Huskies win fight with Bears
If someone simply looked at the final score of the girls’ basketball regional tournament game at Highland High School on Tuesday, Feb. 18 between the Huskies and the Danville Bears, that person might be deceived as to how hard-fought the game really was. At the end of the battle Highland claimed a 75 – 59 victory, but sophomore Cheyanne Adamson’s limping around the court in the fourth quarter was a more accurate descriptor of the game than the score.
“Our girls gutted this game out. We got in some foul trouble. Danville played well and we didn’t identify with their shooters very well. We got in there, fought for every rebound and got to the free throw line,” Highland head coach Jody Fink said.
A back-and-forth first quarter that featured five lead changes and four ties ended in Danville holding a 19 – 18 lead. The Bears used stellar shooting from behind the 3-point line to take the advantage into the second quarter, when the Huskies tightened up their perimeter defense.
Highland started anticipating Danville’s passes and finding lanes to penetrate the Bear defense in the second quarter. A steal and layup by Adamson gave the Huskies a 34 – 23 lead with 3:54 remaining in the first half. Highland would ride the momentum to a 43 – 30 edge going into the locker rooms.
The Bears weren’t done, however. Danville went on a 12 – 2 run to start the second half to cut the Huskies’ lead to 45 – 42 with just under five minutes left to play in the third quarter. Highland answered with a 13 – 4 run to close out the third quarter, however, and push their advantage back up to 58 – 46.
The fourth quarter was the roughest eight minutes of the game as the Bears and Huskies clawed at each other in a battle of wills, Danville’s desire to mount a comeback versus Highland’s hankering to hold its edge. Adamson went down on a tussle for a rebound and spent a few seconds on the floor before rising to her feet and playing out the rest of the game in obvious discomfort. It was indicative of the determination required for the Huskies to outlast the Bears.
Highland is now 15 – 8 overall. The Huskies move on to play Iowa City Regina in Iowa City on Friday, Feb. 21 for a spot in the regional final against the winner of Cascade/West Branch.
“We’ll get back to practice tomorrow. We haven’t had any practice time since Friday. That was something that worried me tonight, the lack of practice time and repetition,” Fink added.