Young Huskies maintain their composureAfter Lone Tree trimmed Highland's lead to two, the Huskies went on a 15-3 run
LONE TREE — After Lone Tree trimmed rival Highland’s lead to one point midway through the third quarter of Thursday’s Southeast Iowa Super Conference North Division girls’ basketball game, the young Huskies maintained their composure. Highland answered with a 15-3 run and went on to defeat the Lions 54-39.
“We knew that if we panicked then everything would start getting out of control,” Highland’s Cheyann Adamson said. “We just needed to settle down and figure things out. Once we did that, everything fell into place.”
Adamson, a freshman playing in just her fourth varsity game, was one of the Huskies who stepped up after the Lions closed to within one.
After Lone Tree junior Madelyn Flemr put back a missed shot and nailed a baseline jumper to trim Highland’s lead to 27-26, Highland senior Kelsey Doreo made one of two free throws at the other end. Highland senior Paige Wieland put back a missed shot to push the lead to four, and then Doreo scored on an assist from Adamson. Then Adamson came up with a steal and a layup to extend Highland’s lead to 34-26 with one minute left in the third quarter.
“She came up really big,” Highland head coach Jody Fink said of Adamson. “She sees the floor exceptionally well for a freshman. She looks to attack. She’s not afraid. It doesn’t matter who she’s going against, she’s still going to take it to the hole. I’m very proud of her.”
Highland (7-4, 7-4 SEISC North) led 36-29 after three quarters of play and then scored the first eight points of the fourth period to open up a 15-point lead. From there, Highland rolled to a win over a Lone Tree squad that it lost to 59-43 in its season opener on Nov. 20.
“It felt really, really good,” Adamson said of the win over the rival Lions.
Adamson didn’t play in Highland’s first game against Lone Tree. She has been averaging 17.8 points per game for the Huskies’ junior varsity squad this season, and finally moved up to the varsity for Highland’s game against Wapello on Dec. 11. She scored a career-high 10 points, nine of which came in the second half, against Lone Tree on Thursday night, and she also had six rebounds, four steals and four assists.
“It felt amazing,” Adamson said of playing at rival Lone Tree. “This is the one game where I really wanted to show everyone what I had and what I could really do.”
Chelsey Lampe, just a sophomore herself, had 11 points and five steals to lead the Huskies. Doreo finished with seven points and nine rebounds, and senior Kassie Vazquez also scored seven points.
Missed free throws cost Lone Tree (4-7, 4-7 SEISC North) in Thursday’s loss, which was its fifth straight. The Lions missed their first 15 charity shots and finished 2-for-20 from the free-throw line.
“Going 2-for-20 is definitely tough to swallow,” Lone Tree head coach Travis Pierson said. “If you make some of those early on, it changes the outcome of the game or at least makes it closer. If you go 2-for-20 from the line, it’s going to be tough to win any game.”
Flemr had a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Lions, and senior Cara Chamberlain added 10 points. But Flemr and Chamberlain combined to go 0-for-11 from the foul line.
“That’s one thing we’ve got to be thankful for,” Fink said. “They missed their free throws.”
The Lions went 0-for-10 from the free-throw line and committed 15 turnovers in the first half, but despite their miscues they only trailed Highland by eight points at the break. Chamberlain and Flemr both had a pair of baskets and junior Kennedi Warson added another as Lone Tree went on a 10-2 run midway through the third quarter to trim Highland’s lead to one. But the Huskies had an answer.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” Fink said. “They stayed composed throughout that. Even during their run, we still stayed composed.”