Two Hillsboro High School players were among the 15 honored with all-conference recognition by the South Central Conference girls basketball coaches for the 2019-2020 season.
Juniors Nikya Harston and Claire Tester were both honored for the first time in their prep careers, with Harston earning a spot on the first team and Tester earning second team recognition.
Harston was Hillsboro’s leading scorer with 13.7 points per game and also paced the Toppers in rebounds with 318 in 31 games. The junior forward would also lead the team in steals (74), blocks (23) and field goal percentage from two-point range (46.7 percent).
Joining Harston on the first team were fellow juniors Gracie Reels of Carlinville and Rylee Smith of Southwestern, Pana sophomore Jillian Hamilton and Greenville senior Megan Hallemann. Hallemann was a first team pick last year and a third team pick as a sophomore, while Smith was a third team selection in 2018-19.
Tester was the other side of Hillsboro’s 1-2 punch in the post, with the second most points (9.4 per game), rebounds (208), steals (51) and the second highest two-point field goal percentage (46.2). Tester also led the team in free throw percentage, shooting 67.8 percent from the line.
In addition to Tester, Greenville junior Natalie Iberg, Southwestern sophomore Korrie Hopkins, Vandalia senior Lanee McNary and Carlinville sophomore Jill Stayton were also named to the second team. McNary’s selection was the third of her career, having been a third team pick each of the last two years, while Hopkins was also a third team selection last year.
Greenville senior Rylee Pickett was also a repeat selection from the 2018-19 squad as she earned third team honors for the second consecutive year. Gillespie senior MacKenzy Mix and junior Shelby Taylor, Pana sophomore Rachel Holthaus and Staunton senior Hollie Bekeske rounded out the third team.
In the overall standings, Hillsboro, Carlinville, Greenville and Pana all went 7-2 to earn a share of the conference title. For the Lady Hiltoppers, it was the first time they had repeated as champions since winning three straight in the 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. Pana’s last title came in 2013, while Carlinville’s was in 2010. For Greenville, the share of the championship was their third in the last four years.
SCC Girls Basketball All-Conference
• Nikya Harston, Jr. - Hillsboro
• Megan Hallemann, Sr. - Greenville
• Jillian Hamilton, So. - Pana
• Gracie Reels, Jr. - Carlinville
• Rylee Smith, Jr. - Southwestern
• Claire Tester, Jr. - Hillsboro
• Natalie Iberg, Jr. - Greenville
• Korrie Hopkins, Jr. - Southwestern
• Lanee McNary, Sr. - Vandalia
• Jill Stayton, So. - Carlinville
• MacKenzy Mix, Sr. - Gillespie
• Shelby Taylor, Jr. - Gillespie
• Rachel Holthaus, So. - Pana
• Rylee Pickett, Sr. - Greenville
• Hollie Bekeske, Sr. - Staunton
2019-20 Girls Basketball South Central Conference
1. Hillsboro (7-2, 18-13)
1. Greenville (7-2, 21-9)
1. Carlinville (7-2, 28-4)
1. Pana (7-2, 25-8)
5. Southwestern (5-4, 20-11)
5. Gillespie (5-4, 16-13)
7. Litchfield (3-6, 15-15)
8. Staunton (2-7, 11-15)
8. Vandalia (2-7, 9-19)
10. Roxana (0-9, 4-21)