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story.lead_photo.caption Lindsey Byers of Helias goes up for a shot during Thursday night's game against Hickman at Rackers Fieldhouse. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / News Tribune.

If your offense isn't clicking, your defense better be.

It was a formula for success Thursday night for the Helias Lady Crusaders.

Helias held Hickman scoreless for a 16-plus minute stretch as the Lady Crusaders topped the Kewpies 42-28 at Rackers Fieldhouse.

"We were excited to play this game," Helias coach Alan Lepper said. "And after halftime, we really got after it."

A layup by Detriann'a Jamison with 3:32 to go in the second quarter gave Hickman a 21-16 lead. The Kewpies didn't score again until there was 2:46 left in the game, when a free throw by Maci Kuchta cut Helias' lead to 36-22.

The Lady Crusaders, who got a free throw by Rylee Kolb to make it 21-17 at the half, came out with a lot of pep in their step defensively after halftime.

"We changed the defense a little bit, they were figuring out some things we were doing," Lepper said. "So we made some adjustments and the kids did a very good job implementing them.

"When you can hold a team scoreless for a quarter, it gives you a great chance to win that ballgame."

Helias outscored Hickman 12-0 in that third quarter. The Kewpies were 0-for-8 from the field with five turnovers in those eight minutes, which ended with the Lady Crusaders holding a 29-21 lead.

The Lady Crusaders led by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter.

"When we decide to move and not be stagnant, we can be hard to guard," Lepper said. "There were times we were hard to guard tonight."

Helias led 11-8 after one quarter, but the lead could have been larger. The Lady Crusaders were getting turnovers, but were unable to convert them into points.

"We were playing well, but the ball just wasn't going into the basket for whatever reason," Lepper said.

Hickman then used a 9-2 run in the first 3:21 of the second quarter to take a 17-13 lead on its way to a four-point advantage at the half.

Kuchta had eight of her game-high 14 points in the quarter for the Kewpies (4-9).

"She's so quick and she really can get her shot off quick, you cannot afford to lose her and we did a couple of times," Lepper said. "That was a big challenge in the second half, to make sure we knew where she was at all times."

Kylie Bernskoetter paced Helias with 10 points. Kolb added nine points to go along with a game-high seven rebounds, while Alisha Berhorst came off the bench to add eight points.

"We've been challenging each other at practice, we've really been competiting and that's carrying over into games," Lepper said.

Helias (6-6) is back in action Monday afternoon when it hosts Lutheran North, ranked No. 9 in Class 3. The JV game will start at 2 p.m., followed by the varsity contest around 3:30 p.m.

In Thursday's JV game, Ella Meyer scored 12 points as Helias defeated Hickman 47-19.

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