By ISAAC DEER
Tuesday was a different game day for Highland Park coach Mike Williams.
Williams spent his day at the local hospital with chest pains and was stuck in the hospital until 6:00 p.m.
Still, he was able to rush over to the gym and help lead his team to a dominant 76-43 victory over Meadowlark Conference opponent Kansas City-Washington.
"I was having chest pains, and I had no idea if I was having a heart attack or what," Williams said. "It's just been a crazy day. I wasn't around in school, I wasn't around at the end of the day, and I missed the JV game. But the guys were able to stay intact and keep their heads right."
Luckily, his heart was okay, and so was his team.
Class 5A No. 1-ranked Highland Park kept its 12-0, undefeated record alive in a loud way.
The Scots have now won eight games by at least 30 points. Highland Park's bench players are getting more minutes than the average team's starting five.
The Scots' starting five of Tre Richardson, Bo Aldridge, Jahmir Kingcannon, Quentin Adams and Aydren Drew-Gregory put the team in the best position possible to secure another enormous victory.
Four Highland Park players had double-digit scoring nights. Tamir Anderson led the Scots with 16 points off the bench while Aldridge had 15 points, Adams 12 and Richardson 10 points.
Washington showed glimpses of stellar basketball in the first half.
However, Highland Park's 39-17 run in the second half allowed the Scots to coast to a victory.
"We were really fired up to play Washington," Williams said. "We realize that we are going to get everybody's best shot. Regardless of record or regardless of who they are, we have to match that intensity every night when we take the floor. Washington did a good job of that this evening."
Highland Park had the "pressure cooker" excited right from the jump in the first quarter. Immediately, Highland Park jumped out to a 7-0 run. All seven of the Scots' points came from Aldridge.
Anderson provided a spark off of the bench in the first quarter for Highland Park. Anderson is building upon his reputation as a 3-point dagger artist as he went three of three from beyond the arch in the first half.
"It's valuable the floor space (Anderson) creates," Williams said. "We search for space for our drivers to open up. Being able to put a guy like (Anderson) on the floor and making shots the way he does takes this offense to another level.
"It percolates throughout our bench. All of those guys will have a chance to impact the game and feel good about themselves. A guy like Tamir, who's playing so well, coming off of the bench, shows the guys what's in front of them and what they are capable of doing."
KC Washington did a much better job containing Highland Park in the second quarter. Washington's defense kept the high-flying Scots offense to 13 points while the Wildcats scored 12.
Highland Park held an 11-point lead at the halftime break, with the scoreboard displaying a 37-26 score.
The Scots came out of the locker room looking to make a statement.
Highland Park kicked the door down in the third quarter with a 22-8 run. Richardson led six different Scots scoring in the quarter with six points.
"We just needed to stay true to ourselves," Williams said. "We've been a 45, 46 point a game defense, which is something that we hang our hats on. So when we went back to the locker room (at halftime), we just wanted to be us.
"We needed to guard better at the halfcourt and take our stops seriously. We just needed to let our defense open up some offense. We saw that a lot as we started out that second half. We were able to get a better cushion. It's hard to keep 14, 15, 16, and 17-year-old kids locked in. That's what we are trying to do here."
The Running Scots have trademarked a running clock in most of its 2023 contests, and Tuesday night wasn't any different.
Highland Park still managed to put up 17 points on the board with the running clock.
HIGHLAND PARK BOYS 76, KC WASHINGTON 43.
KC-Washington 14 12 8 9 – 43
Highland Park 24 13 22 17 – 76
KC Washington (5-8, 3-3) – Womack 3 2-3 8, Ja. Williams 0 0-0 0, Alexander 3 1-2 7, Cannady 1 0-2 2, Stone 4 0-0 8, White 2 1-2 7, Berry Jr. 2 2-2 7, Jv. Williams 2 2-4 4. Total – 17 8-15 43.
Highland Park (12-0, 5-0) – Richardson 4 2-2 10, Aldridge 6 2-4 15, Kingcannon 3 0-0 7, Adams 5 1-2 12, Drew-Gregory 1 0-0 2, Williams 2 0-0 4, Taylor 1 0-0 2, Wilson 1 0-0 2, McMillon 2 0-0 4, Robinson 2 0-1 4, Anderson 6 0-0 16, Davis 0 0-0 0. Total – 32 5-9 76.
3-point goals – Highland Park 7 (Anderson 4, Aldridge, Kingcannon, Adams), KC Washington 3 (White 2, Berry Jr.). Total fouls – Highland Park 16, KC Washington 12. Fouled out – none. Technical fouls – none.