HOWARD — The East Knox Bulldogs defeated the Highland Scots Saturday in Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference play by a score of 54-43.

Highland came into the game standing second in the league, while East Knox was a game behind at third. Previously Highland had won 52-41, but in Saturday’s game, the shoe was on the other foot.

“The first time we played them, they beat us by 11, they shot 29 foul shots,” said East Knox coach Chip Pozderac. “I told the kids we wanted to get their big kid in foul trouble, and get to the foul line.”

East Knox was the team who controlled at the line, sinking 24 of 32 freebies and securing the win.

The two teams were on it from the start, and East Knox had opted to run a zone defense. Brooklyn Baird, Peyton Carpenter and Madison Cecil all took advantage by each hitting a three. Meanwhile Sydney Buckingham of East Knox kept the Bulldogs in the game scoring six of her teams nine, keeping the game tied 9-9 heading into the second frame.

The Bulldog defense was able to lock in and hold the Scots offense to just five points in the second quarter, none of which came from downtown. Morgan McCauley did her fair share of scoring with five points. Teammates Meggan Bartok and Taylor Nunamaker each supplied the Bulldogs with two, giving the Bulldogs a 18-14 advantage heading into the locker room.

When the teams came out for the third period, scoring started to pick up. East Knox started out on a 4-0 run causing the Scots to call a timeout and the Bulldogs used that momentum all the way into the fourth. Highland did not go away easily. Savannah Fitzpatrick and Baird combined for nine of the Scots 14 on the quarter, keeping the game within reach, but still trailing the Bulldogs 35-28 heading into the final quater of play.

Foul trouble haunted the Scots in the fourth, and they sent East Knox to the stripe seven times. Giving East Knox 11 of their 19 points for the quarter. A pair of three’s by Cecil, and two shots down low from Darcie Walters gave the Scots hope, but East Knox’s accuracy at the line allowed them to keep control of the game. Giving the Bulldogs the 54-43 victory and moving up in the KMAC standings to being tied with Highland for second.

Highland coach Whitney Levering-Smith said rebounding played a big role in the Scots loss.

“We let them have 15 offensive rebounds,” she said. “That right there is a huge bonus for them because they’re getting up more shots than we are.”

East Knox had four players score over 10 points throughout the game. Sydney Buckingham recorded a double double with 12 points and 12 off the glass. Bartok and McCauley both notched 12 and Nunamaker pieced together 10. Ashley Van Hoose and Alexandria Magers combined for eight points and nine rebounds.

Highland was lead by Cecil who finished with 11 points and four steals. She was followed by teammates Baird with seven, and Carpenter and Walters each had six. Raven Tilford, Gena West, Brylynn Tuggle and Fitzpatrick combined for 13.

East Knox will travel to Loudonville for a non-conference game today with a JV tip off at 6 p.m. and Highland will travel to Northmor to play the Knights Wednesday starting with JV at 6 p.m.

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Jack Fitzpatrick: 740-397-5333 or sports@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @