Trailing Louisa-Muscatine by four points late in the third quarter, Highland battled for a basket.
After a missed shot, a steal, another missed shot, and an offensive rebound, finally a Tristan Stokes layup pulled the Huskies within 31-29 with an 8-1 run.
Seconds later, they were back down by five as the Falcons beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer.
The L-M lead stayed between three and nine points the rest of the way as Highland opened the season with a 48-43 loss.
“We’re about a week behind everybody else, and where we're at right now is kind of where you would expect after a week of practice,” Highland coach Bill Zywiec said.
“I like our effort. I told the kids we played hard, you know, but no one's going to feel sorry for us for playing hard, and we have to work it out.”
The first points of the game came on a Connor Grinstead 3-pointer, but the Huskies would not make another one until Kaige Vonnahme hit a big shot from outside to cut the lead to 39-36 in the fourth quarter.
Highland finished 2-13 from the 3-point line, while the Falcons cashed in six times from long range.
“Now we have film that we can watch,” Zywiec said. “We know we're going to see zone this year and we're going to see a lot of it, we do have a guard heavy team.
“So we just have to do better moving the ball and communicating, and that'll come with time. I did like our effort tonight, we just we’ve just got to be able to score more than 40 points in a ballgame.”
Tristan Stokes shot 6-10 from the floor for 15 points and three steals. Trevor McFarland had 11 points and four assists. Colby Stokes had seven points, while Grinstead had five points and five steals.
The Huskies did not allow a field goal for the first seven-and-a-half minutes of the game, but L-M’s first made shot was a 3-pointer that cut the Huskie lead to 9-7.
The second quarter saw five lead changes. L-M led the entire second half after hitting a pair of 3-pointers during a 10-2 run after halftime. Highland responded to each Falcon run, but couldn’t close the gap all the way.
“This is a team that really doesn’t have a lot of varsity experience and that could have gone one or two ways. We could have started bickering amongst each other and kind of stop playing hard, and we kind of rallied together and we got back focused and gave ourselves an opportunity.”