January 3, 2002
Tigers Give Top Rated Highland A Scare In Tournament Opener
When a 1-5 team runs into arguably the best squad in the region, the underdog can only hope to hold its own. That is just what the Scotland County Tigers did in the opening round of the 30th annual Highland Tourney when they took on the host Cougars.
Coach Marc Colvin knew the Tigers had to do something different to hang with the Highland squad, so SCR-I took the air out of the ball and slowed things down. The strategy worked to perfection in the first half as the Tigers ate up an average of one minute per possession before getting a high percentage shot. Those top quality shot opportunities proved to be just about anytime Chase Moore caught the ball. The junior guard hit three straight jumpers to end the first quarter as Highland led just 12-8 after eight minutes of play.
Moore continued his streak in the second period as he hit two more jumpers to tie the game at 12-12. The Tigers pulled ahead 14-13 when Kirk Stott broke the press and hit Aaron Dale with a nice pass for the easy bucket. Highland responded with a pair of baskets before Stott once again dished out an assist. This time he found Logan Bogatzke with a nice pass to make the score 17-16.
Scotland County had a chance to hold for the last shot of the half and try to take a lead into the intermission but two costly turnovers allowed Highland to steal the momentum and take a 20-16 lead at the break.
That was all she wrote for the Tigers as Highland came out on a mission in the second half after the early scare. The Cougars opened with a couple quick buckets to take an eight point advantage and force an SCR-I timeout in the opening minute. The difference proved to be a defensive switch by the Cougars who went from man-to-man to a very tough 1-3-1 zone that took advantage of the tremendous team speed as well as the wing span of a couple big players, including 6'7" Greg Dillgard. The Highland center disrupted the Tigers offense in the passing lane as well as in the post where he piled up nearly double-digit totals in blocked shots.
Scotland County found a hole in the defense when Stott dished out an assist to Brad Holt on the baseline as he sneaked behind the defense for the lay-up.
Highland answered quickly to extend the advantage to 10 at 28-18. Stott made one of two free throws and then came up with a steal and a lay-up but Highland went on to lead 36-21 to end the third period and place serious doubt on any hopes of a Tigers upset.
Scotland County could not buy a bucket to start the fourth period. Four minutes elapsed before SCR-I finally hit a shot, a three pointer from Stott. Holt hit a couple free throws and Moore added his only two points of the second half at the charity stripe but Highland coasted to the 42-28 win.
Moore finished with 12 points to lead Scotland County. Stott had six and Holt added four points while Bogatzke, Robbie Miller and Dale each had a score.
The loss drops the Tigers to 1-6 on the season. The Tigers played Palmyra Wednesday night and will play either in the third place game at 9:00 p.m. Friday, January 4 or in the consolation contest at 6:00 p.m. that night.