It was like a cat toying with a mouse.
With 3 minutes, 54 seconds left on the clock in the second quarter, Hays-Thomas More Prep only trailed the Hillsboro girls’ team 19-8. Two layups each from Addie Lackey and Maci Schlehuber helped Hillsboro increase that margin to 30-15 at halftime.
With the sharpshooting of Heather Ruder, who had 15 points in the game, 9 in the first half all on 3-point shots, it seemed like TMP might stay in the game.
Then the third quarter started. Hillsboro started the quarter on a 10-0 run with layups from Tena Loewen, Lackey, and Schlehuber and two steals. Ruder knocked down another three but Hillsboro was rolling in transition. The Trojans had six steals in the quarter all of which ended in layups. Hillsboro outscored TMP 22-7 in the third to take a 52-22 lead and start a running clock in the fourth quarter. The Trojans eventually won the game, 65-25.
“Coach Nathan Hiebert told us at the beginning of the game, that he did not want them to get any layups,” Schlehuber said. “We came out ready to work.”
It was a breakout game for Schlehuber, who had 18 points to lead all scorers. She scored in a variety of ways. She had multiple layups, some in transition and a few on drives through the lane. Her two lay-ins to end the half were notable. For the first, she executed a spin move in the middle of the lane, crossing over from her left to right hand, before converting the underhanded layup.
“I just kind of felt her on my side,” she said.
She also hit the last shot of the half, dribbling down the right side of the lane, she looped a hooking layup over a TMP defender about 6 feet in the basket, hitting the shot with a gentle bank off the glass.
More importantly for Hillsboro, she also hit shots from 3-point land. Nine of her 18 points came on threes. Schlehuber had yet to find her touch from downtown this season. If Schlehuber and Lackey could both be hitting beyond the arc, teams would pay for playing a 2-3 zone against the Trojans.
“We got more inside out shots, especially against the zone,” Schlehuber said. “All of us had time to set up and relax.”
Lackey was the second high scorer for Hillsboro with 15 points. Schlehuber also had seven rebounds to go along with a hot scoring night.
After the game, Schlehuber feeling was one down, two more wins to go in the Trojan Classic Tournament. She said the team is hungry to win the tournament for the first time.
“We want to win this thing,” she said.
The Trojans play 8 p.m. Thursday against Hesston.