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Lady Trojans defeat Sterling

Hillsboro ends 2009 at .500 with 57-30 waltz over Black Bears

Playing the final game of 2009 Friday night at home against an injury-stricken and struggling Sterling Lady Black Bear team, the Lady Trojans’ game plan was simple.

Jump on the Black Bears early, while confusing them with a mix of defenses to create offense.

Hillsboro forced Sterling into committing 22 turnovers as the Trojans broke open the game after the first quarter on the way to dealing Sterling a 57-30 loss.

The Trojans’ third consecutive win evens the record heading into 2010 at 3-3 overall.

“Our keys were we wanted to make sure we jumped on them early,” Trojan coach Nathan Hiebert said. “Our girls did that. We played some different defenses, switching it up to a denial, a 1-2-2, a 42, and just some different things. That’s what we wanted to do.”

What Sterling didn’t want to do was commit six mistakes in the first 3:22 of the game, give up a 14-2 run, or allow the Trojans to score transition baskets.

Hillsboro caught fire early, making 11 of its first 17 shots — 60 percent from the field the first half — and racing to a 23-4 lead after the first quarter alone.

The Trojans’ stingy defense feasted on Sterling’s mistakes, getting 22 of their 42 first-half points on the Black Bears’ 20 points.

While the Trojans haven’t had much of a chance to run this year, they sped up the pace on Sterling, scoring a good share of their baskets off steals for fast breaks.

Hillsboro’s defense didn’t offer the Black Bears many open looks, holding Sterling to a miserable 22 percent shooting the first half and a cool 26 for the game.

Dakota Kaufman scored a game-high 20 points from 10-of-13 from the floor and Allie Faul contributed 14.

Twelve of Kaufman’s 20 came in the first half alone, one point better than Sterling’s entire team with Hillsboro taking a commanding 42-11 lead.

Faul also beat the Black Bears’ scoring output by herself with 12.

Franny Gottsch’s basket to start the second half helped the Trojans open up their largest lead, 44-11, and Sterling was never able to pull closer than the final margin.

Despite the Black Bears holding the Trojans scoreless the entire fourth quarter, Sterling was well done by then.

Hiebert was able to empty his bench late in the second half, allowing seven players to get in on the demolition as Hillsboro shot a season-high 56 percent from the floor.

Hillsboro had its share of miscues as well, but the Trojans still doubled Sterling in points off turnovers, 24-12, with the Black Bears getting seven more shots the second half than 18 in the first.

“This was kind of helpful because I know our girls can run. We’ve just got to realize some things,” Hiebert said. “There were opportunities where they had made a bucket and we were able to get it in and beat them down the court. Just being able to see those things is good.

“We’ve done some good things early. We played some good teams, but we just didn’t finish,” Hiebert said. “We wanted to get back to .500 by the time Christmas break rolled around; so it’s a good present for us.

“It’s lot better to go in the break with a win because it keeps your attitude a lot better and the girls are excited to come back just because we’re playing well.”

Hillsboro returns to action Jan. 5, hosting Hoisington.

Last modified Dec. 24, 2009

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