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Lady Mustangs open season with win over HHS

Lead Summary

     Not holding anything back in the first quarter, the Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs took control in the first eight minutes and never looked back as they defeated the Hillsboro Lady Indians 48-18 Friday night in both teams’ season opener, at the Patriot Center.

     L-C junior Lillian Blankenship was the star of the game as she led all scorers with 18 points, netting 11 points in the first quarter. Blankenship made seven shots total from the field (7 of 19), including one 3-point shot. The junior was 3 of 4 from the free-throw line.

     “Lillian had a solid game,” Lynchburg-Clay coach Linda Hatten said. “She had a strong preseason and worked on her game all summer. She put a lot of hours in on her own and didn’t play a fall sport so she could dedicate herself to basketball. Her defense is always tremendous and she makes the team better when she is out on the court.”

     The Lady Mustangs (1-0) controlled the contest in the first quarter, with Blankenship scoring the first four points. With 5:55left in the quarter, junior Meredith Fittro drained a 3-pointer while being fouled to the ground. She converted the four-point play by sinking the ensuing free throw for the early 8-0 lead.

     “I think we were intimidated by Lynchburg-Clay at the start of the game,” Hillsboro coach Herb Mihalik said. “(Lillian) Blankenship had a good quarter and good game against us. We traveled too much, but we are learning. We want the girls to be patient, but we have to learn if we have a shot, we have to take it.”

     HHS sophomore Annemarie Stamper broke up the scoring run with the Lady Indians’ first points of the season, but again the hot hand of Blankenship was there to offset the HHS points.

     With four straight points by Blankenship, sophomore Brooke Hertlein nailed a jumper at the 2:59 mark of the opening quarter for a 14-2 L-C lead. HHS junior A.J. Sanders sank 1 of 2 free throws following the basket by Hertlein.

     L-C senior Lindsey Hawk came back with inside points, and after Stamper netted two more points for HHS, freshman Laney Lewis scored the first points of her high school career for the Lady Mustangs. Blankenship ended the quarter with a 3-pointer to make the score 21-5.

     “We had a great first quarter, but after that things went downhill for us when Hillsboro put the zone on,” Hatten said.

     Scoring was down dramatically for L-C in the second quarter as HHS outscored the Lady Mustangs 5-4, with senior Heather Storer leading HHS with all five points in the quarter.

     “We didn’t adjust well to the zone, and I said that to the girls after the game,” Hatten said. “We weren’t lights out in the last three quarters, and that was because of the zone they (HHS) ran. We were really hesitant and wanted to stand out in front of it.”

     In the third quarter, Blankenship came out first and sank a two-point shot, but was answered with a basket by HHS senior Shelby Coyle. HHS scored back-to-back baskets when junior Jenni Willey brought the Lady Indians within 13 points of L-C with a basket. Hertlein followed with consecutive jump shots for a 31-14 advantage.

     “I thought A.J. (Sanders), Heather (Storer) and Jenni (Willey) all played well,” Mihalik said. “We went to a bigger lineup in the second half, and our inside players played hard. Shelby (Coyle) had some foul trouble, but we have to get scoring out of our guards.”

     Leading by 20 points (36-16) at the start of the final eight minutes, L-C junior Hannah Blankenship scored her first points of the season with a converted free throw at the 5:37 mark of the quarter. Sanders kept HHS going with a basket, but Hertlein, who finished the game with 11 points, topped the feat with a 3-pointer at the 2:19 mark of the quarter.

     L-C freshman Emma Setty scored the final four points of the game.

     “It was a good game overall. We just have to play quicker when we are playing against the zone,” Hatten said. “We got our underclassmen in the game and it was good to get them in. We have to watch our quarters, because a lot of them play on the JV team.”

     Hertlein led L-C with five rebounds. Senior Cali Hatten followed with four boards. The Lady Mustangs gained 15 steals, with Lillian Blankenship and Hertlein each swiping four. Hawk finished with a team-high three assists.

     HHS (0-1) will play again Saturday as they face New Boston in the Paint Valley Lady ‘Cats Classic at PVHS today at 1:30 p.m.

     L-C will travel to Washington C.H. Tuesday in a non-league game.




HHS – 5 5 6 2 – 18

LCHS – 21 4 11 12 – 48



LCHS (48)

H.Blankenship 0 2-4 2, L.Blankenship 6 (1) 3-4 18, M.Fittro 0 (1) 3-3 6, L.Lewis 1 2, B.Hertlein 3 (1) 2-2 11, L.Hawk 2 1-5 5, E.Setty 1 2-2 4. TOTALS: 13 (3) 13-20 48.


HHS (18)

S.Coyle 1 2, A.Stamper 2 0-1 4, H.Storer 2 3-3 7, J.Willey 1 2, A.Sanders 1 1-4 3. TOTALS: 7 (0) 4-8 18.

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