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High School Basketball:
Shawnee Defeats A Determined Highland

Saturday, January 3, 1998

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

Highland hosted top ranked Shawnee in hopes to end their winning streak. But the Renegades guards Anthony Strachan and Kevin Evans would account for 10 of the 13 points scored in overtime to defeat the Tartans 65-55.

Highland would not let the Renegades get the upper hand in the first half. They went on a 9-2 run at the beginning of the game to force Coach Joe Kessler to call a timeout. After that timeout, the Renegades ended the quarter with a 7-2 run of their own to pull within two points. In the second quarter, the battle continuing with the Renegades taking their first lead of the game 23-22 with 2:23 left in the half. Highland would end the half by regaining the lead 26-23.

In the third quarter, Shawnee would outscore the Tartans 19-11 to take a 42-37 advantage. Anthony Strachan would feel the shooters touch and penetrate the Tartans defense. Shawnee had switched their man to man defense to the 2-3 zone to slow down the Tartans charge.

Highland would go on a 9-2 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter and pull ahead 46-44 with 3:09 remaining. In the closing minutes, Kevin Evans would drain a jumper and give Shawnee back the lead 48-46 with 1:47 to go. Strachan was fouled in the act of shooting with time expiring in the quarter and sanked both free throws to give Shawnee a four point lead with 33 ticks left on the clock. That's when Gene Mergenthal would come up with a three pointer to cut the lead to one. The Tartans defense would pick up to try and force a turnover, but Evans was fouled and made both ends of a one and one bonus shot to put Shawnee up 52-49. It was obvious that the Tartans would need a three pointer and Mergenthal was the man with the hot hand. But it was Mark Groark who got the open shot from the top of the key to tie the game with 8 seconds remaining and send the game into overtime.

Mergenthal would score the only points for Highland in the overtime period. He finished with 18 points in the game. Anthony Strachan finished with 27 points and Kevin Evans had 13 points for the Renegades.

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