Hinckley-Big Rock dominates Mooseheart in regional semifinal

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At this point of the season — the Class 1A regional semifinals — the goal is just to survive and advance, which Hinckley-Big Rock’s girls basketball team managed to do.

The Royals dominated Mooseheart at home Tuesday, 52-13, to advance to Thursday’s regional title game against Harvest Christian. H-BR will be looking for its eighth consecutive regional crown.

But coach Greg Burks knows that his Royals will have to play a much crisper game Thursday to accomplish that goal. Hinckley-Big Rock turned the ball over 23 times, but still managed to dominate.

“At this time of the year, you try to win,” Burks said. “There were times where we looked pretty decent. Ultimately there were times where we didn’t execute very well. We have to do a lot better job moving forward on Thursday, and that will start with having a good effort in practice tomorrow and focus on what needs to happen.

“We were able to get the win, but there are a lot of things that need to improve, and I think the team knows that if we hope to do anything two days from now.”

Hinckley (15-13) wasted little time putting Mooseheart (3-18) in the rear-view mirror. The Royals raced to a 19-2 lead in the first quarter, with Lauren Paver doing most of the damage with nine of her game-high 17 points.

After a six-point second quarter, Hinckley opened the second half on a 12-2 run to put the game away for good.

“We knew coming out that they were going to be a pretty good basketball team,” Mooseheart coach Bryan Miller said. “You have to give credit to Greg and his kids; they do a good job of playing man-to-man defense. They get after you. H-BR has a good tradition. It would have been a monumental task.”

The Royals now set their sights on Harvest Christian, a 59-12 winner over Elgin Academy Tuesday. The Lions are seeking their first-ever regional title.

“We weren’t too focused tonight,” Paver said. “We won the game, but that’s not enough. We’re not going to be able to play like that Thursday.”

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