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High School Basketball:
Highland Starts Season With Road Victory

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

It's a known fact that practice makes a team close to being perfect. Those long hours of running the coach's play book to perfection were ready to be examined. Well that is, until you go up against another school instead of themselves. Traveling to Cherry Hill West, Highland looked like a team excited about playing against unfamiliar faces. It showed on the court as the Lady Tartans put together an impressive start against West in route to the 71-40 win.

For the Lady Tartans, it was their first game of the 2001-2002 basketball season. Getting motivated for this game was not hard as they have been instructed to execute their playbook to perfection. As for the Lady Lions, it was their third game of the short season looking for their first win. Both coaches were ready to see how well they would perform in this Olympic Conference Division meeting.

Highland started this game right from the opening tip-off with Lisa Steele driving toward the basket for two points. The Lady Tartans used that same aggressiveness on defense, applying the full court press to jump out to an early 6-0 lead. Steele scored 9 points in the quarter while Ana Cieslak was perfect from the field adding 6 points to the Lady Tartans 10-point lead after one quarter.

The shots continued to drop with Stacy Digneo connecting on two 3-pointers in the second quarter for Highland near the end of the half. Cherry Hill West did get their momentum going as Diana Miller and the Lady Lions began closing in on their opponent. Miller scored seven second quarter points, while Lisa Goins worked the interior and contributed 4 points. That production allowed West to more than double their first quarter output. Highland went into the locker room with the momentum at the half leading by a 32-23 score.

The second half was all Highland as Danielle Hemerka scored 10 points in the third quarter including a perfect 4 for 4 from the free throw line. The Lady Tartans defense totally shut down their opponents limiting them to only 17 second half points. Highland easily captured the win on the road, sending a message throughout the league. Lisa Steele finished with a game high 21 points, Ana Cieslak added 20 points and Danielle Hemerka scored 17 points for Highland. Diana Miller had a team high 17 points for Cherry Hill West.

Photos by Jason Brown

©2001 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.