The Hinton girls basketball team came up just short in getting to the state tournament against the second-ranked Lions of Central Lyon. The Blackhawks fell to the Lions in Orange City on Friday night in a Class 2A Regional Final by a score of 61-33.
The Blackhawks found out quickly that Central Lyon came to play on the defensive end. The Blackhawks became turnover-prone thanks to Central Lyon’s tenacious man-to-man defense. Hinton head coach Matt Leary says they got in Hinton’s passing lanes and made life tough.
Hinton went into the locker room down 38-11 at the half and could have buried the season right then and there. They came out of the locker room and outscored Central Lyon 14-11 in the third quarter to try and keep their chances alive. Coach Leary says that just shows the incredible perseverance his team possesses.
Ashlyn Kovarna really sparked the Blackhawk run in the third with six of her eight points coming in that third quarter. Coach Leary says she has made strides in becoming the best post player she can be.
In the end, the Blackhawks fell in the regional final but had a lot to be proud of. The Blackhawks reached the 20-win mark for the first time since 2014 and the regional finals for the first time since 2013. The Blackhawks graduate three seniors off of this team that got the program back to this point all while dealing with personal struggles that each of them could relate to.
The Blackhawks do have a lot of young talent returning including Kovarna and freshman Bailey Boeve to name a couple. Coach Leary made sure they know that next season begins right away, and it will take more work to get back to this point.
Hinton’s final record ends at 20-4. The Blackhawks graduate Natalee Junck, Aubree Lake, and Ashlyn Reintzel off this year’s team. Central Lyon, the defending Class 2A runner-up, will advance to the state tournament with a 22-0 record.