Loewen’s double-double helps Hillsboro rout Lady Lions, 47-24
The Lyons Lady Lions, Friday night in Hillsboro committed 38 turnovers, which led to 22 Lady Trojan points and a Trojan victory.
Despite a tough night of shooting — 26 percent overall — it was the Lady Trojans (11-3, 2-1 in the Central Kansas League) who used the smothering defense to crush the Lions (1-13, 0-3 CKL), 47-24.
The Trojans seemed to be rusty, not having played since Jan. 22 at the Trojan Classic.
Hillsboro spent much of the game trying to figure out how to get the lid off the basket, shooting a miserable 17-of-65 from field — 24 percent the second half.
With the victory, Hillsboro swept the regular season series with Lyons, 3-0.
“That’s how we looked the last time we played them,” Trojan coach Nathan Hiebert said. “We don’t have a very big lead, we don’t play fantastic in the first quarter, and we find ourselves up 10.
“I don’t feel like we’re doing anything special, or necessarily right and we kept getting a larger and larger lead. I think we did a fantastic job of forcing some things and not giving them easy buckets. That’s something defensively that we try to hang our hat on. We want to make sure every night we have a good defensive effort.”
Through the two games prior to Friday’s, the Lions were at their best with 5-foot-11 space-eater and leading scorer Anna Nusser in the lineup.
But with sickness running rampant throughout Lyons’ schools, the Lions were left without Nusser’s services.
The game was rugged from the start with both teams looking to get in gear offensively.
Through the first quarter, there were three lead changes and two ties before Tena Loewen made one of two free throws to give the Trojans a 7-5 lead to start the second quarter.
Loewen finished with a double double of a game-high 11 points and 11 rebounds, including three offensive boards.
The snail’s pace and the struggle for either team to score continued in the second quarter before Krista Reimer’s basket with 4 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the first half broke a 7-7 tie.
The Trojans never looked back, using a 10-2 lead in the closing 2:33 of the half to open a 22-11 lead at the break with Lyons giving them a 10-point boost with 18 turnovers.
The Lions’ downward spiral continued the third quarter — they went the entire eight minutes without a field goal.
Callie Serene’s fast break basket, with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter, gave Hillsboro its largest lead of the game so far, 33-12, as part of an 11-2 onslaught.
Lyons’ best charge came at the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run and pulling to 33-20 with 4:57 left.
A pair of free throws from Serene fueled a 14-4 run and Hillsboro cruised to the finish line.
Hiebert was able to go deep in his bench; it outscored the Lions’ bench, 17-2, with seven other Trojans besides Loewen getting into the scoring books.
The Trojans’ stifling defense yielded the Lions a woeful 17 percent shooting in the second half — 25 for the night — on 8-of-32 shooting.
“We got some turnovers that we didn’t convert into buckets,” Hiebert said. “We missed opportunities on fast breaks that were two-on-ones, three-on-twos, even some three-on-ones and we just threw it away.
“This time of the season, we want to play. It’s important to play and stay fresh,” he said of the delay. “Two weeks without playing is a long time, I don’t enjoy that. This week was just a crazy week.”
This week may not be crazy, but it’ll be plenty busy with Trojans facing a three-game schedule, which started Monday night with the makeup game at Hesston.
On Tuesday, the Trojans were to host feisty Sterling but with school canceled because of inclement weather that game will have to be rescheduled.
The team will travel to Lindsborg Friday for another meeting with the Smoky Valley Lady Vikings in a 6 p.m. tip.