For the first time since 2010, the Hillsboro Lady Burros (22-5) advanced to the substate round and the region championship with a 46-30 win over the Summit Lady Spartans (16-14) in the Region 6-4A semifinals at Summit High School Monday night.
“It means a lot for my team,” said Hillsboro head coach Cherish Stringfield. “They have been bought in and every year they just got better and better.”
In the first quarter, Hillsboro got off to a fast start, taking a 14-9 lead with buckets by seniors Latisha Parris and Derriona Salter and junior Kamil Washum.
The game was deadlocked at 19 by halftime, as Summit answered with three pointers and layups by senior Nicole Rizane, senior Bergen Allee and senior Cydney Wright.
In the third quarter, Hillsboro kept their edge with a 29-23 lead on three pointers and jumpers by Parris, junior Latazia Williamson, junior Kimora Lockett and sophomore Regan Starks.
The Lady Burros turned up the heat in the fourth quarter with layups, behind the arc shots, and free throws by Parris, Williamson, Lockett and Washum to secure the win 46-30.
Lockett paced Hillsboro with 11 points and Derriona Salter added 10.
“That has been the expectation all season,” said Coach Stringfield. “They (Kimora Lockett and Derriona Salter) are the two that we need to lead us offensively. It does not surprise me that the two of them did their jobs and performed with poise and intention to take us to the next step.”
“It was really a team effort,” said Salter. “I feel like it was my teammates seeing us open on the opposite side getting us ready for the shot.”
“They (Lockett and Salter) are always attackers and scorers, so they just found the gap,” said Parris. “After Summit picked up on that, the rest of us had to hop on it and start scoring.”
Allee with led Summit 13 points on the night, and Rizane notched 12.
The Lady Burros defense was staunch, holding Summit to their second-lowest point total of the season.
“It is not a secret that we need to understand the job at hand,” said Coach Stringfield. “We need to be sharp and aware enough to know where we are supposed to be and when. One of our strong suits is being able to capitalize on defensive reads.”
“Our defense was on one page tonight, and communication was everything,” said Parris.
Before playing the sectional round, Hillsboro will battle Ravenwood on Wednesday night for the Region 6 championship.
“I am hoping to see a good game,” said Coach Stringfield. “It will be very competitive, and I look forward to it.”