Highland Wins Boys Consolation Title Over Clark County
By David Sharp
Clark County’s youthful boy’s basketball club took on one of the better teams in their conference, playing Highland (5-7) tough until the Cougars opened a late third quarter lead for a 49-40 victory.
Second seeded Highland was upended in the first round by seven seed Knox County in overtime.
The fifth seeded Indians (2-8) wound up taking on Clarence Cannon Conference boy’s championship contender South Shelby in the first round and host Highland in Highland Tournament play.
Clark County grabbed a quick 8-3 lead in a turnover filled, sloppy first half. The Indians led 11-8 in the first quarter and 17-15 at the half.
Highland adjusted to having starters Brandon Davie, Derrick Smith and Kegan Brown back in the lineup. Derrick Smith put Highland up 26-22 with a third quarter driving hoop at the 3:35 mark.
Chase Bevans pulled the Indians back within a bucket 20 seconds later. Highland cracked off a 7-2 run to a 33-26 edge with 61 seconds to play in the period. The Cougars took a 33-28 lead to the fourth quarter.
Brandon Davie popped a three ball for a 39-28 Cougar lead at the 5:36 mark. Highland guards took the basketball away from Indian rebounders on two straight trips.
Highland started running the court and built a 43-30 lead with 3:24 to play in the game. Clark County showed heart with a rebound fueled seven point run to a 43-37 deficit with 1:53 remaining.
Kegan Brown helped ice the game with a fast break basket with a minute to play in the game. Highland led 47-37. Clark County had shooters open on two late game possessions, but threw the basketball away.
Chase Bevans nailed a home run ball with 27 seconds left. Austin Richmiller led Highland with 15 points. Brandon Davie scored 12 Highland points. Derrick Smith was in double figures with ten points. Kegan Brown scored nine Highland points.
The Cougars were 10-19 from the free throw line. Clark County sank three of nine free throws. “We may have been a little tired. We played a step slow in the first half,” Highland coach Clyde Rosencrans said.
“We came out and played better in the second half. We started to put on some runs. We got legs underneath us,” Clyde Rosencrans said. Highland played two overtime games previously in tournament action.
“We had some kids come off the bench and play really well. Our second group played really well and pushed the lead,” Rosencrans said. “I think a benefit of losing those kids for a few games helps the bench.”
Luke Ross and Chase Bevans led Clark County with 12 points each. Tommy Dever scored six points. Dylan Harper scored five CC points. Jayvin Ray scored three points and Austin Egley added two.
Clark County sank three home run balls as a team and went 3-9 from the charity stripe. “Tonight we had a 100% turnaround from our game with South Shelby,” Indian coach Adam Rung said.
“Our kids really competed tonight. That is something we have to do every night. (Highland) is a tough match up. They got us playing a little quicker than we wanted,” Adam Rung said.
“We didn’t mind pushing in transition, but we need to pull it out and be strong and patient with our offense if it isn’t there,” Coach Rung said. “They sped us up just enough. We boxed (Derrick Smith) out but we didn’t go for the ball or didn’t move him out enough.”
Adam Rung was talking about critical Highland steals that opened an 11 point HHS lead in the last three minutes. “We have to get stronger. That comes with youth. Their experience and poise was the difference.”
“We had our poise early but when they got the game the way they wanted it, we lost our poise a little,” Coach Rung said. “We got within six points late. We want to play hard nosed and play together no matter the score. We did that tonight.”