LEWISVILLE — Every time Frisco made a run, it seemed like Highland Park had an answer.
The last of those responses — keyed by two Jack Pease free throws with 24.9 seconds left — gave the Scots a 55-53 win in a Class 5A Region II area round playoff game on Friday.
HP advances to the regional quarterfinals, where the Scots will face District 11-5A rival Woodrow Wilson at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland.
After a fast start, the Scots (26-9) led almost throughout against the Raccoons (19-13), but it was tight in the fourth quarter.
Frisco surged ahead 51-48 on a pair of foul shots by Kobe Jones with 2:04 remaining, but Pease converted a critical three-point play only seconds later to tie the score. The two guards exchanged key baskets multiple times in a seesaw contest down the stretch.
After Pease’s free throws in the final minute broke a 53-53 tie, however, the Raccoons couldn’t get a clean shot during their final possession against the resilient HP defense.
“The leadership of our captains really showed,” said HP head coach David Piehler. “[Frisco is] strong and physical. They’ve got some shooters and got some size. We were struggling on offense against them.”
Pease recorded 12 of his game-high 19 points in the second half. Lake Needleman and Prince Dorbah added eight points apiece for the Scots.
Early in the game, Frisco struggled from the perimeter before a second-quarter surge. Jonathan Taylor nailed a trio of 3-pointers, and a Jones layup gave the Raccoons a brief 26-25 advantage.
Jones paced the Raccoons with 19 points, followed by sophomore post Mason Wujek with 13. The Raccoons also held a rebounding edge.
Next up, HP will face a third matchup with Woodrow Wilson, which upset Frisco Wakeland 62-51 on Friday to advance. The Scots swept both regular-season matchups against the Wildcats (20-14) by a combined margin of 16 points.
“It’s going to be extremely difficult,” Piehler said. “We need to be confident, but not overconfident.”
Three of the four 11-5A playoff teams are still alive in the Region II quarterfinals, including unbeaten Carrollton Newman Smith. HP and Woodrow finished second and third, respectively.
“That speaks very highly of our district,” Piehler said. “I’m just happy we’re still playing.”