BATH TWP. — The Highland boys basketball team used the free throw line to its advantage Friday night to hold off upset-minded Revere 54-51 in Suburban League action.
Although the Minutemen (1-13, 1-8) had five more field goals, the Hornets connected on 19-of-26 freebies. In the critical fourth quarter, Austin Adams (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Tanner Houska (11 points, 4 assists) combined to convert of 9-of-10.
“Shooting free throws doesn’t bother me. I want to shoot them,” Adams said. “I practice free throws every day at practice, so in close games like this one, I want to be the one who shoots the free throws at the end of the game.”
Highland (9-6, 5-4) needed every one of its foul shots because Revere — behind a loud, packed house a “black-out” night — did not play like a one-win team and pulled within 40-38 with 5:14 left.
A quick drive to the basket by Houska and a 3-pointer from Alex Wood, who kept dribbling back and forth until he got his shot, made it 45-38. However, Revere got two quick baskets from Mike Benson (13 points) to pull within 45-42.
From that point, the ball was in the hands of point guard Houska, as he not only dribbled down the time, but was able to get to the foul line.
“I just felt like it was up to me to take the ball and control the game,” Houska said, “We were able to knock a lot of time off the clock, and Revere had to foul and try to get back in the game.”
In the final minute, Adams hit six free throws and Houska added one to offset a frantic flurry by the Minutemen.
Just as important as the free throw shooting — if not more so — was a trio of 3-pointers by Brogan Scott (12 points, 4 assists). The flurry helped Highland expand a 31-29 lead to 40-34.
“I told Brogan at halftime to start shooting the three-ball,” Highland coach Michael Murphy said, “We drew up some plays for him to get some three-ball shots, and they worked to perfection, as Brogan came off the picks to get his shots and connect.”
“Those three point shots in the third quarter and the free throws down the stretch were just too much for us to overcome,” Revere coach Dean Rahas added. “You fouled people down the stretch and you figure they will miss a few and you can get back in the game. Give the Highland kids credit. They made the shots when they needed to make them, and that won the game.”
According to Hornets senior Brennan Scott, it was a very important win.
“To win on a Friday night on the road in a SL game is huge,” he said. “We still have a chance for second place, and we also want to stay on a roll going into sectional and district play. If we continue to play defense and shoot free throws like we did tonight, we will do well the rest of the way.”
Former Highland standout Chance Farnsworth coached the Revere junior varsity to a 49-32 win. The Minutemen’s Max Tisdale led all scorers with 19 points, while Tyler Frederick had 11 for the Hornets.
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