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By David Sharp
Scotland County took a 17 point lead after three quarters during non-conference boys action at Highland (1-6) the Cougars mounted a furious comeback that wound up three points short of the mark. Kallen Hamlin sank two Tiger free throws in the closing seconds of the December 12, 2022 contest sealing a 63-60 Scotland County win.
Highland (1-6) took a 9-3 lead on CJ Eaton’s bucket with 4:32 to play in the first quarter. Tayte Richmond tossed in a Tiger three ball, knotting matters at 14 all with two minutes remaining in the opening period.
Vince Dale scored with 1:20 showing on the clock for a 16-14 Scotland County lead. The two point margin stood up as the score at the first break. Highland settled for jump shots during the second quarter.
The Cougars took better scoring chances late in the first half. Scotland County was hot from the perimeter near the end of the first half. The Tigers led 31- 22 at the half.
Scotland County threatened to run away and hide, outscoring the home team 18-10 in the third quarter for a 49-32 lead. Highland seemed to discover their full court game in the fourth quarter.
The result was a furious 28-14 Highland run. The Cougars drew fouls at the end of fast break opportunities. Highland connected on eight of ten free throw chances. Scotland County sank12-18 from the line.
The Tigers led 52-38 when Corbin Blessing fired in a Scotland County three with 7:10 to play in the game. CJ Eaton answered with a Highland three point play. Devin Stutsman canned a three ball with 2:16 remaining for a 58-53 score. Brayden Logsdon sank two free throws for a 58-55 Scotland County edge with two minutes remaining.
Highland came all the way back from a 17 point second half deficit when CJ Eaton cashed in a four shot Highland opportunity for a 60 all tie with 44 seconds to play in the now tense atmosphere.
Vince Dale hit a Tiger free throw with 32.4 seconds to play for a 61- 60 Tiger edge. Highland missed a three point try. Kallen Hamlin sank two free throws for a 63-60 lead. Highland had two good shots to tie the game with a three ball.
Time ran out o what turned from a possible rout to a very entertaining, competitive ball game and a 63-60 Scotland County win.
CJ Eaton led all scorers with 24 Highland points. Braydon Logsdon fired in 19 points. Brady Campen was the third Cougar in double figures with ten points. Sterling Lair scored four and Devin Stutsman added three points.
Corbin Blessing led Scotland County with 16 points. Vince Dale scored 15 points. Marcus Smith and Owen Triplett scored seven points each. Tayte Richmond put in eight Tiger points.