7-for-12, 14-for-36 for the game, but the Dragons’ fire had long been extinguished.

“We’ve been pushing the whole year to win four quarters,” Hiebert said. “We didn’t win four quarters tonight, we lost that fourth quarter.

“The girls wanted to win that fourth quarter and take pride in that. They really want to attack that and understand they need to push that lead instead of expecting it to happen.”

Last modified Jan. 20, 2010

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