Second-year Hillsboro High School Lady Trojan basketball coach Nathan Hiebert wasn’t grumbling about having to open the season at home Friday against arguably the best team in 3A — the Wichita-Collegiate Lady Spartans.
It didn’t have the outcome he may have wanted with Collegiate rolling to an easy 46-28 victory, but it provided Hiebert with the answers he needed on what the Trojans will have to do to be able to compete on the same page with 3A heavyweights.
“When we got them in the half court, I was very, very pleased. We kept them to 46 points. That’s pretty good,” Hiebert said.
“We’ve got to take the positives and use them to our advantage.”
Little worked for the Trojans in the first quarter, making just one of six shots while Collegiate — mainly Ashia Woods — ransacked the game, taking a 12-2 lead.
Woods outdid the Trojans by herself, dropping a game-high 29 points, 23 coming through the first three quarters, and 14 in the first half.
Dakota Kaufman was the sole Trojan able to produce against Collegiate’s pressuring defense, scoring a team-high 16 points.
Despite the rough shooting due in part to the Spartans’ quick defense — 3-for-15 the first half — Hillsboro wasn’t completely out of it with just more than two minutes left in the first half, down 20-8.
However, the Trojans went nearly an entire quarter without a basket as the game started falling apart, playing right into the Spartans’ hands of speeding up offensively.
Woods added her 13th and 14th points to send the Spartans into halftime with a commanding 22-8 lead, shooting a blistering 59 percent from the field while forcing nine Hillsboro turnovers.
Collegiate put the game away to start the second half, pushing the lead to 37-13 with 1:05 left in the third quarter.
Hillsboro’s frigid shooting improved to 7-for-15 in the second half, but the game had long slipped out of its reach.
The Spartans didn’t offer the Trojans many shots either, and Hillsboro made just two field goals the entire fourth quarter.
“When you’ve got Woods, she’s tough. She’s good in that half-court. She’s got good hand-eye coordination,” Hiebert said. “She gets some easy steals and some easy buckets.
“Offensively, we didn’t take care of the ball and we didn’t execute enough. We talked about the pressure and we’re going to practice that. I hope they saw that when we broke it. (The pressure) almost looked kind of easy.”
The Trojans face a busy week competing in the Cardinal Classic hosted by Cheney.
Hillsboro played host Tuesday to the Smoky Valley Lady Vikings before traveling Friday to Cheney for the second game of pool play.
The tournament concludes Saturday at Cheney with opponents decided by the outcome of pool play.
JV, C teams win
Allie Faul led the HHS junior varsity girls’ squad Friday to a 35-11 blowout of Collegiate.
The Lady Trojans led 18-2 after one quarter, and never looked back.
Eight other Lady Trojans scored in the balanced attack.
Sarah Unruh and Taylor Nikkel each had six points, Franny Gottsch had five, Steph Sanders four, Emma Heyen, Callie Serene, and Becky Faber two, and Elise Heyen one.
The C-game was much closer, but HHS still held on a for 37-27 victory.
The Lady Trojans trailed 12-10 at the half, but used a 12-2 fourth quarter to claim the victory.
Sanders led the way with nine points, Gottsch and Serene each had eight, Elise Heyen five, Emma Heyen and Sammy Koons three, and Nikkel chipped in with a free throw.