Highlands boys varsity basketball team defeated Nantahala in a conference game at home on Friday with a final score of 59-39. The Highlanders established a comfortable lead in the first quarter and from then on it was conservative-fundamental basketball.
Highlands had players step up on all fronts, including strong defense from Destin Gearhart and Dillon Schmitt, control of the boards by Mattson Gates and Hunter Collins, and chasing down and wrestling loose balls and tipped shots by Jonathan Miller and Logan Houston. Quieter than usual in the past couple of weeks, Highlands Drew Chalker came out aggressive at both ends of the court putting up points, snagging rebounds, and creating opportunities for others to pad the scoreboard.
By the fourth quarter, Highlands still maintained a 20-point lead and excitement was building in the stands, on Highlands’ bench, and on the court for a dunk from Collins. A couple chances were thwarted by Nantahala, including an alley-oop attempt by Gates that did not connect (but it came close) and another opportunity where Collins was fowled from behind. At last Collins delivered.
Pictured below Highlands Hunter Collins steals a Nantahala pass out of the air, drives down the court, and hammers home a two-handed dunk for 2 points.
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
Follow us on Instagram: @plateaudailynews
Like us on Facebook HERE