HUNTSVILLE — With 19 seconds remaining, Scott High trapped Fulton’s all-star point guard, Edward Lacy, in the corner in rear court. The McDonald’s All-American nominee traveled, giving the Highlanders the ball and a chance to win at the end.
That didn’t happen, as Scott’s shot was off the mark. And, after Lacy knocked down two free throws on the other end, a desperation 3-point shot at the buzzer wouldn’t fall, allowing the Falcons to escape with a 60-57 win.
But the Highlanders were that close to making a statement, leaving head coach Jordan Jeffers to say after the game that its team has proven “it belongs.”
Trey Morrow had 29 points and 12 rebounds, along with five assists, while Logan Goodman added 15 points.
Ultimately, though, Fulton had just a little too much Edward Lacy. The point guard finished with 30, and played with ice in his veins down the stretch. He hit two 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter, and finished the game 10 of 10 at the free throw line.
Overall, Fulton was almost automatic from the line. The Falcons hit 14 of 16, for 88 percent. The Highlanders, by contrast, got to the line just five times, but made all five attempts.
Incredibly, two losses to Fulton and Alcoa last week saw the Highlanders shoot a combined total of just eight free throws, making all of them.
Friday’s back-and-forth game at Highlander Gymnasium featured a multitude of lead changes. Ultimately, though, the Highlanders simply couldn’t get enough shots to fall in the second half. The third quarter was especially brutal, as Fulton’s pressure defense limited Scott to only eight points.
For the game, Scott shot 46 percent — good enough to win, but below its season average. The Highlanders were just 6 of 23 from 3-point range.
Goodman knocked down a trio of 3-pointers in the first half, but Fulton limited his looks in the second half, and turned a 31-30 halftime deficit into a 43-39 lead entering the fourth quarter.
But with Morrow scoring 11 of his 29 in the final period, Scott would again come from behind to take the lead, before Fulton began to put the game away late. After three straight 3-pointers, and a 6 of 6 free throw effort by Lacy on one-and-one opportunities, the Falcons were up 58-54 in the final 30 seconds. But Morrow knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing to cut the deficit to one, giving the Highlanders an opportunity to win after they forced Lacy into a traveling violation.
After a 16-0 start, the Highlanders are now 16-2 and have dropped into third place in the District 4-AA standings.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier, either. The Highlanders’ next game will be a visit from Kingston on Friday, another key district game. After that, they will face Fulton again — this time in Knoxville — on Tuesday, before hosting Alcoa on January 31.
SCOTT (57): Morrow 29, Goodman 15, Tucker 6, West 5, Storey 2.
FULTON (60): Lacy 30, Holland 12, Hatchett 7, Jenkins 7, Holt 2, Robinson 2.