SPARTA — The Highland Scots girls basketball team was defeated by the Ontario Warriors stifling defense Wednesday by a score of 34-23. The Scots struggled to score consisently on offense, opposed to their usual “swing-and-shoot” style offense.
“We definitely could have scored on them, and we had the opportunity to do so,” said Highland head coach Whitney Levering-Smith. “We missed several lay-ups and had some good shots that just didn’t go in.”
The Scots were held by multiple defensive schemes from the Warriors to limit their offensive habits, suffocating their control from the game. This tactic allowed the Scots to score only 10 total points in the second half, four of which were free throws.
“In the second half they changed the way they guarded us,” Levering-Smith said. “It kind of flustered us a little bit and it did have part to do with our mentality of attacking the rim and going towards it.”
Heading into the first quarter, neither team showed much offensive spark. Madison Cecil and Gena West of Highland both nailed two free throws, and teammate Raven Tilford scored from the field as well. Ontario’s Mecca Sewell started the first with a tone that would set for the rest of the game, scoring six of her team’s eight points, giving the visitors an 8-6 advantage.
Throughout the second quarter, there was a near identical offensive display, however, deeper shooting started to become a factor in the game. Cecil hit a shot from downtown, followed later on by a Warrior three from Sewell, sending the Scots to the locker room, trailing 16-13 at the half.
By the end of the third quarter, Ontario had extended their lead by four. Giving the Warriors a 26-19 edge heading into the fourth. During the final quarter of play, Ontario pulled away with complete control of the game, causing havoc to the Scots and shutting the home team’s offense down for the first part of the fourth. Highland eventually put points on the board with a couple free throws from Brooklyn Baird and a layup and a freebie from Tilford. Ontario created eight points to set the final score as 34-23.
Leading the Scots in scoring for the evening was Tilford and West with seven points apiece, followed by five from Cecil. Madison Gordon and Baird combined for four points.
Ontario was lead by Sewell, who poured in 19 points, followed by Carleigh Pearson with nine. Mara Collins and A’sharion Houston combined for six points in the Warriors win.
With this loss the Scots now fall to 5-3, and are set to play at Clear Fork, Saturday with a JV tip at noon.