Kutch working harder to put up numbers


By: Rudy Brandl
   Kelsey Kutch has learned that making headlines can yield a double-edged sword.
   While the junior forward loves to accumulate monster numbers to lead the Hillsborough High girls’ basketball team, she now realizes that extra defensive attention will come as a result. Once a player has scored 30 points in a game like Kutch did in a December victory over North Hunterdon, there’s no way opposing teams will ever forget to guard that offensive threat.
   Things haven’t been as easy for Kutch and her team since that impressive victory, but she broke out of a mini-slump with a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds in last Friday night’s 61-34 victory over Montgomery.
   Kutch is the Hillsborough Beacon Athlete of the Week.
   "If you do well, your team does well," Kutch said. "It was great getting 30 points, but I knew it was going to be hard with a lot of people on me."
   Kutch opened the season with 94 points in the first four games. She was averaging 23.5 points and 11.3 rebounds when the Lady Raiders were 4-0.
   Then came a rough patch that began with a lopsided loss to North Hunterdon in the War of the Worlds Tournament. Kutch was held to nine points in that game. She hit double figures in the next four games but was limited to a season-low six points in last week’s loss at Franklin.
   Kutch and her teammates responded from that defeat in a big way Friday night. Kutch posted her third double-double of the year, scoring six points in each of the first three quarters and five early in the fourth before taking a seat on the bench.
   The third Kutch sister to play in the HHS program, Kelsey has a good chance to become the school’s next 1,000-point scorer. She surpassed 500 points in the second game of this season and still has another full season next winter.
   Kutch plans to continue playing ball at the college level. Her current list of schools includes Lehigh, Niagara, UPenn and Marist.