With six seniors and five starting spots, someone was going to have to miss out on the senior night tradition of being in the starting five. On Monday, March 1, that odd woman out for the Hillsboro girls basketball team was Haley Major.
Major, the team’s fourth leading scorer at 5.8 points per contest and second most prolific three-point shooter, took a seat so one of her other classmates, Vanessa Compton, Kelsey Holtgrave, Claire Tester, Nikya Harston and Brianna Guinn, wouldn’t have to.
When the senior guard was in the game, she had a major impact, scoring a team-best 14 points as Hillsboro improved to 10-2 overall and 5-0 in the South Central Conference with a 62-35 win over Staunton.
Seniors accounted for 39 of Hillsboro’s 62 points in the game and all 14 that the Lady Toppers scored in the first quarter to take a two-point lead over the Bulldogs.
The single digit lead wouldn’t make it to the end of the first half as Hillsboro outscored Staunton 15-5 in the second quarter behind seven points from Layne Rupert. Rupert’s surge, including Hillsboro’s first three of the game, helped the Toppers to a 29-17 halftime advantage.
From there, Hillsboro took over, outscoring Staunton 14-9 in the third and 19-9 in the fourth. Rupert added another three and led the way with five points in the third, while Major scored four points, giving her eight total through three quarters.
She would heat up from behind the arc in the fourth quarter, hitting two threes (her eighth and ninth of the season) to finish with 14 points.
That matched her career best, set last year in games against Tri-City and Greenville. Major wasn’t just good, but efficient too, going 6-for-10 from the field. Three of those misses came from three-point range as she went 4-of-5 inside the arc.
Claire Tester added in 13 points and ten rebounds for Hillsboro, notching her second double-double of the season. Nikya Harston nearly joined her teammate in that category, scoring eight points and ten boards, putting her two points shy of what would have been her fourth double-double. Vanessa Compton rounded out the senior scoring with a pair of field goals, yielding four points in the win.
Layne Rupert scored 12 points in the win, but facilitated as much as she scored, dishing out eight assists on the night. The rest of the points came from Alex Frailey (six), Abbigail Schreiber (three, her first varsity points) and Sophie Blankenship (two).
Analise Best led Staunton with 12 points, hitting three of Staunton’s four three-pointers, while Caidy Tuetken (niece of Hillsboro Coach Bret Tuetken) hit the other three and finished with seven points.
The win improved Hillsboro to 9-2 overall and 5-0 in the South Central Conference going into their game with Vandalia on Wednesday, March 3. The Lady Hiltoppers still have plenty of land mines to get through to go undefeated in the conference though, including Gillespie (3-3 in the SCC) on March 5, and Southwestern (6-0 in the SCC) on March 6.
If they can get past those three (including Vandalia), traditional power Pana awaits in the conference finale on March 8.
March 1 at Hillsboro
Staunton 12 5 9 9 35
Hillsboro 14 15 14 19 62
Staunton (35) - Analise Best 12, Caidy Tuetken 7, Kennedy Legendre 6, Savannah Billings 6, Brooke Kinder 2, Haris Legendre 2. Totals: 13 2-8 35.
Hillsboro (62) - Haley Major 14, Claire Tester 13, Layne Rupert 12, Nikya Harston 8, Alex Frailey 6, Vanessa Compton 4, Abbigail Schreiber 3, Alex Frailey 2. Totals: 27-61 3-5 62.
Three-point field goals: Staunton 4 (Best 3, Tuetken 1); Hillsboro 5-18 (Major 2, Rupert 2, Schreiber 1).
Records: Hillsboro (9-2, 5-0).