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At the end of the third quarter the pattern that had emerged in many of the Lady Lions losses to date started to show itself.
A four-point halftime deficit had turned into 11 after Highland’s Murphy Beinhart hit the first basket of the fourth quarter and it seemed like Highland was in good position to close out the game. Then Lone Tree had their best quarter of the year, scoring 23 points and holding Highland to seven for a 44-39 win.
“The beginning of the season didn’t start how we wanted it to, so we kept working and working,” said Ashley Musser, a Lone Tree junior who had 10 points in the fourth quarter.
That hard work paid off with the comeback win over rival Highland.
One particularly important stretch included three straight Lone Tree possessions where Musser hit a 3-point shot.
With a little over three minutes left, Musser hit a three near the corner and started to jog back up the court. Just a few seconds later though Maddie Jacque stole a pass from Aly Stokes and flipped it right back to Musser. Musser put it up and hit the three to tie things at 37.
Highland took a timeout to calm things down and set up a play, but Lone Tree stopped the Huskie offense and ran a set play that screened off Musser for another three. It hit the bottom of the net and Lone Tree had their first lead of the second half.
“Basketball’s one of those game where if you hit a couple shots, you can get the confidence going and I think that’s what happened with Ashley (Musser),” Lone Tree coach Jonathan Harshman said.
Lone Tree was able to get stops on defense and make enough of their free throws to close out the game 44-39.
While Lone Tree’s offense caught fire in the fourth quarter, Highland’s turned ice cold and out of frustration Highland missed multiple open layups and putbacks under the basket.
Highland was under 30 percent shooting on the night. Turnovers continued to be a problem for the Huskies as the Lady Lions stole the ball 13 times, led by three from Emily Feldman.
Aly Stokes and Beinhart were double-digit scorers for Highland with 14 and 12. Alyssa Brase led the team with 10 rebounds.
Lone Tree: 6; 11; 4; 23; 44
Highland: 7; 14; 9; 9; 39
Riley Warson 13
Ashley Musser 13
Aly Stokes 14
Murphy Beinhart 12
Emily Feldman 8
Riley Warson 6
Alyssa Brase 10
Murphy Beinhart 9
Riley Warson 7
Four with two