HUNTSVILLE — Close.
That is the easiest way to describe the Lady Highlanders’ game against Kingston in the Twin K Hall of Fame Classic Saturday evening.
Unfortunately, “close” doesn’t mean “win,” and Kingston ultimately prevailed with a 41-40 win over Scott High, pulling one out in much the same fashion as the last time the Yellow Jackets were at Highlander Gymnasium, which saw them win a game in overtime after connecting on a last-second 3-pointer in regulation of the District 4-AA third place game in February.
This time, Scott High jumped out to a 7-0 lead and led almost all the way. But Kingston slowly chipped away at the lead, and ultimately pulled out an improbable win late in the fourth quarter.
For the Lady Highlanders, a team that had been close but just short in so many games in 2020-2021, the loss to Kingston was another painful part of the growing process. But there were bright signs for a Scott team that had not shown many signs of competitiveness in its first three games of the season.
For starters, there was the play of freshman Brittany Morrow. The Lady Highlanders’ point guard has been thrown to the wolves right away, and will be expected to power her team to whatever it ultimately accomplishes in 2021-2022. After needing just a few games to become acclimated to the speed of high school basketball, Morrow had 14 points, seven rebounds and four steals against Kingston, and showed flashes of brilliant as she scored nine points in the second quarter after the rest of the team had gone cold.
Julie Lawson, a sophomore shooting guard, had three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points.
Annalyne Woodward, the Lady Highlanders’ junior post anchor, had eight points and seven rebounds.
There were also disappointments for the Lady Highlanders, who continue to struggle offensively. Chief among them: They were only 4 of 10 from the free throw line.
Nevertheless, Scott showed significant growth from its first game of the season, just four days earlier, when it went the entire first quarter at Sunbright without scoring a point.
It was also a big improvement over the Lady Highlanders’ first game of the day, when they struggled in a 57-35 loss to Stone Memorial.
In that first game, it was senior guard Julie Lewallen who showed up, with three 3-pointers and a team-high nine points. Morrow added eight in that one.
The free throw line was the Lady Highlanders’ nemesis against Stone as well. Although the game wasn’t close enough for the line to make a difference in the outcome, Scott was a dismal 3 of 12 from there against the Panthers.
With Lewallen, Lawson and Morrow all knocking down 3-pointers in the first quarter against Stone Memorial, Scott kept things close early. But the Panthers’ Katie Adkisson was simply too much. She hit six 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 21 to power her team to the win.
Scott High’s third quarter against Stone was perhaps its most impressive period of play in this young season. After falling behind by 20 points at the half, thanks to a second quarter that saw the Lady Highlanders finish with just one field goal and go 0 of 4 at the line, they saw six different players score in the third, and put up 16 points as a team. Lewallen keyed the run with a pair of 3-pointers.
Scott High will be at Wartburg on Tuesday, and will play a pair of games in Union County over the Thanksgiving break before opening district play next week.