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Coming into the game Highland and Mediapolis were separated by just one game in the SEISC North standings, and the game didn’t disappoint as Mediapolis won 64-59.
Mediapolis survived a late scare as Highland came storming back from nine points down in the final three minutes to tie the game at 59-59. From there Mediapolis leaned on Maya Johnson, who drove down the lane for two of her record-setting 41 points. Johnson was 10-16 from 3-point range, a new school record.
Down 61-59, Highland had two possessions to look for a basket but turned the ball over both times on inbound passes. After a first missed shot, the ball went out of bounds in favor of Highland, but an attempted pass into a double-team was stolen by Mediapolis.
“They just got a finger on a couple passes,” Highland coach Jody Fink said. “We had the opportunities down there with our out-of-bounds plays.”
After the steal, Highland was called for an intentional foul that gave Mediapolis two free throws and the ball. Mediapolis missed both free throws, but with the ball Highland was forced to foul again and Mediapolis made it a three-point game.
“She missed those free throws and we wouldn’t have had to foul Maya then. With a two-point lead we can attack the basket and potentially get to the free-throw line ourselves,” Fink said.
On the ensuing possession, HIghland had the ball knocked out of bounds as they dribbled it up the floor and off the inbound it was tipped by Mediapolis and the referee called it off the foot of Aly Stokes. After free throws that sealed the game for Mediapolis.
“I couldn’t be any prouder than I am right now.” Fink said. “It’s a hard one to lose, but the girls played their hearts out.”
The beginning of the game served as a 3-point contest as Sarah Schneider and Johnson went back and forth. Schneider hit her first four attempts and five total 3-pointers. Schneider has hit 14 3-pointers in the four games since the break.
The outside shooting forced Mediapolis to abandon their zone and switch to a man-to-man look. That took away Schneider’s open looks in the second half, but allowed Stokes and Abbie Miller to find an offensive groove in the second half.
After just six points combined in the first half the two stepped up with Stokes adding 15 points and Miller nine in the second half. Stokes finished the game near a triple-double at 19 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Miller had a team-high 13 rebounds.
Highland moves on to face Pekin, who shares a 9-2 record with them in conference play. They played at Pekin on Tuesday and at travel to play at Danville on Thursday before a divisional contest with Wapello on Friday at Highland.
Mediapolis: 17; 17; 17; 13; 64
Highland: 22; 6; 12; 19; 59
Highland dominates Comets
After a shaky start on Thursday at Cardinal, the Highland girls basketball team readjusted and dominated the Comets winning 68-30.
The Comets ended the first quarter with a 17-12 lead, Highland outscored them 56-13 the rest of the game. The Huskies dominated on the glass with three players with 14 or more rebounds. Abbie Miller led the way with 19 rebounds, Alyssa Brase had 16 and Aly Stokes 14.
Stokes led scoring with 20, Miller had 14 and Brase had 14.
Freshman Mackinze Hora and sophomore Alyssa Clarke scored their first varsity points during the game, both scoring two free throws.
Highland: 12; 20; 24; 12; 68
Cardinal: 17; 2; 3; 8; 30
Highland beats L-M
A 27-point second quarter helped Highland to a 60-49 win over Louisa-Muscatine. Led by 22 points from Sarah Schneider including 6-11 from 3-point range, the Huskies took care of their SEISC North foe.
Aly Stokes recorded her fourth career triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
“They tried to take (Stokes) away and the other girls took up the scoring and she was fine giving them the ball. If they want to put that much attention on her she gets everyone involved and enjoys passing them the ball and having them score,” Highland coach Jody Fink said.
The Huskies were 21-45 from the floor, but their shooting percentage didn’t matter as much because of their 12 offensive rebounds.
Louisa-Muscatine had two with 10 points and shot just 21 percent from the field.
Highland: 10; 27; 13; 10; 60
Louisa-Muscatine: 14; 8; 14; 13; 49