Hinton shoots past shorthanded Siouxland Christian
HINTON — The Lady Blackhawks knocked down nine shots from the perimeter en route to a 58-32 win over a shorthanded Siouxland Christian team in the season opener for both squads Monday. It was Hinton’s first season-opening win since the 2015-16 campaign.
“I’m very happy,” Hinton Head Coach Matt Leary said. “We came out, first game out, lots of freshmen, sophomores playing. Not a whole ton of experience from last year’s team for a good chunk of them. I thought the effort was there. Fundamentally we’ve probably got some things we need to clean up.”
Siouxland Christian kept it within reach through the first quarter until a 17-0 run for the Blackhawks allowed them to take control of the game in the second. The run turned a 15-9 Hinton advantage into a 32-9 lead until the Eagles closed the final minute of the first half with a layup from Daisy Hiserote and a 3-pointer from Cassie Jones. Those two led the Eagles as Jones put in 16 and Hisorote ended with 11.
With only six players suited up for the game, the Eagles weren’t able to keep up with the Blackhawks who used all 11 players at their disposal for at least two quarters in the game. The Eagles were especially missing Riley Doenhoefer who ended last season as the team’s leading scorer and rebounder. She averaged 13.5 points per contest last winter and her 203 rebounds were nearly double of anyone else on the team.
Hinton’s 17-0 scoring run in the second quarter included a 3-pointer from Natalee Junck who scored all of her 11 points in the first half as she was one of just two Blackhawks in double digits.
Bella Badar had a good first half with nine points, but exploded in the second half as she ended with a game-high 26. She finished with seven 3-point makes with five of those coming after intermission as she kept finding wide-open looks from the perimeter.
“I’ve been struggling in practice lately and just staying after every practice,” Badar said. “I just stayed really calm and just knew that this first win was really important for the season and shot good for the team.”
Badar was the team’s most prolific 3-point shooter last year, but wasn’t the most accurate with a success rate of just 23.5 percent, making 48 of her 204 attempts. Coach Leary said she’s been putting in lots of time in the gym to increase her shooting percentage.
“Bella obviously shot the ball extremely well and the girls did a good job of finding her with the hot hand,” Leary said. “She’s a gym rat. She’s always the first one to stay after practice and get some extra reps in. She’s one of those ones where if she gets in a zone, she can fill it up pretty quickly. That sure made life easier for us when some of those threes were going in.”
The 26 points is a career-high mark for Badar who scored her previous best of 21 last season as a freshman against Clay Central-Everly.
Siouxland Christian opened with the first bucket of the second half before another double digit Hinton run lasted the rest of the third quarter. Badar knocked down three triples in the third as she had all but two of the team’s 13 points in the quarter with Anna Coffee getting the other basket. Coffee finished a point shy of double figures as she eased back into the lineup with limited playing time after not suiting up for the team in their jamboree matchup with Kingsley-Pierson last week. Coffee and Emma Webb, who both had season-ending injuries a year ago, were back on the court for the team with matching knee braces. Badar said it was nice to have them back on the court as she had to carry the bulk of the load by herself last year when those two missed the second half of the season.
“It’s really nice just knowing I can pass the ball and not all pressure’s on me,” Badar said. “Even though last year I had good teammates, it was just hard to lose two main players so it’s really nice having them back and we have good strong freshmen coming up and they’re learning, so I’m excited to see where we’ll be in a few weeks.”
Siouxland Christian had their best scoring quarter in the fourth where they actually outscored the Blackhawks by a point. Leary said it was an overall good defensive effort from his team, but too many fouls led to eight of the Eagles’ 14 fourth quarter points.
“We got a little foul-happy in the fourth quarter and that was about the only way they were scoring was at the free-throw line,” Leary said. “I think as we got fatigued, we kind of came straight up and down and weren’t moving our feet as well and we’d get out of position and foul.”
The win was Hinton’s largest margin of victory since a January 2018 win of the same margin against Remsen St. Mary’s. The Blackhawks will look to move to 2-0 on Tuesday, Dec. 3 when they host Trinity Christian, a team they’ve never lost to.
“I hope we’re undefeated ’til as long as we can go,” Badar said. “We’re young so we’ve just got to pick it up and we’ll learn along the way, but I’m excited to see where we’ll be.”
Hinton: Points- Badar 26, Junck 11, Coffee 9, Reintzel 6, Weiland 4, Fleckenstein 2.