HILLSBORO — Senior Shelby Levy’s monster double–double of 26 points and 12 rebounds led the Hillsboro girls basketball team to its biggest win of the young season last Thursday night.
Levy added seven blocks, three steals and three assists for good measure as the Tigers held off previously once-beaten Seneca 60–52 in a non-conference game at Hillsboro High School.
The game was back and forth throughout with both team having shares of the lead in both halves.
However, Coach Scott Egan’s Hillsboro club was able to seal the victory late at the free throw line, shooting 16 of 20 from the line in the second half.
“I thought this was one of our best wins of the their for many reasons,” said Hillsboro head coach Scott Egan. “First, record wise, Seneca was the best team we had beaten this year, and we knew we’d have to play at a high level to beat them. Second, it was the way we finished that game that was most impressive. The team we had at the beginning of the year would not have been able to make the necessary plays down the stretch to win that game.”
Seneca led by two at halftime, 23–21, but the Tigers outscored the Indians 39–29 in the final 18 minutes.
Hillsboro was led by strong second half performance from Levy (16 points in the half) and senior Sydney Johnson, who scored 11 of her 16 points after intermission before fouling out with four minutes left. Johnson also had five assists and three steals in her first action of the season after missing the first nine games with a reoccurring ankle injury suffered in volleyball season.
Hillsboro was able to overcome foul trouble to Johnson and other starters in the first half and limit their fouls to four as a team in the second half.
Egan was excited to have his team back at full strength, but acknowledge the team’s grit to close out a big win with Johnson out of the game.
“This group was able to get stops on defense and knock down free throws at the end of the game,” said Egan. “That was really exciting to see us finish a game against a good team and not tighten up.”
Now that Hillsboro is back to 100 percent, Egan is thrilled by the possibilities.
“It was exciting to see us fully healthy for the first game this season,” said Egan. “Obviously having Sydney back in our lineup makes a much better team, but I have to give a lot of credit to the girls that stepped up in her absence. To go 6–3 without her was a big accomplishment for this team. On top of that, it is going to make us a better team in the long run, because girls that may have played less minutes if Sydney was in their the whole time, gained a lot of experience, and we have better depth because of it.”
Freshman Molly Crandall had 13 points, including 4 of 4 at the free throw line, and junior guard Courtney Fanta chipped in five for the Tigers.
Erin Sime scored 11 to lead Seneca’s balanced attack in the loss.
Hillsboro hosts top-ranked Bangor (8–1, 4–0 SBC) Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and will host Necedah (5–3, 2–2) next Thursday night.
Hillsboro 60, Seneca 52
(from Thursday, Dec. 29 @ Hillsboro)
Seneca 23 29 — 52
Hillsboro 21 39 — 60
Seneca (7–2) – Alivia Salinas 9, Emily Garfoot 6, Haley Wall 9, Becky Trautsch 4, Michelle Clark 7, Makennz Greene 4, Jena Konichek 2, Erin Sime 11. Totals — 19 11-20 52.
Hillsboro (7–3) – Molly Crandall 13, Courtney Fanta 5, Sydney Johnson 16, Shelby Levy 26. Totals – 18 18-24 60.
3-point goals – S: 3 (Salinas 1, Garfoot 1, Wall 1); H: 2 (Crandall 1, Johnson 1). Team fouls – S: 20; H: 16. Fouled out – S: Wall; H: Johnson.