SPARTA — A 35-point first-half gave the Highland Scots girls team a 35-18 lead over the Fredericktown Freddies Wednesday, and the Scots continued their solid offense to march to a Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference win, 60-38.
“We knew from the very beginning that we needed to stay calm and collected against their 1-3-1 and be patient off of it,” Highland coach Whitney Levering-Smith said. “We turned the ball over a little more than what I like, but we stuck with it and we ended up getting the shots that we wanted and we stuck with our game.”
The Scots came out of the gates on fire, with five Highland girls knocking down a bucket in the opening quarter. Peyton Carpenter really got her shots to fall in the first, racking up eight points in the first eight minutes. Fredericktown’s Haylee Hulse and Jacklyn Nussbaum both hit a pair of shots in the first, but the Freddies were down 17-12 heading into the second.
Carpenter was held scoreless in the second, but her teammates did more than pick up the slack, pouring in 18 points to Fredericktown’s 6. Raven Tilford and Brooklyn Baird combined for eight points in the quarter to give Highland a 35-18 lead at the half.
“We were passing open shots up,” Fredericktown coach Tim Maceyko said. “Our mentality is no fear of failure, just go and play, but tonight they just wouldn’t shoot the ball.”
In the second half, Highland doubled up the Freddies, 41-20, on a bucket from Carpenter with 4:39 to go in the third. Fredericktown fought back to score nine in the third to head into the fourth down 47-27. In the fourth, Fredericktown held serve for much of the frame, only falling behind by two more points (13-11) to fall, 60-38.
“Our offense started looking up and shooting the ball a little bit and the aggressiveness picked up a little bit, not enough, but a little bit,” Maceyko said of the teams staying even down the stretch.
Carpenter put together a well-rounded game for the Scots, turning in 17 points, four boards, four steals and an assist.
“It’s definitely nice that she can hit that 15-footer consistently, especially when teams know that Madison Cecil is one of our leading scorers,” Levering-Smith said. “They’re going to be focusing on her, which means it opens up for Baird and Peyton and Peyton took advantage of it tonight and we needed her to.”
Cecil was next on the scoring list with nine points, which she paired with nine assists and three steals. Gena West notched eight points and six boards, while Savannah Fitzpatrick and Baird recorded seven points apiece. Darcie Walters, Raven Tilford, Mattie Ruehrmund and Brylinn Tuggle combined for the 12 points.
Highland dominated the glass, outrebounding Fredericktown 29-15 and allowing the Freddies only three offensive boards.
“We knew that Fredericktown’s philosophy was to run and shoot,” Levering-Smith said. “With that being said, we knew that they were going to shoot it a lot. We knew we would need to box and they would only get one attempt.”
Summer Weller, who hit three 3-pointers in the game, paced the Freddies with 10 points. Sophie Lester turned in nine points and two boards, with Nussbaum kicking in seven points and two rebounds. Gabby Daniels had six points, while Hulse and Olivia Mast combined for the remaining six points. Mast led the Freddies with three boards.
Fredericktown is still searching for it’s first win, sitting at 0-5 on the year. The Freddies return to action Saturday at home against East Knox with a 1 p.m. JV start. The Scots are sporting an unblemished record (4-0). Their toughest test to date this year is set for a showdown of early unbeatens Saturday when Highland hits the road to take on Cardington (5-0), starting with a JV matchup at 6 p.m.
“We’re trying to get better every day,” Levering-Smith said. “We focus on the next team ahead of us. We are not thinking about our record and getting complacent. We are staying hungry and wanting to continue with this run. Most importantly, we are just focusing on us.”