Ranked No. 1 in preseason poll of coaches
Hillsboro girls’ basketball head coach Nathan Hiebert expects guard play will be the Trojans’ strength this year, and with good reason.
The two returning starters from Hillsboro’s 2012-13 team that placed third in the state are senior guards Addie Lackey and Danae Bina, who both averaged double-digit scoring last season.
Lackey is the team’s leading returning scorer, averaging 14.2 points per game last year, to go along with 4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.8 steals. Lackey recently signed an offer to play college basketball with the Emporia State University Hornets, ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division 2.
“She is an extremely skilled ball-handler, passer, and has one of the best mid-range games of anybody we’ve ever recruited,” Emporia State head coach Jory Collins said last week.
Hiebert said Lackey put in a lot of time working on her shooting during the summer. He added that she’s a good passer who can make a lot happen for teammates.
Bina averaged 11.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2.9 steals a game last season. Hiebert said she frustrates opposing teams with her defensive intensity, and she has good skills on offense and is a solid rebounder.
“She brings a lot of toughness on both ends of the court,” Hiebert said.
Sophomore guard Alex Ratzlaff averaged 4 points, 3 rebounds, 0.9 assists, and 1.2 steals a game as a reserve player last year, but she played in a limited number of games because of injury.
Hiebert said senior guard Maddi Duerksen will be one of the team’s keys, and that she will have to play a bigger role this year. Last year she averaged 1.8 points, 1 rebound, 0.4 assists, and 0.5 steals.
Junior guard Allison Weber will be counted on to provide solid minutes as a reserve. Junior forward Darcy Heinrichs is a bright player and has been good in the post for the team in practice, Hiebert said.
Hiebert said he has no single criteria to measure the success of the coming season. He said the team should be near the top of the Central Kansas League, and he has his sights set on winning the season-opening Moundridge tournament, the Hillsboro tournament, and advancing to state.
He said he also hopes his players enjoy playing with one another and understand their value and importance.
Hiebert said reaching those goals will take a new game plan from last year.
“Every year we’re a new team,” he said. “We want to utilize our guards.”
Hillsboro has gone to the 3A state tournament the past five years, placing third the past three years. The team won’t be going to the 3A state tournament this year, as Hillsboro moved to class 2A this year.
The Kansas Basketball Coaches Association ranked Hillsboro No. 1 in 2A in its preseason poll.
The Trojans begin their season Tuesday against Lyons in the Moundridge tournament.