A victory boost

Jones leads Hillman in win over Vikings

News Photo by James Andersen Posen’s Brianna Kuffel, puts up a shot while being defended by Hillman’s Brooke Jones during a girls basketball game on Friday at Posen High School.

POSEN–Brooke Jones gave the Hillman girls basketball team a lift at just the right time on Friday.

Jones scored 11 of her 19 points in the second half and helped the Tigers defeat Posen 59-40 at Posen High School.

Hillman’s deep roster took care of the rest as the Tigers (1-1) led 25-18 at halftime, but led by double digits for several stretches in the second half.

“I thought Brooke had an excellent night. I knew that she has three-point range and she showed it today and I think that’s definitely going to help us as we move forward,” Hillman coach John Kuzewski said. “Every season’s different and you’re trying to figure out where we’re at and who can knock down shots consistently and Brooke definitely stepped up tonight and definitely helped out.”

Jones, who sank four triples in the win, hit three of them in the third quarter and helped the Tigers find a rhythm down the stretch after an uneven first half.

Jones and the Tigers supported their depth with a solid night at the line, making 16 of 26 free throws.

Eve LaFleche added 13 points for Hillman and Lyndsey Ryba chipped in with 10 while Andrea Taratuta had six. In all, eight different Tigers scored at least one point in the win.

“We win and we lose as a team. I thought players that weren’t starters came in and gave us a huge lift,” Kuzewski said. “It goes right to the depth you’re talking about. We increased our lead with them in the game and I can’t ask anything more as a coach.”

Posen (1-2) kept things close for several stretches in the second half and trailed by just eight, 44-36, with 6:10 to play.

But the Vikings were inconsistent late and missed their share of easy shots throughout the game. After Brooke Ciarkowski scored to make it 48-38 with 5:17 left, Posen was held scoreless for more than three minutes as Hillman went on an 8-0 run.

“Hillman wore us down in the second half and that was not unexpected. It’s very difficult for the kids to play two games in a row,” Posen coach Karl Momrik said. “Jones from the outside, she hurt us bad; made some threes, she hit some contested shots and she was the player of the game for Hillman I would say for sure.”

Ciarkowski led Posen with 17 points and Cami LaTulip and Riley Krajniak each added eight.

Both teams struggled to get going to start the game and the first half saw more than 20 fouls called and 34 free throws shot. Hillman led 10-7 after one quarter and made enough shots at key times to lead at halftime.

Posen cut Hillman’s lead to three early in the second quarter and again to four nearly a minute later, but a basket from Kristen Kenyon and free throws from Jones gave Hillman enough of a cushion to withstand a late Posen rally.

The Vikings, who were playing their third game in four days, ran into foul trouble early. LaTulip was whistled for her second foul with 3:51 left in the first quarter and sat the rest of the first half as the fouls piled up for both sides. Posen made just four shots from the field in the first half and was 14-of-26 from the line for the night.

Posen’s JV team defeated Hillman 37-36 in a down-to-the-wire thriller. Makayla Kamyszek was fouled on a three-point attempt with .1 seconds left and sank two free throws to seal the win. Kamyszek sank her first shot to tie the game, missed the second and sank the third for the game winner.

Jessica Jones hit a pair of big triples for the Tigers in the last two minutes to put Hillman ahead, but the Tigers struggled to make shots after that.

Jones and Makenna Grulke led Hillman with 10 points each. Lizzy Romel led Posen with 15 points and Kamyszek added 11.

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HILLMAN (59): A. Taratuta 2 2-6 6; L. Ryba 3 3-3 10; K. Kenyon 2 1-2 5; E. LaFleche 4 5-6 13; B. Jones 6 3-4 19; A. Jones 0 1-2 1; J. Appelgren 1 0-0 2; R. Steinke 1 1-2 3; B. Tyler 0 0-1 0.

POSEN (40): B. Ciarkowski 4 9-14 17; C. LaTulip 3 2-2 8; H. Stone 1 0-0 2; R. Krajniak 3 2-3 8; B. Kuffel 1 1-4 3; F.A. Romel 1 0-0 2.

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.