Harvest Christian edges Hinckley-Big Rock behind Burke's 22 points

The game started as it ended for Hinckley-Big Rock against Harvest Christian on Monday, with the Royals having trouble sinking a layup.

After more than 10 minutes without a field goal, most of the misses from close range, the Royals missed two chances to tie in the final five seconds of a 53-51 loss to the Lions in a nonconference match.

Harvest Christian's Alyssa Burke ended up with the rebound as the horn sounded after both Lilliana Martinez missed a layup and Devin Werner missed the putback, capping her 22-point, eight-rebound game.

"I was like I probably shouldn't have put the ball down, but I was like you know what, I just wanted a win, man," Alyssa Burke said. "We needed it."

The Royals (6-6) missed their first 12 shots of the game, getting their first field goal on a putback by Alyssa Swanson, part of a 7-0 run that ate into an early 16-4 lead for the Lions (3-5), who had lost three straight.

Down eight midway through the third, H-BR went on a 14-2 run to build a 39-35 lead, the last four on buckets by Werner that gave them their first lead of the game.

The Lions switched back into their press to start the fourth after abandoning it due to some early foul trouble. They rolled off a quick 8-0 run, all off H-BR turnovers, to take a 48-44 lead with 3:05 left.

"I feel like when we press it gets us very hyped and energetic," Alyssa Burke said. "We needed that because we were very non-energetic throughout the second and third."

Harvest Christian coach Jeremy Burke said Alyssa Burke, his daughter, had a big game with other starters in foul trouble.

"She kind of took over and wanted it," Jeremy Burke said. "It's great to see kids step up and want that. You could tell she wanted the ball with the confidence she was shooting with, gaining it and knocking it down."

Hinckley-Big Rock coach Doug Brewington said the press has been a weak point for the Royals this year.

"We hit that lead, we earned it, we battle for it," Brewington said. "But at the same time once you get that, you tend to get complacent and that's what happened to us. We thought they would sit back and be OK with us winning."

Anna Herrmann led the Royals with 14 and Kylee Hellebrand added 13. Werner had nine points and nine rebounds, and Martinez had five points and nine rebounds.

"They knew what we were trying to do," Brewington said. "You can tell [Jeremy Burke] came out and was talking about taking away our shooters and make the high-post entry tough, and they did a good job of it. We had to adjust and get to the rim via penetration instead of passing into the post, and that opened up things for us. It took us a while to make that adjustment."

Alyssa Burke led the Lions with 22 points and eight rebounds, Elle Semerau had five points and seven boards off the bench, and Daphne Brown had eight points, four rebounds and two steals.

"That's a big win," Jeremy Burke said. "It's a good win to come in and get on a nail-biter. It builds big confidence for sure."

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