HINCKLEY – Entering the postseason, the Hinckley-Big Rock basketball team was the No. 1 seed and the favorite to win their own Class 1A regional.
The Royals left little doubt in the regional semifinals, scoring 12 consecutive points to open the game against Mooseheart and never looking back. H-BR beat the Lady Ramblers, 52-13, to advance to the H-BR Regional Final on Thursday.
H-BR (15-13) was in control most of the game but both coach Greg Burks and his players knew that they could have done better.
“We didn’t play to our ability,” senior Lauren Paver said. “We sort of played down to their level and coach wasn’t too happy about that. For the game on Thursday, we have to pick it up.”
Despite forcing 36 Mooseheart turnovers in the contest, the Royals gave the ball back numerous times, turning the ball over 24 times of their own.
“We had too many turnovers,” Burks said. “Fortunately, they weren’t able to capitalize on those. We were able to get the win, but there were a lot of things that need to improve. The team knows that.”
The play was sloppy throughout, but the Lady Royals still shot the ball fairly efficient. H-BR shot 45 percent from the field and knocked down two 3-pointers.
The highlight of the H-BR victory was its defense, which only allowed 13 Lady Rambler points on 14-percent shooting.
“There were times where we looked pretty decent. Ultimately, there were times where we didn’t execute very well,” Burks said. “We will have to do a lot better job moving forward on Thursday. That will start with having a good effort in practice tomorrow and being focused on what needs to happen.”
Paver finished with 15 points to lead all scorers. Jacqueline Madden and Caitlin Flanigan each finished with 9 point apiece. Andrea Binkley and Anne Klein chipped in with 6 points each.
The Lady Royals will play for their eighth consecutive regional championship on Thursday at 7 p.m., but Paver said that things will need to change before then.
“We just need to go out there and play our game,” Paver said. “We are going to have to take care of the ball and get rebounds and play our game.”