- Created: Saturday, 05 February 2022 05:45
By RICK PETERSON
The No. 4-ranked Highland Park's boys basketball team entered Friday night's game at Seaman coming off back-to-back two-point Centennial League nailbiters against sub-.500 teams.
But Scots coach Mike Williams perceived that as a positive, that his team had been able to show the grit to survive those two upset bids to retain its share of the league lead.
And Highland Park used the close calls against Hayden and Emporia as motivation Friday night, taking a wire-to-wire 73-65 win over the Vikings in front of a big crowd at Seaman.
"I've been stressing to our guys that it's February in the Centennial League and I think the biggest thing for us is figuring out how to win,'' Williams said. "The beautiful thing about both those games (Hayden and Emporia) is that late in those games we're executing the whole fourth quarter.
"That was the one thing that we took away from it that I was really, really, really pleased with, seeing our guys execute and stay poised. In the Hayden and Emporia games it was good to see us hang in there and close that gap and get over the hump.''
Improving to 13-2 overall and 10-1 in the league, Highland Park jumped in front 8-0 against Seaman and built double-digit leads in all four quarters while leading by as many as 13 points.
Seaman, which fell to 7-7, 6-5, mounted a late charge to pull within 63-59 with 1:57 remaining on a Gavin Wilhelm 3-pointer, but the Scots responded with six straight points and the Vikings got no closer than the final margin down the stretch.
Junior Ketraleus Aldridge scored 22 points to lead the Scots as all five Highland Park starters scored at least nine points.
Junior Tre Richardson scored 17 points while hitting all seven of his field goal attempts and all three free throws while junior Quentin Adams added 10 points with a pair of 3-pointers and senior Juan'Tario Roberts and junior Jahmir Kingcannon had nine points apiece.
Seaman senior Mateo Hyman paced Seaman with a game-high 23 points while senior Dreighton Griess added 14, junior Kaeden Bonner 13 and senior Ty Henry 12 points for the Vikings.
Highland Park will be back at home on Tuesday after three straight road games to host USD 501 rival Topeka High while Seaman will travel to Washburn Rural.
HIGHLAND PARK BOYS 73, SEAMAN 65
Highland Park 16 14 18 25 -- 73
Seaman 9 13 16 27 -- 65
Highland Park (13-2, 10-1) – Adams 4-4 0-0 10, Aldridge 7-15 8-9 22, Richardson 7-7 3-3 17, Kingcannon 4-9 0-1 9, Roberts 3-9 3-4 9, Clemons 0-0 0-2 0, Robinson 2-4 0-0 4, Reed 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 28-49 14-19 73.
Seaman (7-7, 6-5) -- Griess 4-9 5-7 14, Hyman 9-13 5-5 23, Henry 6-12 0-0 12, Bonner 5-10 1-1 13, Wilhelm 1-4 0-0 3, Barta 0-0 0-0 0, Finley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-48 11-13 65.
3-point goals – Highland Park 3 (Adams 2, Kingcannon), Seaman 4 (Bonner 2, Griess, Wilhelm). Total fouls – Highland Park 18, Seaman 19. Fouled out – Griess.