Black Hills can pose a serious match-up threat to any team in the Evergreen 2A just from its post players, as Aberdeen saw on Tuesday night.
Add in a potent perimeter shooting threat to that inside presence and the Bobcats’ job against the Wolves at Sam Benn Gym got tougher. In the end, Aberdeen couldn’t overcome the dual threat by Black Hills in a 79-52 girls basketball loss.
Senior guard Alexxi Timmons led all scorers with 20 points for Aberdeen (2-5, 7-7), which trailed 20-5 after one quarter and 41-20 at halftime. Senior Emily Fisher added a double-double — 13 points and 10 rebounds — to the effort.
“We had a hard match-up problem with Black Hills with their size,” AHS head coach Aaron Roiko said. “Tonight, when their guards were hitting early, that made it a tougher match-up. Our girls competed and I’m not displeased with their effort. We executed on offense, but defensively, we had no answer for their personnel.”
Black Hills (6-1, 13-2) started the game by showing everyone in the gym that its post players were going to be the focal point of its offensive attack. Post Shayla Smothers and forward Sarah McGee scored the game’s first 10 points inside the paint — either on offensive-rebound put backs or free throws.
Aberdeen tried to adjust, but found the work doubled up when guards Taylor Sauls, Sydney Sauls and Lauren Furu drained perimeter shots just inside and outside the 3-point line.
After sitting down with a 20-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, Black Hills kept up the balanced inside-outside attack. The Wolves drained 3-of-7 3-point attempts, pulled in 13 offensive rebounds and were 17-for-40 from the field in the first half. They finished with 6-of-12 3-point shots in the game and nearly 50-percent shooing (34 of 69).
The Bobcats found their offensive rhythm in the first half with perimeter jumpers from Timmons and free throws from Fisher, Kiana Dixon and Paige Johnson. Johnson, a freshman JV call-up, played two quarters and earned Roiko’s praise for her performance in the paint.
The second half was much the same as the first half, but Aberdeen produced more on its offensive side of the court.
Timmons knocked down four of her game-high five 3-point conversions in the second half, including a flying hook shot as the shot clock expired in the fourth quarter. Fisher scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half as well.
Smothers dominated the paint in the third quarter, especially — 12 of her team-high 18 points came in that stanza. McGee added 15 points and eight rebounds, Taylor Sauls 13 points (including 3-of-4 3-point shots) and Sydney Sauls 12 points for Black Hills.
Aberdeen was without senior Lily Walsh, who is out for the season with a knee injury, and Ericka Manwell, who is recovering from a concussion
On Saturday afternoon, Aberdeen will hit the road to take on Elma.
Black Hills 20 21 24 14 — 79
Aberdeen 5 15 19 13 — 52
Black Hills (79) — Grimm 2, S. Sauls 12, T. Sauls 13, Furu 3, Tarrow 2, Nurmi, Fugere 2, Lalau 5, McGee 15, Armstrong 7. FG — 34-69 (.492). FT — 5-12.
Aberdeen (52) — Fisher 13, Timmons 20, Dixon 4, Roiko 2, Kuhn 5, Johnson 4, Blackburn 4. FG — 14-52 (.269). FT — 18-26.
JV — Black Hills 71, Aberdeen 44.