Highland cools and Lummi cruises

MARYSVILLE — The Highland Christian boys basketball team is still looking for a game worthy of their talent.

Highland Christian’s Jan. 23 game against Lummi was not one of those games.

“We have moments of greatness,” said Knights coach Guy Kennedy. “We just need to learn to expand those moments into minutes.”

The first half held a lot of promise. Lummi guard Dustin Tom carried his Blawkhawks to a hot start, his nine points contributing to a 19-10 lead by the end of the first quarter. But Highland Christian senior Jeff Kelly single-handedly brought the Knights back from the brink in the second quarter, reeling off shot after shot to cut a 21-10 lead to just five points, 30-25.

When a player can put up 15 points in a quarter, it’s enough to make a coach wish halftime wouldn’t come.

“He’s got great form and great technique,” Kennedy said. “There’s a lot of mechanics involved and sometimes if you make a little adjustment, you get a big change.”

But halftime came and the Knights cooled off.

Trailing just 33-29 going into the half, Highland Christian fell 65-43 in front of a home crowd.

Lummi guard Gale Jefferson set the tone out of the half, scoring from three-point range and the lead quickly widened to nine as Kody Dennis followed with two more for the Blackhawks.

Highland Christian sophomores Jeff Miles and Calvin Wold each scored in the third quarter to keep with within 10, but Jefferson hit two more treys that broke the lead open.

A rebound and basket by senior Craig Crawford at the beginning of the fourth quarter were the final points by a Highland Christian starter in the game. The Knights, who were without senior Vince Kurtzenaker for the game, cleared the bench midway through the fourth quarter as they trailed by about 20 points.

“We got cold, they got hot,” Kennedy said. “Instead of coming together as a team, we decided to fragment as a team.”

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