January 15, 2009

Unity Upends Tigers 70-55 in Highland Tourney Finale

Every time the Mustangs looked poised to stampede to a win, Scotland County would lasso the runaway lead and pull within striking distance. But ultimately the Tigers ran out of rope as Unity pulled away for a 70-55 win on January 9 in the final round of the Highland Tournament.

The Tigers took the early lead when they broke the Unity press resulting in an easy bucket for Kyle Shelley. But Unity scored the next seven points forcing an SCR-I timeout with 4:47 left in the first period.

Jacob Howard converted a three-point play and Kasey Dial scored on an inbounds play for Scotland County but Unity still led 14-7 at the end of the first period.

The deficit quickly grew to 20-7 to open the second period forcing another SCR-I timeout. The Unity lead remained in double digits the bulk of the second period as the two teams traded baskets. Shelley and Brandon Garnett combined for 14 points in the quarter. A fastbreak score by Shelley trimmed the lead to 33-27 with 1:03 left in the first half.

The junior forward scored the first two buckets of the second half to pull SCR-I within 35-31 and force a Unity timeout with 6:40 on the clock.

Unity went on a 6-0 run before baskets by Howard and Dial gave SCR-I the momentum back. Howard scored on back-to-back possessions before a hoop by Shelley ended the third period with the Tigers still trailing 50-44.

The Mustangs stretched the lead back to double digits with 5:09 left in the fourth period. SCR-I went scoreless over the next three minutes before Shelley converted an offensive rebound with just over two minutes left to play, making the score 61-51.

Unity put the game away at the free throw line to pick up the 70-55 win and improve to 4-12 on the season. The Mustangs were led in scoring by freshman Matthew Duesterhaus with 16 points, including four three pointers.

Scotland County (2-9) was led in scoring by Kyle Shelley who finished with a season-high 22 points. Howard added 16 points and Garnett finished with 11 points.

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