Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
LONE TREE — The Highland girls basketball team picked up its first win of the regular season Monday night in a Southeast Iowa Superconference North battle against Lone Tree, 51-34.
It didn’t take the Huskies long to take a lead in the matchup, but the Lions didn’t take long to come back,either.
Highland jumped out to an early 9-2 lead midway through the first quarter, seemingly looking as if they were going to pull away, but missed opportunities on layups and turnovers allowed the Lions to cut into the lead.
At the end of the first quarter Highland led, 10-6.
To begin the second, Highland continued to struggle, allowing Lone Tree to cut the lead to 10-9.
For Highland, that was the narrative for much of the first half.
“We got to play our game,” Highland Coach Jody Fink said. “We dropped our level of play. We were trying to force some things, and playing inconsistent. We weren’t playing patient. We were getting lazy, and when we increased our intensity a little bit better things happened. We’ve got to get to where we’re playing our level of basketball.”
The Huskies found a spark again with 46 seconds left in the first half. Highland extended the lead to 20-10. It was the largest of the game.
Despite the 10 point lead, with just 20 seconds left, Lone Tree had made it 20-16 on a basket and a foul, and two Highland turnovers that led to two easy layups.
Highland was clicking on all cylinders on the offensive end for most of the second half. In the third, the Huskies quickly built up a lead, scoring over half of their third quarter points in the first two minutes.
The scoring struggles came back midway through the third for Highland, as they spend around three minutes without scoring a bucket. The Huskies defense held up during the scoring woes, as they held a 32-25 lead around the 2:50 mark in the third.
At the end of the third, Highland led 36-27.
In the fourth, the Huskies played their best all around basketball. Highland allowed Lone Tree just two points for a little under four minutes. With 4:27 left in the contest, Highland held a 40-29 lead.
“It was definitely a mentally changed game,” Highland’s Abbi Stransky said. “We went into the locker room, had a little talk and we turned it around mentally.”
The Huskies full-court press created several easy buckets off steals in the fourth, ultimately pushing them ahead. Highland outscored Lone Tree 15-7 in the final quarter.
Abbi Stransky led the way for Highland, scoring 16 points in the contest. Sarah Burton added nine points. Dani Laughlin finished with eight.
Emma Soukup chipped in six. Jessica Kraus had five. Kaelyn Waters and Mackinze Hora both ended with three. Anna Herrig added one.