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Close enough to taste it: Hallsville Lady Indians almost make the Final Four

Posted on Sunday, March 13, 2022 at 1:32 pm

Lose quarterfinal to John Burroughs, 53-42

The long drive west to St. Charles’ Francis Howell Central high school ended with 12 minutes of elation.

For at least 12 glorious minutes it looked as If the 13 young ladies from Hallsville High School, the Hallsville Lady Indians, were headed to the final four.

For 12 minutes they had their hands on the prize.

Rachel Hargis in mid-steal against a John Burroughs player.

In her first possession of the game, senior forward Ashlyn Hough set the tone, sinking a pair of free throws, putting Hallsville first on the boar and a smile on Matt Heet, Hallsville Head basketball coach’s face. “I like to tease her about her free-throws,” he said, “but this afternoon, and Tuesday in our sectional win over Orchard Farms.”

The Lady Indians have been a powerhouse in local girls’ basketball circles and it showed in how they got on top of the John Burroughs Bombers and stayed there for the first quarter, finishing the quarter on top, 11-8, with visions of Springfield dancing through the heads of the Hallsville fans who packed the gym.

It did not last, and John Burroughs Head Coach Jacob Yorb’s recounting of his basic strategy going into the second quarter showed a little of why John Burroughs, too, is considered a powerhouse.

And why the teams went into halftime with John Burroughs leading 21-18, John Burroughs led 39-29 at the end of the third and finished the game by winning 53-42.

Ashlyn Hough rockets up for a shot.

“When you give any girl a wide-open shot, she’s going to make it. And Hallsville has great shooters… Trying to find our game plan. Take care of what they do well, and they were great shooters and take odds on their other people having to step up and fill in.”

After the first, Hallsville’s Avery Oetting and Rachel Hargis got lots of company any time they got the ball, to the point where Heet switched things around and played Kristen Jones at forward to off-balance the Bombers’ defense.

It worked, but Hallsville still had a scoring drought in the second quarter. That, coupled with some extra athleticism on the Bombers’ part, probably made the difference.

Unofficial statistics show Jones led the Lady Indians with 16 points, Oetting – 12, Hough – six and Hargis three. Hough also led Hallsville with six free throws.

Monet Witherspoon led John Burroughs with 25 points.

For more, see the upcoming edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.





Lady Indians Head Coach Matt Heet on the John Burroughs game.


Chloe Qintana fights for-the ball