The Hillsboro Lady Indians hosted the Milford Lady Eagles on Wednesday at Hillsboro High School and suffered a 45-27 defeat despite leading 11-10 after the first quarter of play.
The Lady Indians started quickly with Karleigh Hopkins and Lana Grover hitting back to back shots to open the game and give Hillsboro a 4-0 lead that forced the Lady Eagles to call timeout at the 6:32 mark of the first quarter.
Following the timeout Milford rattled off eight straight points and 10 of the next twelve points total as Hillsboro went cold from the field.
Jordan Moberly broke the cold spell for Hillsboro and scored all seven of her points in the game in the closing minutes of the first quarter to give the Lady Indians a 11-10 lead heading into the second.
“Early on we are hitting some shots and we’ve got some momentum and they are calling timeout and changing some of the things that they want to do.” said Hillsboro Head Coach JR Moberly. “Then you see a couple that are halfway down and kick out. That has kind of been the story for awhile. We are in there right around the basket the ball is halfway down and it kicks out and then the confidence starts to slide away. Now they are not going down and the next thing you know they aren’t hitting anything. Its a confidence game especially with young players, they need to gain some confidence and feel like what they are doing is working.”
Kelsey Burns hit the opening basket of the second quarter for Hillsboro to push the Lady Indians’ lead to 13-10 but, Milford responded with an 8-0 run to take the lead back for good.
Josie Hopkins hit shots to make it 18-15 and then 20-17 as she tried to will Hillsboro back into the game however, the Lady Eagles refused to be deterred as they finished the second quarter on a nine to nothing run and took a 29-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Lady Indians were limited to only four points in the third period with Josie and Karleigh Hopkins each hitting a pair of free throws at 5:19 and 2:23 respectively in the quarter.
Milford recorded 12 in the third quarter as they pushed their lead to 20 points with the scoreboard reading 41-21 after three quarters of play.
Hillsboro outscored the Lady Eagles 6-4 in the fourth quarter and were led by McKenzie Cosby who had four points on two for two shooting in the final frame.
“I thought we did a great job defensively in the first half… Our defense has been getting better and better. They played hard,” said Moberly. “You get to a stretch when you look up and it just seems to be futile and it begins to get a little more difficult. They’ve been playing hard.”
Hillsboro will be back in action on Saturday, January 12, when they host Frontier Athletic Conference rivals the Lady Blue Lions from Washington Court House.
Score by quarters
Hillsboro: Cosby 2-4; Burns 1-2; J. Hopkins 2-2/2-6; Grover 1-2; K. Hopkins 2-2/3-6; Moberly 2-3/4-7
Milford: Kirk 2-4; Geis 2-4; Hills 2(1)-1/2-8; Williams 3(1)-9; Wiscombe (2)-6; Duesing 1/2-1; Ayler 6-1/2-13
Ryan Applegate is the sports editor for The Times-Gazette. Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.