Topper Tandem Has 20-20 Vision At Auburn

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Alex Frailey scored 11 of her career high 20 points in the fourth quarter, while Layne Rupert dropped in 20-plus for the third straight game as Hillsboro beat Auburn 62-49 on the Trojans’ home court.

The two teams have played one another at least once a year since 2015-16, with Hillsboro winning eight of the last ten meetings going into Monday’s game, including two regional championship wins in 2016 and 2017 and a 51-50 thriller in 2016 at the Riverton Christmas Tournament.

In the latest version of the rivalry, Hillsboro pulled out to a 14-10 lead after eight minute as they spread the scoring around. Layne Rupert, Sierra Compton and Sophia Blankenship all had four points each, while Alex Frailey added two. Auburn’s offense was a different story as senior guard Marley Smith accounted for eight of her team’s 10 points.

The Topper defense slowed Smith in the second quarter, if only momentarily, as she was held to just two points in the next period. As time ticked away, Rupert began to heat up, scoring nine more points to reach double-digits before halftime. Frailey added in five as well, with Meagan White scoring her first points of the game to help Hillsboro to a 30-22 halftime lead.

That margin all but disappeared in the third quarter as the hosts came out firing. Again it was Smith who did the most damage, scoring half of her team’s 18 points as the Trojans shrunk the Topper lead to 42-40, despite six more points from Rupert.

Any hopes of completing the comeback vanished in the fourth quarter, though, as Hillsboro fed Frailey inside. The junior forward torched the Trojans for five field goals and a free throw, upping her point total to a career-best 20.

Rupert would add in three free throws to finish with 22 after scoring 30 against Litchfield and 27 against Vandalia in Hillsboro’s last two games. It was the fifth time the junior guard had hit the 20-point mark this season as she upped her scoring average to 18.67 per game.

Smith would prove to be even more prolific on offense for the Trojans as she hit five of six free throws and a three-pointer in the fourth quarter to finish with 27 points. Unfortunately for Auburn, they could manage just one more point in the final eight minutes and were outscored 20-9 by Hillsboro to see the game slip away.

In addition to the big nights from Rupert and Frailey, Hillsboro also got solid production from Sierra Compton and Sophia Blankenship, who finished with seven points each. Kenadie Carlock and Meagan White rounded out the scoring with three points apiece as Hillsboro improved to 8-4 on the season.

The Toppers are now off until after Christmas, with their first game back slated for Monday, Dec. 27, at the Riverton Christmas Tournament. Hillsboro is in Pool B with Heyworth (who they play at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 27), PORTA (who they play at 9 a.m. on Dec. 28) and Pawnee (who they play at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 28).

Crossover play with the other four pools starts on Wednesday, Dec. 29, with the medal round games held Thursday, Dec. 30, at the Hawk Center.

December 20 at Auburn

Hillsboro 14 16 12 20 62

Auburn 10 12 18 9 49

Hillsboro (62) - Layne Rupert 22, Alex Frailey 20, Sierra Compton 7, Sophia Blankenship 7, Kenadie Carlock 3, Meagan White 3. Totals: 23 14-26 52.

Auburn (49) - Marley Smith 27, Addison Wheatley 6, Izzy Davis 5, Karlissa Clark 5, Kendal Conway 4, Chloe Crissey 2. Totals: 17 12-20 49.

Three-point field goals: Hillsboro 2 (Rupert 2); Auburn 3 (Smith 2, Davis 1).

Records: Hillsboro (8-4); Auburn (3-8).

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