Highlands varsity boys basketball team loses to Hiwassee Dam at home

Highlands varsity boys basketball team hosted Hiwassee Dam last week but couldn’t take the win ending with a final of 52-44.

Highlands James Earp keeps the ball moving against Hiwassee Dam.

The Highlanders stayed within striking distance throughout the game and had their chance in the final minutes, but Hiwassee’s offense consistently put points on the board staying just out of reach.

“We couldn’t get a stop,” said Highlands Brent Sleight. “They scored every possession they had in the last two minutes.”

Highlands Brent Slieght brings the ball down court and takes it straight to the hoop for 2.

He added that Highlands needs to work better as a team and protect the ball more.

“We need to learn how to score as a team and make the right plays on defense,” said Sleight. “We had spurts where we played well by making stops and running the ball. Other times we were just lazy on defense.”

Highlands Gig Chalker puts 2 points on the board working the paint.

Highlands Gig Chalker said they need to step up their defense and play more together as a team, which comes with time on the court.

“It was frustrating and sloppy,” said Chalker. “They had a couple tall guys that could shoot over all of us. We weren’t playing defense. But the more we play together, the better we’ll get, and that’s what we need to do.”

Highlands Jeffrey Olvera uses a pick from JJ Postell and drives to the basket.

This year’s basketball season comes at a time that overlaps with other sports because of schedules altered by COVID-19. Chalker said playing two sports has its challenges.

“Half of us are playing two sports and it’s hard to focus on just one,” he said. “That makes it difficult to reach our full potential in one sport.”

Highlands Nathan Keener drains a long jump shot.

Highlands Lane Tingen makes his way through Hiwassee’s D to the hoop.

Highlands JJ Postell scans the court before driving to the basket.

Highlands Mason Taylor makes his way to the basket through Hiwassee’s defense.

Highlands James Earp doing what he does best and snags a rebound from Hiwassee.

Highlands Collin Stoltzfus scans the court for options against Hiwassee.

Highlands Lane Tingen’s pump fake is deemed a success.

Pictured at the top of the article is Highlands Collin Stoltzfus driving to the hoop.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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