A late three and an offensive putback narrowly missed their marks for the Hillsboro girls basketball team on Monday, Feb. 8, as the Lady Hiltoppers fell to Rochester 47-45 on the Rockets home court.
Taking on Hillsboro alum J.R. Boudouris’ Rockets, Hillsboro snuck out to an 11-9 lead with five different players scoring for Coach Bret Tuetken’s club.
Kaylen Reed would catch fire for the Rockets in the second quarter, scoring seven points and helping her team to a 29-14 halftime lead. Layne Rupert and Claire Tester would keep the Toppers close, scoring six and five respectively in the second quarter.
Last year’s leading scorer, Nikya Harston, scored just four points in the first half but doubled that total in the third quarter alone on Monday. All eight of the Toppers’ double-double machine were needed as Reed remained hot and tacked on six points, helping Rochester to a 41-35 advantage going into the fourth.
Reed would continue her offensive onslaught with four more points in the fourth quarter, giving her a team-high 19 for the game, but Hillsboro would hold the rest of the Rockets to just two points as they tried to sneak out of town with a win.
Harston would score four points and Tester would add three more as Hillsboro got with two of the home team, with Haley Major also contributing a big bucket in the comeback bid.
The Toppers would have two chances to tie or take the lead in the final ten seconds, but a three-pointer rimmed out, as did the attempt after an offensive rebound by Hillsboro.
The loss was a tough one for the Toppers, but once again showed that Harston and Tester will be forces to be reckoned with in their senior year. After combining for 23 points and 17 rebounds a game last year, the duo combined for 28 on Monday, with Harston scoring 16 and Tester adding 12. Layne Rupert chipped in eight points and Alex Fraley had four, all coming in the first half, while Major contributed three points, all in the second half. Sierra Compton also scored her first varsity points with a two in the opening quarter.
With a game on Wednesday, Feb. 10, in Greenville and back-to-back road contests in Auburn on Thursday and Staunton on Friday, the Toppers have the opportunity to rebound from the loss quickly.
February 8 at Rochester
Hillsboro 11 13 11 10 45
Rochester 9 20 12 6 47
Hillsboro (45) - Nikya Harston 16, Claire Tester 12, Layne Rupert 8, Alex Frailey 4, Haley Major 3, Sierra Compton 2. Totals: 17 8-16 45.
Rochester (47) - Kaylen Reed 19, Arianna Gillespie 8, Emma Dixon 6, Morgan Kavanaugh 4, Jazmin Ellis 3, Jenna Domran 3, Ellie Gegan 2, Hannah Tinder 2. Totals: 21 4-6 47.
Three-point field goals: Hillsboro 2 (Tester 2); Rochester 1 (Dorman 1).
Records: Hillsboro (0-1); Rochester (1-0).