Thursday’s night prime time battle of the basketball Lady Bulldogs was no fight at all as Waterloo offered little resistance and was all but knocked out early in Highland’s domineering 75-29 victory.
It was the third commanding win in a row for HHS after losing to Civic Memorial Nov. 26 in the championship game of the Salem Lady Wildcat Thanksgiving Tournament. Highland improved to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in the Mississippi Valley Conference while Waterloo has lost three of its last four games and slipped to 3-4 and 1-3.
HHS raced out to a 16-2 lead in the firt 3 1/2 minutes and never slowed down but kept the accelerator down no matter who or what combination was on the floor.
While Waterloo only had three players score all of its points, Highland used its entire roster for the second successive game and 12 of them numbered in the scoring column.
HHS had four of its five starters score in double figures and the fifth starter missed double digits by a single point, even though the starters only played about half of the game.
“They are getting a lot of rest but sometimes in these types of situations you’ve got to sit them but there’s a fine line because you have to get them enough playing time to be able to stay in shape, stay fluid and stay sharp,” Highland coach Mike Arbuthnot said.
Highland senior forward Alex LaPorta showed the way with a baker’s dozen while freshman guard Ellie Brown flipped in an even dozen markers
Also for HHS, senior guard Madison Wellen and senior center Hayley Taylor each scored 10 points, while junior guard Rece Portell rounded out Highland’s starting five with nine points and key reserve guard Abby Melosi chipped in seven points.
The trio who accounted for all of Waterloo’s 29 points were Taylor Augustine and Kathryn Finnerty in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Mollie Zeisset had seven points.
Also cracking the scoring column for Highland were Kayla Eads with four points and seniors Katie Kampwerth and Alisse Koishor, juniors Lauren Baer and Mae Riffel, and sophomore Emmy Nyquist all with two points apiece.
“We’re trying to build depth,” Arbuthnot said. “It’s a long season and I know we’ve got seven seniors so we’re trying to build depth within those seniors, but then we’re also trying to get these younger kids some playing time; this week we were fortunate enough to be able to do that. We’re just trying to stay healthy and keep everybody improving and taking small steps.
“Abby Melosi is coming back off that leg injury and she’s giving us some good minutes and looking really good,” Arbuthnot continued. “(Koishor) also gave us some good minutes and Katie (Kampwerth) gave us some good minutes tonight.”