SPARTA — Classes may be off for two weeks at Highland High School, but
the boys basketball team isn’t taking a break.
Wednesday the Scots faced the first of two opponents in two days, when they defeated the Centerburg Trojans, 44-39, in a hard-fought contest at home.
The two teams played a back-and-forth battle that saw Highland hit the shots that mattered in the end.
The senior-laden Scots had to face a Trojan team centered around Drew Osborne who, once again, took his team to the brink.
But the turnover bug bit Centerburg in the end. Seven turnovers in the fourth period made the difference, despite Osborne’s 24 points and 10 rebounds.
The Trojans came out of the gate using fast breaks, as if the clock were somehow cheating them. Dribblers ran full court then kicked the ball back out, where Centerburg’s dangerous outside shooters were waiting. Osborne saw shots early and often, as did Garrison Myles and Troy Lemke. The trio went 5-for-7 from three-point range by the mid-point of the second period, as they built a 19-12 lead.
“We wanted to mix it up a bit, send it down the floor when it called for it,” Centerburg head coach Jim Simpson said. “When we (succeeded), we did fine. When we didn’t, (Highland) executed its game plan.”
Highland played a fast-paced, ball-control offense that was patient. Throughout the game, the Scots passed frequently, rarely holding the ball longer than two seconds. When they did, the Trojans, who play some of the best man-on-man defense in the area, made them pay.
“It’s just a matter of the players trusting one another, and executing our offense,” Highland head coach Mike Hoyng said. “Once they accept that and can do that, we’ll be okay.”