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At the beginning of the second half, Lone Tree’s Karli Burr drove to the basket, drew contact and closed the Highland lead to six. It was from that point that the Highland offense started to be more fluid and put the game away behind an 11-0 run.
“They made shots, when you miss your open shots and they make theirs that’s what happens,” Lone Tree coach Jonathan Harshman said.
The Huskies (6-2) closed out the game for a 44-25 win over rival Lone Tree (1-8). The win breaks a two-game losing streak for Highland.
The game started out with a 9-0 run for Highland consisting of the entire first quarter. While the Huskies built their lead, Highland coach Jody Fink said the Huskies missed out on some easy points in the first quarter.
“We went on six-minute stint on seven (points), and six-minute stint on nine (points),” Fink said. “We weren’t looking for shots and forced it into the post when it wasn’t there and we have to get some fluidity in our offense and work it around.”
The beginning of the second quarter featured three minutes of scoreless play for both teams before Emily Feldman scored Lone Tree’s first points. Riley Warson then made a 3-point shot to force a Highland timeout at the 2:49 mark of the second quarter.
Fink said he felt his team had taken a step back from how they played last week against Mediapolis.
“Were playing to the level of our competition and that’s going to get you in trouble all around,” he said. “We played Mediapolis at a high level, and then we came and played a lower level here.”
The Huskies took a 18-10 lead into halftime. Coming out of the break Aly Stokes stepped up for the Huskies and found her way inside the paint more often in the second half. That aggressiveness led to 11 second-half points and a team-high 15 rebounds.
Holly Schneider, who had six points on two made 3-point field goals, said a big difference for the Highland offense was working inside-out in the second half.
“We were looking more inside and making sure our posts were getting looks,” Schneider said.
The 11-0 run in the third quarter for the Huskies was propelled by outside shots from Kylie Wood, Stokes, Murphy Beinhart and Schneider. Fink said he hopes the Highland shooting percentage starts to creep its way up.
“We work on shooting every day in practice and we’re still sitting at like 30 percent shooting. One of these days we’ll get there,” he said.
Highland took a 15-point lead into the fourth quarter at 34-19 and held off a more aggressive Lone Tree team. Lone Tree went to defenses they called red “crazy” and blue “crazy” that amped up the pressure.
It resulted in some Highland turnovers and some offensive opportunities in transition.
“We talked a lot yesterday before practice about attitude and effort and re-asserting ourselves and who we want to be when we play the game of basketball and how that needs to translate to increased effort and I thought they did a nice job tonight,” Harshman said.
The game was the first start for Highland sophomore Alyssa Brase, who stepped in to the post for Highland with Brylee Carolan out sick. She had four points on 2-3 shooting and eight rebounds.
The Huskies had a solid night rebounding with Stokes and Abbie Miller collecting 15 rebounds. For scoring Stokes had 18 points while Murphy Beinhart added seven points and Schneider had six.
Warson was the leading scorer for Lone Tree with 10 points, Emily Feldman had seven and Ashley Musser added six.
Highland: 9; 9; 16; 12; 46
Lone Tree: 0; 10; 9; 6; 25
Aly Stokes 18
Murphy Beinhart 7
Holly Schneider 6
Riley Warson 10
Emily Feldman 7
Ashley Musser 6
Abbie Miller 15