Hinton ends game short of state with loss to Central Lyon

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
(Photo By Roy Tucker) Hinton’s Aubree Lake goes up for a score in the team’s regional final game against Central Lyon. Lake is one of three graduating seniors for the Blackhawks.

ORANGE CITY — Yes, there were tears in the Hinton locker room following Friday’s 61-33 loss to No. 2 Central Lyon in the Class 2A Region 2 title game at Unity Christian High School.

Even the eyes of Head Coach Matt Leary looked misty as he shared his feelings about the end of an outstanding 20-4 season to an opponent which was last year’s Class 2A state tournament runner-up.

Central Lyon (22-0) is seeded second heading into today’s (Wednesday) 10 a.m. first-round match-up against Panorama at Des Moines’ Wells Fargo Arena.

Central Lyon’s defense held No. 10 Hinton to 30.6 percent (15-of-49) shooting, forced 17 turnovers and scored 17 points off miscues. The inside-outside combination of 5-foot-11 Desta Hoogendoorn and University of South Dakota recruit Addison Klosterbuer scored 16 and 13 points, respectively, and teamed up for 17 points as the Siouxland Conference champions raced to a 23-7 first-quarter lead.

“(Leary) said it was a good season, which it was,” said 6-foot Hinton junior Ashlyn Kovarna, who provided six points and nine rebounds. “We had a memorable season at Hinton. We worked hard all season. The team made it fun. There were great leaders on the court. We did everything we could tonight, but we just fell short.”

Hinton’s last 20-game win season came from the 2013-14 squad that went 20-3.

Leary, who guided the 2000, 2002 and 2004 squads to 2A state tourneys at Des Moines’ old Veterans Auditorium, saw an 11-game winning streak come to an end. All four Hinton losses were to state-ranked teams, including the War Eagle Conference’s lone state tourney representative, Remsen St. Mary’s, the No. 4 seed in Class 1A.

“We had a lot of tears in that locker room, which told us they were fully invested,” said Leary, whose team received eight points and seven rebounds from 6-foot freshman Bailey Boeve while senior Natalee Junck added six points.

“They really believed they could win tonight. By the end of the weekend, they’ll be able to look back and say it was a good year, 20 wins, the most wins by a Hinton team in a long, long time.”

Central Lyon held Hinton scoreless until the 4:44 mark of the first quarter when Aubree Lake (4 points, 3 assists, 2 steals), one of three starting seniors, drove to the hoop. Prior to Lake’s basket, the Lions had scored 13 points, six off turnovers.

The Lions were aggressive in Hinton’s passing lanes. Hoogendoorn, who entered with 48 blocked shots, had seven swats.

“They were great on ball pressure,” said Leary. “There were lots of deflections. We thought we’d have a mismatch with one of the posts with Ashlyn and Bailey with Hoogendoorn guarding one of them. They took us out of a lot of things on the perimeter and made scoring inside tougher, too.”

Some of those turnovers came on passes under the basket to Kovarna and Boeve. Kovarna said the Blackhawks expected Central Lyon’s tight defense.

“They were in our face,” she said. “We couldn’t do nothing. Well, we could, but they were tight and they were right there.”

Trailing 38-11 at halftime, Hinton showed determination by outscoring Central Lyon 14-11 in the third quarter.

Kovarna scored six tough inside points in the frame, while Junck swished her team-leading 40th and 41st three-point baskets, the last one cutting a 45-13 deficit to 49-25.

“We said in the locker room we had to win the third quarter,” said Leary. “Make that your goal, your challenge. It showed the character of our kids. They are competitors in cross country, in volleyball. They don’t quit. They know how to compete.”

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