The Hillsboro Hawks Girls Varsity Basketball team finished their penultimate game of the regular season with a tough 50-44 loss to the Perryville Pirates. Despite the loss they showed what they had learned during the season… from their reliable and spectacular defense to their adaptable offense.
From the start, it was obvious it would be a close game. The Pirates started the game in a press that caused turnovers from the Hawks. Once down the court, the Hawks’ offense had a difficult time finding open shots without someone having a hand in their face, but still managed to keep the score close. On defense, Hillsboro did well on shutting down inside shots, but couldn’t find an answer for Perryville’s outside shooters. The Hawks ended the quarter down 13-10.
The second quarter saw a repeat of many of the Hawks’ troubles. Perryville’s press continued to be a thorn in the Hawks’ side as their offense played through heavy contact. A foul-heavy half allowed the Hawks to hit bonus and double bonus, letting them score some free points instead of taking contested shots. Halftime arrived with the Hawks at a 26-19 deficit.
“It took us a while to find a groove on offense, especially against pressure,” Zoe Wood said. “We worked very hard on the defensive end, and I feel like that is what kept the score as close as it was. Once we realized that we just had to slow down and work together by moving the ball, I feel like the offense started to come. However, it was too little too late.”
The Hawks entered the third quarter ready to make adjustments, starting with beating the Pirates’ press. They found their groove, passing and driving around the pressure. The offense also had better success as they swung the ball and outworked Perryville’s defense. The final quarter arrived with the Hawks having closed the gap, bringing the score to 39-28.
As has been the case with many of the Hawks’ games this season, they played competitively to the end. The Hawks redoubled their intensity on defense, causing Perryville to commit turnovers. Then the offense went to town with the added possessions, narrowing the Pirates’ lead to just 46-42 with less than two minutes on the clock. With a win in reach, the Hawks broke out their press, hoping to come up with the final few baskets. In the end, they could only muster one additional basket, falling 50-44 to the Pirates.
“Everyone has really improved on every aspect of the game, but we need fewer turnovers. As a whole we have improved tremendously,” Sara Stokes said.
High scorers for the night were Wood with 14, Kaylee Hilton with eight, Kayla VanHorn with seven, Bailey Scallet with five, Dyllan Day with four and Stokes and Maya LaPlante with three.
The Lady Hawks close out the regular season against the Festus Tigers before the District Tournament.