HINCKLEY – Sydney Razo-Ewan and Brooklyn Lind were two of the smallest players on the basketball court Tuesday when Hinckley-Big Rock hosted Morris, but they came away with the biggest rebounds.
Razo-Ewan grabbed eight rebounds for the Royals in their 42-24 nonconference win, the same amount Lind grabbed off the bench for Morris.
“I just see the ball, I guess,” Razo-Ewan said. “I know where it goes and then I follow it. It helps when our teammates tip it away. I can just go get that too.”
The 5-foot-3 Razo-Ewan had four offensive rebounds in the first half alone as the Royals (12-3) picked up their sixth straight win. They scored the first eight points and led by as much as 24-6 in the first half.
H-BR coach Doug Brewington said Razo-Ewan just knows how to hustle to the ball.
“She just has a knack for timing the basketball like I’ve never seen,” Brewington said. “She’s not down there boxing out. She just sees the angle, she gets down there, she attacks it. Her hard work and passion are unparalleled at this level of basketball.”
Morris coach Luke Windy said Lind, a 5-foot-7 guard, provided a huge spark off the bench. Her five points were the second most for Morris (4-12).
“Brooklyn always plays hard,” Windy said. “She’s scrappy for us. We need that. She gave us a little spark there in the first half. She just plays hard. That’s been our goal all year to get girls to play a little bit harder. And Brooklyn does that.”
Brewington said the Royals were without their spark plug, point guard Morgan King. But even down a starter the team picked up the lopsided victory after winning its last three games by seven combined points.
At the Earlville tournament, the Royals won both games, 32-31, against West Carrol and Earlville to win the crown last week.
“Each one has been well-earned. Each one has been tight at some point,” Brewington said of the team’s current win streak, its second six-game win streak of the season. “We had a couple by one [point], last week another single-digit beating Genoa by 5. We’ve had some hard-earned games in there.”
Razo-Ewan said the Royals are gaining momentum on this current win streak.
“All those games ... they’re really exciting for us because we battle,” Razo-Ewan said. “It’s not an easy win one way or the other. It’s always a battle and it’s fun. To come out winning is even better.”
Ashleigh Wackerlin led all scorers with 18 points to pace the Royals, adding five rebounds and four steals. Kylee Hellerbrand added eight points for H-BR, while Devin Werner had 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
Sophie Hipes scored six points for Morris off the bench, all in the fourth quarter. The Morris bench scored 14 total points, more than the 10 their starters scored.
Both teams return to conference play later this week. Morris hosts Rochelle on Wednesday, and H-BR is back at home Thursday against DePue.
“We were sluggish,” Windy said. “It looked like our first game back. I didn’t think we had a lot of energy. Hinckley-Big Rock had more energy, more fight than us.
“Hopefully, we get our legs back a little here with this game and we are ready for tomorrow.”