HUNTSVILLE — Anderson County slipped the ball by the keeper four minutes into Thursday’s key district match at Scott High and never trailed, jumping to a 3-0 halftime lead en route to a 4-1 win over the Highlanders.
Kristian Obrusanszki scored Scott High’s lone goal, early in the second half. Scott High targeted the junior often, using a strategy of playing long balls over the heads of Anderson County’s defense and letting the speedy forward track them down in a footrace.
The strategy almost worked on multiple occasions, as Scott had several quality looks at the goal in the first half. Finally, the Highlanders broke through with a score 10 minutes into the second half.
Obrusanszki’s goal made things interesting, but Anderson County was able to seal the game several minutes later, scoring on a follow-up after the ball got away from the keeper.
“I think offensively we did better,” Scott High coach Eric Henry said. “We didn’t come out flat like we did the last game (at Oneida). They were ready to play at the beginning. But I told them at halftime, we have to eliminate the mistakes in the back. The goals that have been scored on us, it’s all been gimmes.”
Henry credited the play of sophomore keeper Adrian Parra, who came on in the second half in relief of freshman Makhylin Duncan. Parra started the season, but Duncan had since moved into the starting role, as Henry continues to shuffle his young lineup in an effort to find a cohesiveness that will allow his team to compete in District 5-AA.
“Mak’s still learning,” he said. “He’s a freshman. But Adrian played really well tonight. It’s kinda like I said before, we’ve had some people who were starting and now they’re having to earn their playing time, and they’ve all turned it around. Ira (Marcus) turned it around. Adrian has turned it around. Andy (Blevins) has got some playing time back. I was really happy with the way Skye Babb played tonight, too.”
Ultimately, Henry said, “We’ve got to play better across the back. I’m disappointed in our defensive play. Offensively, we had a couple of good looks but we’ve got to get better at that. We got too bunched in the middle.”
The Highlanders will be back in action on Saturday for the Highlander Cup at John John Yancey Memorial Park, in a triple-header against Clinton, Harriman and Oneida.