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High School Basketball:
Second Half Surge Moves Highland Past Township

Saturday, January 5, 2002

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

There was yet another challenge standing in front of the Lady Tartans Saturday afternoon at Highland High School. Washington Township entered the building in search of giving their opponent their first loss of the season. The Minutemaids' patient style of basketball seemed to be the way to slow down Highland's offense, but it was only a matter of time before Highland found a way to capture the 50-24 win at home. The second half of this game proved to be the turning point.

When you have a successful program in any sport, it draws more attention to yourself as the team to beat. Every opponent seems to measure their success by how well they've played against a team with a successful record. If they do well, it gives the them the satisfaction that they outplayed a good team. Play poorly, every avenue of your game plan is exposed and you are left with coming up with a new play book.

In this game, Washington Township executed a well designed strategy of slowing the tempo. By doing so, the first shot attempt by Highland did not come until Aiysa Hinson missed her 18-feet jumper with 5:15 remaining in the initial quarter. In the meantime, Township jumped out to a 6-0 lead with baskets by Tiffany Carroll and a three pointer by Gina D'Amico. Finally, with 3:02 showing on the clock, Lisa Steele hit the first field goal attempt by Highland. Township's patient offense and scrambling defense limited the Tartans from gaining any momentum. The Minutemaids were enjoying the 10-3 lead after one quarter and only a one point lead, 17-16, at the half.

When the whistle was blown to start the second half, the momentum quickly switched in favor of the home team. When Steele hit a three point to give the Tartans their first lead of the game, her shot finally gave the crowd something to cheer about. The third quarter was almost a direct reverse of the first quarter with Highland pressuring the ball on defense preventing Township from putting many points on the scoreboard. Highland went on a 7-2 run to force the Minutemaids to call a timeout with 3:13 left until the final quarter. Stacey Digneo put an exclamation point on the quarter when she drained the second 3-pointer of the quarter and gave Highland a nine point lead.

Coach Dan McGettigan had to proud of his team the way they fought back to win this game. He also showed patience on the offensive side of the ball when his Lady Tartans were down in the first half. Highland rewarded their coach in the second half by outscoring Township 34-10. Lisa Steele had a game high 18-points and Danielle Hemerka added 16-points for the Lady Tartans. Tricia Larmond added a team high 9-points for Washington Township.

Photos by Art Redd

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