LEES CREEK — A 20-6 second quarter helped East Clinton overcome a slow start Wednesday night as the Astros defeated Hillsboro 63-50 in girls basketball action at ECHS.
East Clinton (9-2) trailed 11-6 in the first quarter but then scored the last seven points of the period to take a 13-11 lead to the second.
“When we started scoring and got in our press, we got two or three steals out of our press,” EC head coach Bill Bean said. “That got us going. We’ve done that all year. That press gets us up-tempo and gets us going. We play much better that way.”
In total, it was part of a 27-6 run that gave the Astros a 33-17 lead at the break.
Hillsboro (5-6) went on a run of its own in the third quarter, turning a 20-point deficit to a seven-point game midway through the third. But the Indians couldn’t get any closer.
“Give Hillsboro some credit,” Bean said. “A lot of teams that get down like that are going to give up. I told (Hillsboro head coach) Chad Fields after the game, ‘Your kids play really hard.’ That’s key when you get down that they don’t give up on you.”
Bean was pleased with the way his team responded to the Hillsboro run.
“Our kids didn’t panic either,” Bean said. “I’ve seen teams that panic in that situation when a team is making a run at them. I thought our kids kept their composure and finished it off.”
Libby Evanshine led the Astros with 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Lauren Runyon added 19 points and 13 rebounds.
Gracie Dean led Hillsboro with 18 points. Brynn Bledsoe added 10.
After winning all six SBC National Division games the first time around the league, the Astros sit atop the division. Several SBC coaches were in attendance Wednesday night, hoping to find something to help them against EC in 2022.
“We’ve got a target on our back,” Bean said. “A lot of these same girls had a very good year in volleyball and won a league championship. I told them, ‘You’ve gone through the first round undefeated. The second time around is going to be a little tougher.’”
Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021
At East Clinton High School
East Clinton 63, Hillsboro 50
(50) HILLSBORO (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Gracie Dean 7-1-3-18, Mya Bell 4-0-1-9, Peighton Bledsoe 3-0-0-6, Brynn Bledsoe 5-0-0-10, Blake Herdman 3-0-1-7. TOTALS 22-1-5-50.
(63) EAST CLINTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jordan Collom 1-1-1-4, Libby Evanshine 10-1-2-23, Kami Whiteaker 1-0-4-6, Lauren Runyon 8-0-3-19, Jozie Jones 0-0-1-1, Jayden Murphy 4-1-1-10. TOTALS 24-3-12-63.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.