Highland edged in girls’ basketball opener


Fredericktown strong down stretch, in OT

By Rob Hamilton - [email protected]



Highland’s Shelby Conley connected four times from three-point range in her team’s season-opener with Fredericktown on Friday.

Highland’s Shelby Conley connected four times from three-point range in her team’s season-opener with Fredericktown on Friday.


Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

In a back-and-forth game, Fredericktown was strong down the stretch in upending host Highland in their season-opening girls’ basketball contest.

The Freddies scored the final seven points of regulation to send the game into overtime and then took a 12-3 edge over those four extra minutes to claim a 50-41 win over the Scots.

Until overtime, neither team could maintain a lead. Highland used strong outside shooting to lead by as many as 12 in the second quarter, but the Scots went cold in the third to allow their opponents to take a slim lead into the fourth. Highland opened that quarter with six straight points and would then open up a seven-point lead with 2:20 left.

However, miscues and missed free throws plagued them down the stretch, allowing Fredericktown to tie the game and take the momentum into an overtime period they would control.

Scot coach Matt Bradley said the unpredictable nature of the game was something that could be expected from two teams’ first outing of the regular season.

“This is my ninth year as a head coach and I have always hated the first game,” he said. “Just because you don’t know know what is going to happen. I joke around with my assistant coaches like, ‘I just hope we score’.”

The opening period may not have eased those concerns. The Scots only got a three-pointer by Shelby Conley and a two-point basket by Guinevere Jackson during those eight minutes; however, a strong defensive effort held the Freddies to the same number of points.

“I thought we really battled and competed hard,” said Bradley. “You look at their roster and ours, they probably outsize us at every position, but without having the final stats in front of me, I thought we really rebounded well.”

In the second quarter, the Scots compensated for their size disadvantage by showing a hot hand from outside. Conley hit two more threes during that period, while Bryleigh Young, Abby Jordan and Jackson all added long-range shots to push the team to a 21-9 advantage before a Grace Sipes shot brought the Freddies within 10 at the intermission.

A three-pointer by Aubree Bellamy helped Highland open up an 11-point lead early in the third quarter, but with a 26-15 lead with 5:38 left in the period, the team went cold. The Scots only got one free throw by Bellamy over the remainder of the period, as the Freddies went on a 14-1 run sparked by six points each from Cally Carpenter and Ella Bouton.

“Their pressure had a little bit to do with it,” said Bradley of his team’s third-quarter woes. “They picked us up and kind of sped us up. I think we got down, battled back and got up seven in the fourth quarter. We talk about learning and growing — we have to learn and grow from this and learn how to finish the game.”

Trailing 29-27 entering the fourth quarter, the Scots got a bucket by Jordan, a three-pointer by Conley and a free throw by Woods to jump in front 33-29. After a missed Fredericktown free throw, Woods connected from deep to make it a seven-point game.

The Scots still led by seven at 38-31 with 2:20 to go, but would not be able to put the game away. The team missed the front end of a pair of one-and-one opportunities, while Carpenter scored five points for the Freddies to make it a two-point Highland lead with time running low.

After the second missed one-and-one, which happened with 4.1 seconds left on the clock, the Scots got the offensive rebound, but were whistled for traveled and then picked up a technical foul with 1.2 seconds remaining. Carpenter made both free throws off that infraction and the game was going to overtime.

“Just some mistakes down the stretch,” said Bradley. “We missed some free throws and had some costly turnovers. No one play lost us the game and, credit to Fredericktown, they made shots and made plays down the stretch and in overtime. I’ve always believed winning basketball is getting a lead in the fourth quarter and then finishing the game at the line and we didn’t. We allowed them to get back into it off our missed free throws.”

Young opened the extra session with a bucket to put Highland back in the lead, but Fredericktown responded with eight straight to lead 46-40 with 1:42 left and the Scots would not be able to respond.

Highland was led by Conley, who hit four three-pointers to finish with 12 points.

Highland’s Shelby Conley connected four times from three-point range in her team’s season-opener with Fredericktown on Friday.
https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2022/11/web1_shelbyconley-1.jpgHighland’s Shelby Conley connected four times from three-point range in her team’s season-opener with Fredericktown on Friday. Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel
Fredericktown strong down stretch, in OT

By Rob Hamilton

[email protected]

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS