Girls Basketball: Hillcrest overruns Thornton
By Tony Baranek email@example.com December 2, 2013 9:14PM
Aliah Acker, of Hillcrest, makes a move to the basket against Thornton at Hillcrest, Monday, December 2nd, 2013, in Country Club Hills. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 4, 2014 6:21AM
Feast-or-famine Hillcrest really chowed down Monday.
The Hawks, with Shayla Joyner and Tierra Sanders dominating inside, Aliah Acker running a solid point and Tanzania Sherrill lighting it up early, bounced visiting Thornton 73-47.
“We’ve been hearing it since the end of the season last year,” Joyner said of talk that Hillcrest was going to have a down season. “But we’re working hard at practice and coming out ready to play every game.”
Sherrill finished with 18 points, Joyner 13 points, Acker 11 points and five assists, and Sanders seven points and 12 rebounds as Hillcrest improved to 3-2.
Thornton (2-2) was led by Mitzi Terry (15 points), Leesaa Greenwood (9 points, 10 rebounds) and Briana Anthony (6 points, 7 rebounds).
It’s been quite a roller-coaster ride for Hillcrest, which was blown out in its opener by Homewood-Flossmoor 91-38, crushed Bloom 73-39, was dominated by Joliet Catholic 81-70 and smashed Rich South 70-49.
“It’s been ups and down,” Acker said. “We played good when we played aggressive.”
The Hawks were aggressive against Thornton, especially under the basket, where they corralled 10 rebounds in the first quarter alone. Most of them were by the 6-foot Sanders and 5-10 Joyner, who combined for eight points as Hillcrest raced to a 26-9 lead.
“Basically, we just tried to box out and work hard to get the rebounds,” Joyner said. “I want us to get rolling really bad, especially with this being my senior year.”
With Sherrill’s 11 first-period points setting up an early runaway, Acker put the game out of reach with a nine-point second quarter. She had the Hawks offense running smoothly from the point.
“Playing aggressive, being tough on defense and getting rebounds was the key,” Acker said. “I’ve worked really hard on my ballhandling and getting faster.”
Up 49-18 at halftime, the Hillcrest lead peaked at 56-22 early in the third period before threes by Greenwood and Mya Robinson gave the Wildcats a spark.