By Mark Jurgena
This time it was their game from start to finish.
Twelve days before, Highland outscored Trenton (Wesclin) 32-19 in the second half to win their Pool A game at the Breese (Mater Dei) Tournament. On January 8th, at the Highland Optimist Scott Credit Union Shootout, the Dogs led from start to finish to claim a 53-35 win.
“(We) played much better than last night’s sluggish 56-40 loss to Waterloo,” said Highland coach Deryl Cunningham, who remains sidelined after his kidney transplant surgery. “Freshman Grant Fleming was good on the boards. Much better team effort and putting the ball in the basket.”
The duo of Cade Altadonna and Jake Ottensmeier led HHS. They combined for 35 points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals, and a blocked shot.
“(That’s) kind of what I am looking for from Altadonna and Ottensmeier, playing as a tandem backcourt!” said Cunningham.
They had 21 points in the opening half to stake Highland to a 31-22 halftime advantage. Ottensmeier, who had 15 in the half, scored the first seven points of the game for the Dogs. He began the game with a three, a pair of free throws, and a layup to stake the home squad to a 7-3 advantage.
Wesclin cut the lead to one at 10-9 by the end of the first quarter, but could never tie the game or take the lead.
Highland used four first half threes and five more in the second half to continually extend their lead throughout the game.
Fleming also had career highs with nine points on 4-for-6 shooting and nine rebounds including five on the offensive glass.
“He is a good player that I expect to make a big impact in our program,” said Cunningham. “He already makes game winning plays!”
Logan Powers had five for the Dogs while Colton Watkins added three. Joe Jansen added a point.
Waterloo 56 Highland 40
Highland was only able to score two points in the second period and fell behind at the half 29-13. The Dogs could never recover as they fell in a Mississippi Valley Conference game at Waterloo on January 7th.
Ottensmeier and Jansen led the scoring for HHS with eight each. Fleming had six while Altadonna had five.
Highland’s record stands at 7-9 for the season. They played at Jerseyville Tuesday night, results were unavailable at press time. Tomorrow night they play at Mascoutah.