Prep girls' basketball: Skyline tames Hillcrest to keep region lead
The Skyline's girls basketball team was in need of a bounce-back game after dropping a three-point decision at Murray last week.
The host Eagles, who sit atop the Region 7 standings, returned to the win column Tuesday, although Hillcrest bounced back several times itself before falling 58-41.
"We knew we had to win to stay on top of the region," said Skyline senior Carly Gilliland, who finished with 13 points. "That was our first priority. We definitely had something to prove."
Skyline (13-6, 7-1) held an eight-point lead at halftime but went into a scoring drought to begin the third period. Hillcrest (13-5, 6-2) clipped away behind a pair of baskets from the floor and one free throw from Madi Shaw.
Just past the midway point of the third, however, a Sydnee Taylor steal led to a bucket from Gilliland to make the score 33-28. That was followed by a score from Hillary Weixler then a fast-break layup from Taylor, who finished with 18 points, to extend the lead back to nine.
The Huskies, who had recovered from deficits of nine or more points twice in the first half, had one more comeback in them. Consecutive hoops by Whitney Nemelka, who had a team-high 17 points, trimmed the Skyline lead to five with 1 minute, 15 seconds left in the third period.
But Eagles guard Carline Li hit a pair of free throws with 5 seconds remaining in the quarter. Skyline then started the fourth with a 9-1 run and rub out Hillcrest's rally.
"We came out with more energy, more focused and ready to play tonight," Eagles coach Lynette Schroeder said.
While Skyline struggled some with turnovers, it did push the ball when the opportunities arrived. Open Hillcrest attempts that went awry immediately led to fast-break scores from Taylor and Gilliland during an early 9-0 run.
"We always want to push transition, and I think the difference between tonight and Murray was that we actually got rebounds, were able to box out to start the transition," Schroeder said.
Schroeder pointed to two more differences between Skyline's two most recent region games.
"Our was scoring was pretty evenly distributed that always helps," she said. "And it also helps when you don' shoot 20 percent."
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