A big third quarter by their opponents was the only thing that held the Hillsboro Lady Indians back from getting a win on Wednesday night as they fell 44-34 to Washington.
It was senior night for the Lady Indians as they hosted South Central Ohio League opponent Washington. The crowd was loud and ready to go and the players were as well. As the game started, it was clear that the game was going to be a close one, the Lady Indians matching almost every basket from Washington with one of their own. At the end of the first eight minutes of play, Washington was up by only three with a score of 9-6.
In the second quarter, the Lady Indians came out firing and made up the deficit made in the opening quarter and tied the game 17-17 going into halftime.
The first half of the third quarter, the game went as it had been the previous half, with neither team able to get a run going and get too far ahead of the other. After the first four minutes of play, the Lady Indians were down, but just by one point with the score at 25-24.
That was when things started to fall apart.
For almost two minutes, neither team was able to make a basket and the score was stalled at 25-24. But at the 2:53, Washington started a run that would ultimately be the turning point in the game. Over the next 2:53, Hillsboro was only able to get one free throw to fall while Washington scored 12 points, a 10-0 run to end the quarter including back-to-back three pointers to close the third frame.
In the fourth quarter, Hillsboro was able to go on a run themselves, scoring the final seven points of the game unanswered, but it wasn’t enough to make up from the third quarter and the Lady Indians were down by ten as the final buzzer sounded, 44-34.
“The two threes that were hit late in that third quarter were what blew it up but we were having a real hard time keeping Haithcock off of the boards,” said Lady Indians head coach JR Moberly after the game. “That has been a point of emphasis in our practices night in and night out, but we just didn’t consistently get her boxed out. With her putting shots back and those two threes, at that point, we were playing catch up. We tried. We got after it but it was too little too late.
The game was also the final home game for the Lady Indians with three seniors playing their final time on their home court. Madison Snyder, Hanna Breeden, and Lilly McCleese will all graduate after this season.
“We’ve been blessed with those three seniors,” said Moberly. “I wish we would could have had Hanna a little bit more. She’s off to play softball at Cleveland State so she spent a lot of time concentrating on that. She decided to come out this year after finding out we’d be a little short on players. As the season wore on, she played better and better. She just struggled with some injuries, which is a shame. I think if we could have had her for all four year, she could have been a real good one.
“I couldn’t even begin to say enough good positive things about Lilly McCleese. The world needs more people like her. She’s a team kid and she’ll do whatever the team or the program needs her to do. Everyday she’ll come out and give anything and everything she has and then turn around and ask if there’s anything else she can do. Love that kid to death.
“Madison is a pretty outstanding kid and outstanding player. Another kid that has done anything and everything she’s been asked to do. For the volleyball program, the softball program and for our program. If she hasn’t started every basketball in her career under me, it’s only been because of sitting out for a senior night. She’s worked hard to develop her game and helped the kids that are around her develop theirs. Just a quiet leader.
The Lady Indians will start their tournament run on Monday when they travel to Adena High School to take on Logan Elm.
HHS – 6 11 8 9 – 34
WHS – 9 8 20 7 – 44
Hillsboro: Snyder 4 4/8 – 12; Jamieson 3(1) 0/2 – 9; Sullivan 3 1/3 – 7; Bobbitt 1 – 2; Marsh 1 – 2; Moberly 1 – 2. Totals: 13(1) 5/13 – 34.
Washington: Haithcock 9 2/2 – 20; McRoberts (3) – 9; Hawk 4 – 8; Gray 1 1/3 – 3; Wallace 1 – 2; Smith 1- 2. Totals: 16(3) 3/5 – 44.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.