After lop-sided loss vs WACO, Highland finds its groove vs Wapello

By Giovanni Coronel
Posted 2/1/23

Highand, hoping to bounce back from a sluggish offensive performance in a loss at home against Sigourney on January 23, went on the road to challenge the formidable second placed team in the …

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After lop-sided loss vs WACO, Highland finds its groove vs Wapello


Highand, hoping to bounce back from a sluggish offensive performance in a loss at home against Sigourney on January 23, went on the road to challenge the formidable second placed team in the Southeast Iowa Super Conference, the WACO Warriors. Not being able to find the answers defensively or offensively the Huskies fell to the Warriors, 60-25, on January 24.

With this win the Warriors raised its conference play record to 11-2 and now sit at 14-3 on the season. After this loss Highland finds itself in the middle of the pack in the Super Conference, out of nine teams they are fifth, with a 7-10 record on the season and a 6-7 record in conference play. 

WACO started the game off strong going on a 6-0 run before it was ended by the first basket of the night for Highland from junior Sarah Burton. After the Huskies took a time out junior Stella Slaymaker made a close range basket to cut the Warriors’ lead to two.  

Not ready to let its lead slip away WACO went on a 9-2 run to end the first quarter. Highland was able to make the first two field goals, a two pointer by Burton and a three-pointer by junior Kylie Allen, to start the second quarter but those ended up being the only points the Huskies scored in the second quarter. 

As the basket eluded Highland after its initial five points, the Warriors took the initiative and were able to produce eleven more points. This gave WACO a 15 point lead going into halftime. 

The third quarter is where the offense and defense for Highland started to unravel. 

“We got out physically played,” Highland head coach Jody Fink said after the game. “We have to find a way to rebound better and put the ball in the hoop. We are getting opportunities but we have not capitalized on them. Good teams are going to make you pay for them and WACO made us pay.”

The quarter after halftime was Highland’s lowest scoring quarter of the game, four points. Frustration was mounting and visible on the Highland players’ faces as they continued to turn over the ball before getting a shot off which allowed the Warriors to outscore them 15-4 in the third quarter. 

Already up by 28 points before the final frame began, the fourth quarter proved to be the highest scoring quarter for WACO, 19 points, but it also ended up being Highland’s highest scoring quarter also, with 10 points. 

Nine out of the 10 fourth quarter points for the Huskies were made by Burton and senior Jessica Kraus. As the game came to a close WACO’s last made field goal was a three-pointer, giving them 60 points on the night and ultimately a 35-point win over Highland.  

Leading the team in points with 13 was Burton. Burton went 6/10 from the field, giving her a team high 60% field goal percentage. She also led the team in rebounds with 14, giving her a double double on the night.


Highland 25, WACO 60

Highland   4      7      4     10    --  25

WACO   14   12    15     19    --  60

Highland scoring: Sarah Burton 13, Jessica Kraus 5, Kylie Allen 3.

WACO scoring: Ellah Kissell 17, Emma Wagler 14, Grace Coble 12.

Highland Rebounding leaders: Burton 14, Kraus 4, Allen 2, Katelyn Waters 2, Stella Slaymaker 2, Kerra Longbine 2, Kelsi Cerny 2.


Highland, two days removed from getting handed a loss from WACO, stayed home to welcome Wapello. Needing a win to get back on track before the season ends, this matchup was just what the doctor ordered for the Huskies. Highland bested its conference opponent with a 51-21 victory on January 27. 

Scoring early and often the Huskies jumped out to a 10-5 lead after the first quarter. They continued to score but also held the Wapello offense in check by outscoring the Arrows 13-2 in the second quarter to take a 16 lead going into halftime.

“We played a better defensive game overall,” Highland head coach Jody Fink said. “The patience and the discipline are a continued work in progress. It was nice to see many people get into the scoring column.” 

Not letting its foot off the gas offensively, Highland scored its quarter high points in the third quarter with 16. As the Huskies went into the fourth quarter with a 22 point lead, this game had all the makings of a blowout, but even in a blowout Fink still knows there are areas his team can improve upon.

“We had too many spurts of non-scoring events and lazy rebounding. We need to be consistently more physical on the boards and body up to get the rebound. Overall, we will take it and move on to the next game,” Fink said. 

When the clock hit zeros Highland improved its season record to 8-10 with a 30 point victory. This win over a conference foe also improves its conference play record to 7-7. 

It was another excellent night for Sarah Burton who led the Huskies with 23 points. Burton recorded a double double for the second game in a row by collecting a team high 12 rebounds. She also had a solid night defensively, recording five steals.  

Highland (8-10) went on the road to face undefeated Winfield-Mount Union (18-0) on January 31. This was the second time these two teams square off with WMU winning the first matchup 57-23, on December 20. 

Next up for the Huskies will be senior night at home when they take on Columbus (7-12) on February 2. Hoping to avoid the sweep, Highland will look for revenge against Columbus after losing to them 52-48 on January 3. 


Highland 51, Wapello 21

Highland   10   13     16     12    --  51

Wapello       5     2     10      4    --  21

Highland scoring: Sarah Burton 23, Jessica Kraus 9, Kerra Longbine 5

Wapello scoring: Jakayla Nelson 6, Madelyn Lanz 6, Quinn Veach 5

Highland rebounding leaders: Burton 12, Kylie Allen 5, Katelyn Waters 5, Katie Herrig 5.


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