Huskies hold on
RIVERSIDE — With a second half 15-point lead dwindled down to two in the final minute, the Highland girls’ basketball team did what it does best.
The Huskies got out in transition after a steal from junior Chelsey Lampe, and she fed sophomore Cheyann Adamson for a layup.
“Those two work well together,” said Highland head coach Jody Fink. “We get a steal and we are trying to get out and go.”
This basket proved enough to fend off a surging Lone Tree in a 53-50 win, Tuesday.
Lampe and Adamson ran the show for the Huskies. Adamson scored 15 first-half points before finishing with a game-high 24. She led her team with nine rebounds and seven steals.
“Our guards are the strength of our team,” Fink said. “We don’t have a lot of size. They have got to do it. They have to handle the ball and the pressure. They control it.”
Lampe finished with 15 points on 6-for-14 shooting. She was second on the team with seven rebounds and six steals. She dished out a team-high three assists.
“Me and Chelsey read each other when we are on the court,” Adamson said.
An Adamson basket made it 42-27 late in the third quarter, the Huskies’ largest lead of the night.
In the fourth quarter Lone Tree out-scored Highland 21-11. This included a 21-8 run before Adamson’s layup clinched the win in the final minute.
Highland also won a quarter by 10, the second period. The first quarter proved to be the difference.
Lone Tree took a 7-0 lead out of the gate, before Lampe and Adamson scored the next 9 points.
“It feels awesome getting a win on our home court,” Adamson said. “We always get nervous when we play Lone Tree. At the beginning of the game we let the nerves get the best of us.”
A free throw from Lampe in second quarter gave her team a 19-18 lead that it would not relent.
Adamson scored 8 of the team’s next 10 points as the Huskies took a 31-18 lead into the break.
“We got down big early, clawed back,” Fink said. “We got a big lead at halftime. We were able to sustain that all the way through.”
In the third quarter, every time Lone Tree pulled within 7 and looked dangerous, Lampe had an answer. First she made a field goal and then she knocked down a trey from the top of the key. Junior Katie Springer made it back-to-back triples during a mini-spurt.
Lone Tree made it a game as Highland failed to convert its free throws. The Huskies went 12-for-32 from the line. Lone Tree split a pair of free throws with 1:35 left with a chance to pull within a point.
“We have got to get back on and hit those free throws in the fourth quarter,” Fink said. “It would have never been that close. We got tight.”
Highland had 11 offensive boards and 32 total. The team had 23 steals as it pressed full-court the entire night.
“The pressure helped get that lead,” Finke said. “We got some turnovers. We forced them into some passes. Our defense definitely feeds into (our offense). We are able to get some easy buckets and get the intensity up.”
Lone Tree was coming off a 52-49 win against Danville, Monday.
The game was Highland’s first contest of the season.
“A season opener is always tough getting up and down,” Fink said. “It is doubly tough when it is your rival.”