The Hillsboro girls basketball team picked up a key South Central Conference victory over Carlinville on Thursday, Dec. 5, as they defeated the visiting Cavaliers 60-40.
The game would be much closer in the early going as Carlinville took a 13-10 lead behind six points from Corin Stewart. Nikya Harson led Hillsboro with five points in the quarter, while Layne Rupert added a three and Emily Reynolds chipped in two.
The Topper defense would take over in the second quarter, holding Carlinville to two field goals and five points as Hillsboro snared a 26-18 halftime lead. Reynolds would hit three field goals to give herself eight points, matching Harston for the team lead at the half, while fellow senior Shelby Houghlei knocked down a three and two free throws to help her team surge ahead.
After a quiet first half, forward Claire Tester would catch fire in the third quarter, picking up eight points to help Hillsboro to a 41-29 lead by the end of the period. Haley Major also added in five points to the effort as the Toppers held Carlinville to 11 points, five of which came from the free-throw line.
Any hopes of a comeback by the Cavies would be squashed in the fourth quarter as Hillsboro racked up 19 points, with eight different players finding the bottom of the net. Carlinville managed just two field goals in their 11-point fourth quarter, going 6-of-10 from the free-throw line to finish the game 14-of-24 from the stripe.
Hillsboro was 13-for-19 from the free-throw line and shot 48 percent from the field, going 19-for-39 from inside the arc and 3-of-7 from outside it.
Nine different players would score for Hillsboro, seven of whom had at least four points. Nikya Harston would lead the team with 12 points and nine rebounds, narrowly missing her fourth double-double in six games.
Emily Reynolds also had a big game with ten points and seven rebounds, while also leading the team in steals with three. Claire Tester would add nine points, all in the second half, and five rebounds, while Haley Major and Layne Rupert finished with eight and seven respectively.
Shelby Houchlei added six, followed by Maddy Rupert with four and Vanessa Compton and Maci Blankenship with two each. Carlinville would be led by Corin Stewart with 13 points.
Hillsboro will be on the road on Monday, Dec. 9, as they take on Alton Marquette. The freshman Toppers kick things off at 5 p.m., followed by the junior varsity (who also won on Thursday against Carlinville) and varsity games.
December 5 at Hillsboro
Carlinville 13 5 11 11 40
Hillsboro 10 16 15 19 60
Carlinville (40) - Corin Stewart 13, Gracie Reels 8, Jill Slayton 7, Sarah Deneve 6, Eryn Seal 2, Elise Baker 2, Haley Wills 2. Totals: 12 14-24 40.
Hillsboro (60) - Nikya Harston 12, Emily Reynolds 10, Claire Tester 9, Haley Major 8, Layne Rupert 7, Shelby Houchlei 6, Maddy Rupert 4, Vanessa Compton 2, Maci Blankenship 2. Totals: 22-46 13-19 60.
Three-point field goals: Carlinville 2 (Stewart 2); Hillsboro 3-7 (Major 1, L. Rupert 1, Houchlei 1). Records: Hillsboro (3-3, 1-0); Carlinville (4-2, 0-1).