After suffering a pair of losses in their first two conference games of the season, the Hillsboro girls’ basketball team won 10 of its next 12 league games to earn a share of this year’s Scenic Bluffs Conference title.
The Tigers finished the year 18–6 overall and tied Brookwood, Royall and Bangor at 10–4 in SBC play.
Last week four Lady Tigers received postseason honors, including the conference’s biggest individual honor, in a vote of the league coaches.
Despite playing the entire season with pain in her right knee due to a degenerative bone condition, senior guard Hilary Stanek was named the SBC Player of the Year for a second straight year. She was also a member of the 10-player first team.
Stanek was joined on the first team by senior teammate Ali Brey.
Junior Sami Levy and senior C.J. Hofmeister each received honorable mention.
Senior Mirissa Williamson was Hillsboro’s representative on the All-Sportsmanship team.
Stanek averaged 13.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.9 steals. She shot 36.1 percent (119 of 330) from the field 27.8 percent (15 of 54) on 3-point attempts and 53.3 percent (56 of 105) from the free throw line.
“Playing with a compromised knee all season, Hilary was never 100 percent, but was still, arguably, the best player in the SBC,” said Hillsboro head coach Mark Kocyan. “She led our team in scoring and assists, but also did a tremendous job of rebounds and defending. Due to Hilary’s explosiveness in the open court it was very difficult for teams to pressure us full court.”
In 24 games Brey averaged 9.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game. She also made a team high 33 3-pointers on 133 attempts (28.9 percent) and shot 75.8 percent (91 of 120) from the free throw line.
“Ali led our team in steals and minutes played,” said Kocyan. “She was very difficult to defend due to her perimeter shooting and dribble penetration abilities. Ali was the player we wanted to have the ball late in games because she was such a clutch free throw shooter.”
In 23 games Levy averaged 8.6 points and led the team in rebounding (7.9) and blocks (1.7). She shot 39.7 percent (81 of 204) from the field and 54.7 percent (35 of 64) from the free throw line.
“Sami was a defensive force in the paint,” said Kocyan. “She ran the court well in transition making it difficult for opposing post players to run with her.”
Hofmeister averaged 4.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in 23 contests. She shot 30.8 percent (36 of 117) from the field.
“We emphasize defense in our program, and C.J. took this to heart,” said Kocyan. “C.J. was our best defensive player and was assigned the task of defending the opposing team’s best guard. Her ability to hold other team’s best perimeter players in check was a huge part of this team’s success.”
Williamson played in 16 games and scored 21 points, 14 rebounds and 15 steals.