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Hill leads balanced SJB offense in quarterfinal win
Kayla Hill led St. John the Baptist in scoring on Tuesday, but also had some help from her teammates.
In this regard, the team's quarterfinal win had a similar feel to its other victories during the second half of the season.
Hill scored a game-high 15 points and also had 11 rebounds to lead No. 4 St. John the Baptist to a 62-55 win over No. 5 Our Lady of Mercy in the quarterfinals of the CHSAA playoffs.
“The scoring was balanced,” said St. John the Baptist coach Bruce Haller, whose team had eight total scorers and six players with at least eight points.
This scoring distribution was a familiar one, the coach said, with Hill leading the way and St. John Baptist (10-11) also getting contributions from its younger players.
Sophomore Gianna Locker added 10 points, freshman Emily Meyer scored nine points, and fellow ninth-grader Bridgette Moran had eight points and 11 rebounds.
Hill, who is the team’s leading scorer and averaged 12.9 points per game during the regular season, was the team’s top option throughout the campaign, but Haller said in the “second half of the season, improved depth added balanced in our scoring.”
The coach added the development of Locker, Moran and Meyer was the catalyst for this improvement.
While balanced scoring helped St. John the Baptist on the offensive end, Haller said “playing smart defense” in spite of foul trouble was the key for his team on defense.
Hill, Meyer, and Moran all finished with four fouls, as did Kaitlyn Montalbano who finished with nine points and four assists.
“We were in foul trouble, but we played through it,” said Haller.
St. John the Baptist (10-11) will face top-seeded St. Anthony’s on Friday at St. Dominic in the semifinals.
St. Anthony’s defeated eighth-seeded St. Dominic, 66-36, on Tuesday.