GALION — The Scots picked up the season sweep of the Tigers on Saturday evening.
Highland (7-10, 4-7 Mid Ohio Athletic Conference) defeated Galion by a score of 73-53 with a great defensive effort in the first half.
“I just thought our defensive pressure and intensity was pretty good in the first half. We contested their shots because they’re pretty good shooting it,” Highland’s head coach Christian Toombs said.
The Scots were led in scoring by Garrett Fitzpatrick’s 19 points. Dane Nauman added 16 for Highland and Gavin Hankins pitched in 11 points.
Jordan Bellamy scored 10 points, all in the second half.
“We were doubling down on Fitzpatrick to make Nauman hurt us. We couldn’t keep Fitzpatrick off the boards,” Tigers head coach Ryan Stover explained.
Galion’s (2-12, 2-9 MOAC) Cooper Kent was terrific off the bench and finished with 16 points, to lead the team. Jaxon Oswald pitched in 11 points and Garrett Ison scored seven points.
Highland jumped out to a a 6-0 lead by scoring the game’s first three baskets. After a quarter of play the Scots led Galion 16-9.
“We forced a few shots. We weren’t pushing the floor like we normally do,” Stover said of his team’s first half dry spell.
The offensive woes continued into the second quarter for Galion. At halftime, the Tigers trailed by a score of 30-13. Galion was able to put together just four points in the second quarter.
“We didn’t execute defensively and I think that’s the biggest thing. With both team’s coming in off the snow days it took us a half to figure things out,” Stover said.
By halftime Fitzpatrick led the way for Highland with eight points. Rider Minnick, Gavin Hankins and Nauman had six points each in the first half.
Oswald knocked down a triple to lead Galion with three points at halftime.
The pace picked up in the third quarter and Highland took a 50-37 lead after three quarters. Bellamy and Nauman each scored six points in the quarter for the Scots.
Oswald was able to get the Galion offense going, led by his eight points in the quarter. Kent added six as well during those eight minutes.
Highland closed the final quarter out with some more offensive success. Five Scots were able to score a bucket in the final eight minutes, led by Fitzpatrick with seven points.
“Our offensive game plan was to dominate the paint,” Toombs said. “I thought our guys were a lot more stronger and more physical.”
The two team’s combined for just five triples, four of them coming from Galion.
Galion has matchups with Bucyrus, Pleasant and River Valley coming up next.
Highland will tango with Northmor, River Valley and Clear Fork.