Huskies pick up intensity in second half at Lone Tree

By Jeff Yoder
Posted 12/7/21

It wasn’t a pretty first half of basketball for either Lone Tree or Highland in just the second conference game of the season on Monday. 

But the Huskie defense took control in the …

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Huskies pick up intensity in second half at Lone Tree

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It wasn’t a pretty first half of basketball for either Lone Tree or Highland in just the second conference game of the season on Monday. 

But the Huskie defense took control in the second half. 

An aggressive press helped Highland increase a four-point halftime lead to 13 before the Lions could get a shot to fall in the third quarter. The Huskies would lead by as many as 20 on the way to a 51-34 win. 

“We were really trying to force some things and we weren’t real patient,” Highland coach Jody Fink said. “We were being very undisciplined. In our press, we were getting lazy. And when we started to actually increase our intensity a little bit, better things happened.”

Dani Laughlin got two steals for layups during Highland’s 10-1 run to open the second half and Sarah Burton scored four points during the run as well. Laughlin finished with six steals, and Burton had five.  

Kasey Chown ended the run with a shot off the glass, and Lone Tree freshman Rylee Shield scored four in a row. Chown’s putback cut the lead to 30-25, but the Lady Lions could get no closer. 

A turnover led to a 1-on-1 opportunity for Katelyn Waters, who took advantage and finished over a Lone Tree defender. Abbi Stransky found the rim twice to put Highland ahead 36-27 after three. 

Stransky scored 10 of her game-high 16 points in the second half, including Highland’s only 3-pointer for the game. She had 12 rebounds and seven steals

“We definitely changed our mental game between the first and second half,” Stransky said. “We were just strong mentally and put that first half away.”

Both teams left a few points at the free throw line with Highland finishing 9-of-19, and Lone Tree shooting 7-of-14.

Laughlin made both of her free throw attempts and finished with eight points. Sarah Burton and Jessica Kraus each had seven and Emma Soukup finished with six.

Chown was 3-for-3 at the line for Lone Tree. She had a team-high 13 points. Bailey McGrew scored six points and Avery Lisk had five. 

The score was 10-6 in favor of Highland for over two minutes to start the second quarter until Maddie McCullough hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one. She finished with five points and had Lone Tree’s only 3-point field goal. 

Highland answered with a 10-1 run, but Lisk scored the next four and McCullough stole the ball and scored to cut it to 20-16 heading into halftime. 

“Our girls don’t quit, that’s one thing I think we realized tonight,” Lone Tree coach Ryan Shelman said.  “It was obvious that we looked just a little bit rusty tonight at times after we didn’t get to play last week. 

“But I thought our girls showed a lot of tenacity, I thought our defense looked good at times. We have really good guards and I thought we forced a lot of turnovers tonight, that are kind of uncharacteristic of this team. Jody is a great coach, phenomenal guy, and he does a really good job with this program. So we knew it was gonna be a tough game. They’re a good team. And we just made too many mistakes down the stretch.”

 

WMU 56, Highland 29

Winfield-Mt. Union won its fourth game in a row with a 56-29 win over Highland in the Huskies’ first conference game of the season. 

Highland allowed WMU to shoot just 36 percent from the field — the first time the Wolves were held under 49 percent this season. 

But WMU had a great day on the glass, grabbing 22 offensive rebounds on the way to a 46-32 advantage on the boards overall. 

The Wolves led 26-15 at the half and outscored Highland 22-5 in the third quarter. 

“Winfield took it to us,” Highland coach Jody Fink said. “We fought back in the first half but the third quarter was our back breaker.  We allowed them to get the ball inside way too often and when they did miss they got plenty of third and fourth opportunities.  We allowed their size and wingspan to influence what we wanted to do.”

Dani Laughlin led Highland with 11 points in her first game of the season. Sarah Burton had eight points and eight rebounds, while Abbi Stransky had eight points, eight rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots.  

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