Hillsboro — Coming into their Monday night showdown with La Salle Prep, the Hillsboro Spartans were riding a six-game winning streak to begin the new year, passing every test thus far entering their date with #10 La Salle Prep. The Falcons entered the evening with a newly minted #10 spot in the 5A Coaches Poll, along with some momentum after losing to Wilsonville last Tuesday 49-46.
The opening quarter was by all accounts one-sided, like really one-sided. La Salle Prep would open the game with buckets by Emma Buchanan and Clara Hudson, with Mia Skoro putting up a couple shots herself. The Falcons forced Hillsboro into lots of turnovers with their press defense and stiff post D, finding themselves throwing a first quarter shutout and leading 8-0 after one quarter. Ella Wedin would open the second quarter with a bucket before Hillsboro finally got on the board in the form of a Kaleah Webb free throw. Wedin would answer with a trey, making it a 13-1 game. Hillsboro started to find their flow late in the half when Margaret Shively hit the gas pedal, putting up the Spartans final nine points of the quarter. However, the Falcons had an answer for each bucket, extending their lead to 23-10 at the half. Skoro led La Salle Prep with seven points, Shively lead all scorers with nine for the Spartans. The Falcons forced 13 first half turnovers and held the Spartans to 18.8% shooting, clear indicators of how the teams managed to get where they were in the game.
La Salle Prep once again opened the scoring in the third and would keep throwing the punches, outscoring Hillsboro 7-2 to open the second half. However, the Spartans were far from giving up, as they went on a 7-0 run by Shively and Braxtyn Ellsworth to close it down to a 30-19 game. The rest of the third was just trading runs between the teams, which ended with a lucky bounce buzzer-beater for Ella Wedin and a 38-25 La Salle Prep lead. The Falcons would close it out in the fourth, hitting an 11-0 stretch over six minutes to blow it open to 49-25, eventually winning the match 53-27. Wedin lead all players with 16 points, six steals, and five assists on the night. Shively was the star for Hillsboro, finishing with 13 points, six rebounds, and a steal.
Hillsboro: Well that could’ve gone better. 26 turnovers to go along with 22.9% shooting from the field will be the black eyes on this game for the Spartans. It seemed like they were trying to smash a square peg into a circle hole the entire game, forcing plays that weren’t working and just getting ran over by La Salle Prep. If something isn’t working, don’t keep doing it over and over again, that’s how you get what happened tonight.
La Salle Prep: Well that could’ve gone better. The final result doesn’t show how much worse they could’ve blown out Hillsboro and probably should have. They did their job and held Hillsboro at bay, but you can’t help to think that they should’ve shot better than 36.2% for the game. Their defense was excellent and the offense played solidly all night but hitting more open buckets will likely be talked about in practice as they left plenty of points out there on the floor tonight. A good team, but they have the ceiling to be much better than they were on Monday.