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Owls Survive Hillcrest Rally to Post 71-65 Win

By Craig Olson, 12/06/22, 10:30PM CST


The Hillcrest girls’ basketball team trailed by ten at halftime Tuesday night to the defending Class A champion Hancock Owls.  The Comets rallied to take the lead late in the game, however, the Owls were able to overcome that strong run by the home team to take a 71-66 victory.

“Hancock came out with an aggressive press and our girls struggled to take care of the ball,” stated Hillcrest Head Coach Hannah Clark.  “Once we settled down we were able to find our rhythm on offense.  We were down 10 at the half an came back to take the lead midway through the second half.  Hand it to Hancock, they made some big plays and knocked down free throws towards the end of the game.  It was a great night of basketball.  I was so proud of how hard the girls competed.”

Seventh-grader Elsa Retzlaff hit 5-of-8 3’s and led the Comets with 20 points.  Ella Knutson contributed a double-double with 14 points and 21 rebounds, and Lizzy Olstad was also in double figures with 13 points.  Ruby Peterson contributed 9 points and Madi Foss had 2 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.  Stella Moline and Maddie Ballweg rounded out the scoring with 5 and 3 points, respectively.

“Elsa hit some really big shots for us and Lizzy had a very nice offensive game as well,” reported Coach Clark.  “Ella was a monster on the boards, grabbing 21 rebounds and finishing with a double-double.”

Leaders for Hancock were Kaitlyn Rohloff with 35 points and Misti Zemple with 20.

Hancock (1-0) will play at Ortonville on Thursday night.  The Owls have eight of their first nine games of the season on the road.

Hillcrest (1-1) will play Little Eight Conference opponent Brandon-Evansville on Thursday night in Evansville.