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Highland suffers worst boys basketball loss of season

Tuesday, Jan. 15 | By Jeff Malmgren
--Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
There was nowhere to run for the Highland Hawks.

So they got run over.

A team typically fueled by forcing turnovers and scoring fast break points, Highland did little of that Tuesday. As a result, the Hawks lost to the Fredericksburg Christian boys basketball team, 72-45, at home in Warrenton.

The Fredericksburg Christian Eagles finished with only 10 turnovers and the Hawks had only three steals, which forced them to consistently run their half-court offense.

“It starts with us on the defensive end,” Highland guard Logan Miller said. “We’re a transition team. That’s where we get all our points from. That was a big part of why we were frustrated offensively.”

The 27-point loss was Highland’s worst this season. The Hawks have scored fewer than 45 points only once and average 59.2 points per game.

“Tonight wasn’t one of our better efforts and against one of our better” opponents, Highland coach Jake Shechtman said. “And this is what happens.”

Despite the defeat, the Hawks have won six of their past eight games, have a 10-5 record and were ranked No. 10 in the most recent VISAA Division II poll. Fredericksburg Christian has an 11-5 record and is ranked No. 7.

Highland’s half-court offense worked fine during the first 11 minutes of the game as the Hawks made some early 3-pointers and then relied on penetration by Miller and Dylan Gaither as well as the post moves of Matt Kelly.

That kept the score tied, 20-20, early in the second quarter, but then Fredericksburg Christian pulled away thanks in large part to offensive rebounding and cold shooting by the Hawks. The Eagles had 10 offensive rebounds during the second and third quarters and out-rebounded Highland, 37-28, on the night. The Hawks made only 15 of 49 field goal attempts (31 percent).

“We didn’t make shots and our intensity wasn’t there,” Miller said. “They were out-physical-ing us. They did what they wanted offensively.”

Fredericksburg Christian went on a 31-10 run beginning midway through the second quarter to take a 51-30 lead near the end of the third quarter, essentially sealing the victory.

DeLante Victory led the Eagles with 17 points, 10 rebounds and four steals, while Daryl Myers had 11 points and three assists and Aaron Alexander had nine points, five assists and two steals. Cody Goode added 10 points, while A.J. Addison had eight points and seven rebounds.

For Highland, Miller and Rahji Johnson scored 10 points each, while Kelly and Gaither had nine each. Gaither also had four assists and five rebounds, while Chance Kushner had five points and two assists. Johnson led the Hawks with six rebounds, while Kelly had five.
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