RIVERSIDE — Zack Lasek’s double-double made the difference for Highland Tuesday night.
Lasek’s accomplishment helped the Highland Huskies in a Class 1A District 7 boys basketball game against North Cedar of Stanwood, surviving for a 72-68 victory to advance to tonight’s game against Springville at Iowa City Liberty High School at 7 p.m.
The Huskies had to withstand a fourth-quarter rally by the Knights to secure the win.
“We were able to hold on,” Highland coach Bill Zywiec said.
It was a close game early as the first quarter ended with the Huskies up by a point at 13-12. An 18-14 second quarter gave the Huskies a 31-26 edge going into the locker room at halftime.
“It was a game of runs early,” said. “We had jumped out to a six- or seven-point lead in the second quarter only to see North Cedar tie it up. After a timeout, we outscored them 11-3 to end the first half.”
Highland took control in the third stanza, winning it 22-14 for a lead of 53-40.
“We came out right away in the third quarter to score the first seven points,” Zywiec said. “I think at one point we were up 19 points.”
The Knights outscored Highland 28-19 in the fourth quarter.
“North Cedar was able to cut it down to 10 in the fourth quarter and hit a couple of 3-pointers late, but we were able to hold on for the win,” Zywiec said. “That run early in the third quarter was huge for us.”
Cole Adamson and Lasek poured in 23 points apiece for Highland. Lasek gathered in 19 rebounds (12 defensive and seven offensive), passed out seven assists, blocked three shots and pilfered a pair of steals. Mason McFarland scored 12 points and Bill Laughlin tallied 10. Derek Sandburg had four points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal.
“We did a nice job of finding Zack early and kept looking for him the entire game,” Zywiec said. “Cole Adamson had a big night for us along with Mason and Billy.”
Highland has a record of 20-4. Springville has a record of 18-5.
The Orioles defeated Lone Tree 71-62 to advance to tonight’s game.
“Springville will look to press with their diamond and one and will usually fall back into a 2-3 zone,” Zywiec said. “We will have to take care of the ball against their press and find ways to get Zack the ball against their zone.”
Springville finished second to North Linn (23-0) in the Tri-Rivers Conference East Division.