HHS girls win, boys lose in state playoffs

Lady Raiders face Howell again; boys finish 13-12

By: Rudy Brandl
   Hillsborough High’s basketball teams split in Monday night’s Central Jersey Group 4 playoff openers.
   The HHS girls won their 12th consecutive game with a 54-39 home triumph over Steinert, while the Raider boys were bombed at Middletown North by a 63-47 margin. The Lady Raiders (20-6) will challenge top-ranked Howell Wednesday night, while the Hillsborough boys ended their very positive campaign with a 13-12 record.
   As expected, the Hillsborough girls came out a bit slow, especially on the defensive end of the floor. Just over 48 hours after winning the Somerset County title Saturday, the Lady Raiders needed some time to get going. They broke a 19-19 tie with a 14-4 flurry in the second quarter and were never threatened the rest of the way.
   Ali DeLuca scored six of her game-high 18 points in the second quarter. Kelsey Kutch netted five of her 11 and Meaghan Morley added the team’s other three points in the surge. Ebony Jones also scored 11 in the game, while Heather Neumann dropped in a pair of threes and finished with seven points.
   The HHS boys started fast and built a 19-11 lead three minutes into the second quarter before the roof caved in. Middletown North ended the half on an 11-0 run to take a three-point lead. The home team continued the onslaught, hitting seven of its eight threes in the middle two periods.
   North (19-7) held the Raiders scoreless for a span of 8:08 during the third and fourth quarters, nailing four threes during a 22-0 flurry that turned a tight game into a blowout. The Raiders only made two of their first 19 shots in the second half and could not get back in the game.
   For a complete recap of all the HHS state playoff action, see Thursday’s Hillsborough Beacon.