Victory for the Highlanders



Girls varsity banner

After months of uncertainty, the Highlander girls basketball team was more than ready to step back onto the court this season. On Tuesday, February 9th, they played their first game against the North Farmington Raiders and won 59-52 in an exciting overtime battle.

“It felt so great to win the first game of the season, especially to North Farmington. Losing to them in overtime last year was not a good feeling at all, so we were ready to come back and beat them this year after all the hard work we have put in during practice the last couple of weeks,” said junior captain, Abbey Drahnak.

The team started the first quarter very strong with Senior Elizabeth Blaine scoring the first four points, followed by senior Lauren Petersmark knocking down two free throws. The great efforts in the first and second quarters had the Highlanders leading by a score of 24-20 at halftime.

Coming out of halftime strong and fired up, the team went on a fast run, challenging the Raiders defense. With multiple trips to the free throw line, the Highlanders were up by ten points at the end of the third quarter.

A shaky start to the fourth quarter allowed the Raiders to catch up and even take the lead by one point with a minute left. Scrambling to get points back, the Highlanders kept attacking the basket, which led to Blaine getting sent to the free throw line and knocking down one out of two free throws to tie the game. Seconds after that, the Raiders were sent to the free throw line and made both free throws, which gave them a lead of two points. With ten seconds left of the game, Petersmark drove to the basket and dished the ball to Blaine who was wide open in the short corner. Blaine made the two point shot, which tied the game and sent the teams into overtime.

“Getting the team hyped up wasn’t too difficult because we lost to North Farmington in overtime last year. All I had to do was remind them of how we felt going home after that game last year and how far we have grown as a team since then; we deserved this win,” said senior captain, Maddie Dolenga when asked how she got the team ready for overtime.

Shay Lewis, head coach since 2013, always preaches playing as a team, especially in times like these when a game is on the line. That is exactly what the girls did. Overtime started slow, but once the team got on a run, they were unstoppable until the last second of the game. With great lockdown defense and a fast paced offense, the Highlanders won in overtime 59-52. 

Stay tuned for upcoming games to see the girls dominate.

Team before game
(Lindsey Kania)