Hillsdale powers down stretch for win

Two games into the girls’ basketball season and there is bad news on the horizon for future opponents of the Hillsdale High School team.

They only get better the longer the game goes on.

The Knights rolled to a 61-30 win Tuesday against Crystal Springs Uplands turning a tight two-point contest after the opening period into an easy win and a 2-0 record.

“We seem to be stronger in the third period,” Hillsdale coach Dan Hibson said. “We came out tonight and made a run. They [Crystal Springs] did a good job staying in the game in the first half, but we just found a fifth gear.”

Hillsdale’s Mary Kathryn Souther led all scorers with 23 points — including a pair of 3-pointers — in a balanced scoring effort. Souther scored 12 of her points in the first half. Point guard Jenna Yee added 19 points and was nearly flawless in running the offense despite being under the weather, “Jenna had the flu, but I thought she played very well tonight as did all of the others,” Hibson said. “I was very happy with the offense.”

The Knights held a narrow 30-22 lead at halftime, but put the game away in the third as its offense kicked in that fifth gear Hibson referenced. But Hillsdale’s defense was a huge contributor to the Knights’ 48-26 lead by the end of the third period.

“Our 2-3 zone was really working,” Hibson said. “They weren’t getting any good shots.”

The Knights went on to outscore the Gryphons (1-1) 13-4 in the final eight minutes as Crystal Springs never found its offensive rhythm in the second half of the game.

Neha Singh was the only Gryphon to reach double-digits, finishing with 11 points. Singh was held to just two points in the second half. Hannah Kaiser was the next highest scorer with six points for Crystal Springs.

The win marked the second time in as many games this season that Hillsdale has blown a game open in the second half. In the Knights’ season opener against Sobrato, Hillsdale trailed by one point at halftime before rolling to a 59-40 victory.

“I can’t explain it,” Hibson said.

With the Peninsula Athletic League Lake Division set to start league play next month, the other four teams will need to find an explanation soon if they want to keep pace with the Knights — who finished in third last year with a 5-3 mark, and are eying a league crown this year.

Hillsdale’s next game comes quickly as they travel to Atherton tonight to take on Sacred Heart Prep (1-0) before hosting Wallenberg on Friday. The Knights open league play at Capuchino on Jan. 11.

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