Abbi Stransky and the Huskies were ready to play from the opening tip on Monday.
Stransky scored six points during a 13-0 game-opening run, and Highland led by as many as 22 points in the second half of a 47-30 win over Lone Tree.
“Stransky came out with just amazing intensity,” Highland coach Jody Fink said. “I’ll give credit to her, she really got us started. And defensively, they were one shot and done for the most part in that first half.”
Maddie McCullough ended the Lone Tree scoring drought with a 3-pointer late in the first quarter. Her second 3-pointer pulled the Lady Lions within 26-15 in the third quarter.
Stransky answered with a bucket, made two free throws, and later grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked it out to Dani Laughlin for a 3-pointer. Laughlin’s steal and layup made it 35-15 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Huskies were coming off of a game where they let an eight-point halftime lead slip away in a double overtime loss. Laughlin said after the loss, the team focused on sharing the ball in practice with an emphasis on getting the ball into the post.
“Once you get the ball in the paint, they can either take a shot or they can pass it back out to the wings,” she said. “We worked on getting everyone touches and our teamwork.”
Stransky finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and six steals. Laughlin scored a dozen and had four steals. Sarah Burton had a team-high four assists out of the post and blocked six shots. She also had six points and nine rebounds. Anna Herrig added five points.
After falling behind 39-17, Lone Tree closed the game on a 13-8 run. Kasey Chown had eight points in the fourth quarter to finish with a team-high 13.
Avery Lisk scored four points in the second quarter for the Lady Lions. Bailey McGrew and Cate Sexton each made a basket in the fourth.
Fink said that his team is getting closer to putting together a full four-quarter effort in terms of the intensity.
“We’re about three quarters of the way there,” he said. “We’ve still got to improve on our shooting and our ball handling. But if you look at us from a year ago, I mean, it’s a head and shoulders difference, but even just in the last month we’ve made good strides.
“There are going to be some bumps in the road but we’re trying to stay focused and keep moving forward.”
The Lions fell to 5-8 with the loss, while Highland evened its record at 5-5.
E.V. 49, Highland 44/2OT
The Huskies held English Valleys to two points in the first quarter on Thursday, but the Bears came back from an eight-point haltime deficit to beat Highland 49-44 in double overtime.
“A tale of two halves,” highland coach Jody Fink said. “We came out and played pretty well in the first half but didn’t rotate very well in the second half and gave up some big 3-point shots.”
EV senior Mia Ayers was 9-of-11 at the free throw line and scored 23 points. The Bears scored 19 points from the foul line on 33 attempts, while Highland was 5-of-8.
Sarah Burton scored eight points and had 17 rebounds in the loss while Dani Laughlin had 13 points, seven steals and five assists. Abbi Stransky had 11 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Pekin 56, Highland 52
Dani Laughlin finished with 18 points and seven steals, but the Huskies were unable to match Pekin in the second half of a 56-52 loss on Tuesday.
Highland led by a point after one quarter, and the score was tied 24-24 at the half. Pekin built a four-point lead after three quarters and maintained that advantage for the win.
The Huskies allowed 12 offensive rebounds and turned the ball over 23 times.
Highland also forced 23 turnovers and had 12 offensive rebounds, but the difference in the game was at the 3-point line, where Pekin shot 6-of-15.
Sarah Burton had 13 points, six rebounds, and four steals. Abbi Stransky had 11 points, three steals and three assists, while Katelyn Waters grabbed six rebounds and had three assists.
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