NECEDAH — Sophomore forward Sydney Johnson erupted for a career-high 27 points to lead Hillsboro to a 56–37 SBC victory at Necedah last Thursday night.
Johnson scored 17 of her game-high 27 points in after halftime as the Tigers outscored the Cardinals, 31–13, in the second half to pull away for the 19-point win.
“Sydney had an outstanding second half,” said Hillsboro head coach Scott Egan. “She really helped carry the scoring load when we needed someone to step up and do that. It was a game where we were struggling on offense and we needed to have someone step up like that.”
Johnson also added seven steals, four rebounds and two blocks.
“With Sydney, it’s all about confidence,” added Egan. “I think she has the ability to the things she did last night on a regular basis, but she has to play with confidence and focus on a regular basis.”
Hillsboro trailed most of the first half, as Necedah controlled the game early on.
“The game was a tale of two halves,” said Egan. “In the first half, Necedah had all the energy and momentum until about the last five minutes.”
Johnson and senior forward Morgan Huntley spurred Hillsboro’s late run as the Tigers closed the first half with a slim 25–24 lead. The second half was all Tigers.
Huntley finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Senior guard Mackenzie Sullivan chipped in six points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Senior guard Brittany Borchardt passed out a team-high four assists.
Hillsboro snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 9–4 overall and 3–3 in the Scenic Bluffs. Necedah fell to 6–6, 2–4.
“It felt good to get back in the win column, especially against a solid opponent in Necedah,” said Egan. “I’ve really liked some of the things I’ve seen recently in our play minus the first half Thursday night. We are starting to see things that we weren’t at the beginning of the season. The most important thing to me is whether or not we continue to progress and grow as a team every day.”
The Tigers hosted New Lisbon (4–8, 1–5) on Tuesday and will next travel to Royall (8–3, 3–3) on Friday night.
Hillsboro 56, Necedah 37
(from Thursday, Jan. 14 @ Necedah)
Hillsboro 25 31 — 56
Necedah 24 13 — 37
Hillsboro (9–4, 3–3) – Mackenzie Sullivan 6, Courtney Fanta 2, Sydney Johnson 27, Alexis Mathis 2, Morgan Huntley 13, Destiny Shore 3, Danyelle Minor 1, Shelby Levy 2. Totals – 22 6-15 56.
Necedah (6–6, 2–4) – Kristin Darnell 12, Cheyenne Sterbenz 5, Lexie Holton 1, Elyssa Sheley 7, Lindsey Murphy 7, Isabell Negaard 3, Braedynn Jones 2. Totals – 14 5-16 37.
3-point goals – H: 4 (Johnson 3, Shore 1): N: 4 (Darnell 1, Sterbenz 1, Sheley 1, Ruskowsky 1). Team fouls – H: 17; N: 17. Fouled out – N: Darnell.