The new-look Highland Bulldogs continued their winning ways at the 40th annual Mascoutah Girls Basketball Invitational Tournament on Wednesday at Mascoutah High School
Sophomore Ellie Brown scored 16 points while senior Rece Portell added 12 as Highland led from start-to-finish in a 49-15 win over the Centralia Annies.
Highland (9-3), which broke a two-game losing streak, jumped to a 16-4 lead in the first quarter as it ran past Centralia for the third time this season and into a quarterfinal game Thursday against another South Seven Conference opponent — the Carbondale Terriers.
“I don’t think that’s ever happened where we’ve played and beaten a team three times in our first 12 games. We’re trying some new things and I’m sure they (Centralia) are as well,” Highland coach Mike Arbuthnot said. “I was happy with the way we came out. I thought we did a good job of coming out early ready to play.”
And on this day Brown and Portell were ready to go despite the 8:30 a.m. starting time. Teaming with junior Emmy Nyquist in the Bulldogs’ three-guard offense, Brown and Portell got Highland running with 12 first quarter points.
“We are very much guard-oriented at this time. Ellie, Emmy and Rece work well together. They look for each other and share the basketball well,” Arbuthnot said. “We are looking for some players to step up and rebound for us. Against some of the bigger teams we’ve played, we have given up eight or nine offensive rebounds. That is way too many.”
Carbondale 46, Belleville West 36
Atlexus Green and Maddie Doan scored 11 points each as the Terriers held off Belleville West in the second first round game Wednesday.
The Terriers outscored Belleville West 11-2 in a four-minute stretch midway in the second half and went on for the come-from-behind win.
Kwanisha Carroll-Quarles led West (1-11) with 10 points.
Central 54, Mascoutah 13
Senior Faye Meissner scored 15 points as the Cougars defeated the host Indians. Clarece Jansen added 12 points and Allyson Fehrmann chipped in with 11 points for Central (11-1).