The Highland Park boys basketball team got back on track — sort of — with a 61-47 victory over Terrell on Tuesday.
Despite a sloppy and somewhat inconsistent performance, the Scots (25-4, 11-1) bounced back from their first district loss to Carrollton Newman Smith last week.
They kept pace with the Trojans, and remain tied atop the District 10-4A standings. HP also stayed unbeaten at home this season heading into Friday’s final home game against Forney.
“We’ve played very well at home this year, but tonight we struggled,” HP head coach David Piehler said after the game. “We’ve got some really good shooters, but tonight we didn’t shoot the ball well and didn’t attack the zone well.”
The Scots took control of the game in the first half, holding Terrell scoreless for a six-minute stretch of the opening quarter. HP endured an early shooting slump by playing solid defense.
After the Tigers closed the gap to 13-12 early in the second quarter, HP scored the next 11 points. A flurry of Terrell turnovers in the closing minutes of the first half allowed the Scots to extend the advantage to 35-17 at the break.
HP never pulled away further in the second half against a shorthanded opponent, leaving Piehler with mixed feelings about the victory as it prepares for the start of the playoffs in two weeks.
“We got outhustled. Terrell fought and they scrapped,” Piehler said. “There were several stretches where we played really well. We just didn’t sustain it and play well for as long as I thought we should have.”
Clayton Murtha had 15 points and eight rebounds to pace HP, while Evan Beucler added 14 points and Jake Stegenga tallied 10 points and six assists. Jhase Davis led the Tigers with 15 points.
After Friday’s game against Forney, the Scots will travel to North Forney for the regular-season finale on Feb. 11.