Highland got out to a good start against visiting Worthington Christian in the second game of their Holiday Showcase, but a disastrous second quarter put them in a big hole on their way to a 67-40 loss.
The score was 13-12 in favor of the Scots (3-6) after eight minutes of action, but they were outscored 27-4 in the second period to find themselves in a big hole going into the half.
“Give up 27 points to anyone in the second quarter, it will be a bad night,” said Highland coach Christian Toombs. “It seems like we’ve done that against some of the better teams like Shelby and Harding. I don’t know if it’s conditioning, but we’ll have to take a look at that.”
Seniors Jordan Bellamy and Garrett Fitzpatrick led Highland to an early lead. A basket by Fitzpatrick and a three from Bellamy staked the team to an early 5-0 lead. The duo would score seven of the team’s next points to ensure the Scots held a lead for the entirety of the period.
Trailing by one going into the second, WC got back-to-back baskets from Jawaun Robinson and Sam Johnson to lead by three. Fitzpatrick hit from the floor for Highland at the 6:39 mark of the period to make it a one-point game. Unfortunately for the Scots, they would then give up 23 straight points — not scoring again until Rider Minnick scored with 15 second to go before the half.
Toombs felt the Warrior defense played a big part in their run, as their pressure made it tough for his team to move the ball and led to multiple looks in transition.
“It’s hard right now for our program because we don’t have that solid point guard,” he said. “We have to put Jordan Bellamy there and he’s so good off the ball. Their length and size hurt us. We tried to do the fundamental things right, but they’re so athletic and able to run the lines and jump the lines.”
While Highland bounced back with a much stronger second half, they would not be able to put a dent into the Warrior advantage. The Scots got a pair of three-pointers from Brock Church in the third quarter and Minnick scored six in the fourth to help their team stay within a 28-23 count of Worthington Christian over the final 16 minutes.
Toombs felt Minnick and Church played well in the game, praising Minnick for working hard to get through a recent slump.
“I’m proud of what Rider Minnick did,” he said. ‘He’s one of the first guys out on the practice floor. He was ready to go when called on. We expect a lot of things from Brock. I thought he did a good job defensively in the first half and knocked down some open looks in the second.”
Minnick led the team with 11 points, while Fitzpatrick added 10 and Church scored eight.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS