Making the trip from the desert, the Highland (Palmdale) Bulldogs were aiming to hold off a rebuilding North (Torrance) Saxon side to build some momentum heading into Tuesday’s clash against rivals, Quartz Hill.
Led by Junior guard, DJ Guest’s 18 points, 12 of which came in the second half and overtime, the Highland Bulldogs survived a teeter-totter match in extra minutes. Yusei Shigeta led North with 19, all of which came in the second half, 13 in the fourth and overtime.
Early on, the Bulldogs attacked through the post, leading to easy points to start. Guest propelled his team early, scoring six of the teams first 10, as #1 (not listed on Maxpreps Roster nor Team Site) kept the Saxons alive, scoring eight as Highland led 16-11 at the end of one.
More back and forth action continued into the second half, as North cut the lead to three, 21-18 behind a Justin Collins three, answering Joshua Nero’s (Jr) on the flip side. Propelled by a drive and jam by Justin Hill (Jr), the Bulldogs extended their lead to 7, forcing a Saxon time out. Coming out of the huddle, the Saxons dug in deep, scoring the final five points of the half and going into the intermission, down by two.
— • Justin (@Buck20_) January 7, 2018
Not much changed in the third, as the sides traded runs with the Saxons getting first taste and using a 6-2 boost to jump ahead, 31-29. Julian Williams (Jr) then hit back to back shots, boosted by a long range bucket by Avery Carter (Sr) and a bucket by Kevell Sockwell (Sr) gave Highland the lead back 38-31. As expected, North answered back as three players hit a bucket, cutting the deficit fo 40-37 heading into the final period.
After getting buckets in the paint, the Bulldogs continued to avoid the post during the final period. Guest and Sockwell got the lead back up to six, but Shigeta drained three consecutive threes, giving North a 47-44 lead. With around three minutes left, Collins got a shot to fall, extending the lead to 51-48. Highland went into the post, for the first time in a while, giving Sockwell an easy two, followed by a three from Nero to hold a 53-51 lead. Kyle Baba ended getting a good look for North, scoring his sixth to tie it up.
Highland exerted the right amount of defensive intensity in the overtime period, and a balanced attack saw them take a 62-55 lead. Shigeta cut it to five, with just under a minute left. Fouling game then began, leading to Guest hitting two free throws before Avery Carter hit the final tally.
Sockwell (15), Carter (10, 3 3s), Hill (8), Nero (8, 2 3s), Williams (4) & Miller (2) joined Guest on the stat sheet.
Prediction: 54-43 Highland
Highland 1/9 vs Quartz Hill (6-7) in League Play
North 1/10 @ West (12-3) in League Play