SHABBONA – The Hinckley-Big Rock girls basketball team ran out to a double-digit lead early Thursday night against Indian Creek and never looked back in a 48-31 Little Ten Conference victory.
The Royals used a mixture of solid defense and hot shooting to claim a 21-7 first-quarter lead. H-BR hit on 9 of 13 shots in the opening eight minutes and forced eight turnovers.
“We played good defense for 32 minutes,” H-BR coach Greg Burks said. “The first quarter set the tone, then we were able to extend it a little more in the second. The second half we really just maintained, but I thought we managed the game pretty well. This was a big win in the conference.”
H-BR (6-5, 4-0 LTC) had balance scoring, with senior Jacqueline Madden leading the way with a game-high 12 points and swiping seven steals. Bridgette Edmeier and Karrigan Cowan followed with 10 points each, Lauren Paver chipped in eight and Abbie Tosch netted six while snaring a game-high 10 rebounds. Indian Creek was led by Kate Thuestad’s 11 points and eight rebounds, and Josie Diehl chipped in nine points and eight boards.
“We had good balance and everyone was ready to execute the minute they stepped on the floor,” Burks said. “I was really pleased about those two things. We are starting to play better.”
Indian Creek (4-8, 2-3 LTC) played the visitors even after the first quarter, but coach Paul Muchmore said his club needed that kind of effort from the opening tip.
“They definitely came to play; they were faster than us, quicker to the ball,” Muchmore said. “It looked like they had a little more motivation then we did to be here, but this was the first game this year that we just got beat from the get-go. They won this game in the first three minutes.”
H-BR shooters were 51 percent from the floor, with Edmeier, Cowan and Tosch doing a solid job in the low post.
“You just have to get good position, get the defender on your back and hope that bounce pass comes,” Tosch said. “I thought we did a good job of that tonight.”
Muchmore, despite the loss, was happy with the play of Thuestad and Diehl. Thuestad didn’t play in her junior season and still is trying to find her game, while Diehl is only a freshman.
“I thought Kate did a nice job when we got her in the post,” Muchmore said. “She took a year off, so it’s going to take her a while to knock off some rust. She just needs to get some confidence in her jumpshot, but she is just going to get better and better. Josie Diehl had a nice game tonight, she met the challenge.”