One part outside shooting by Tim Hansen. One part inside rebounding by Chuck Rees. Mix well with a loud home crowd.These ingredients baked a sweet holiday treat for the Highland Rebels when they hosted the Viola Longhorns Dec. 20, giving the Rebels their first home victory of the year.The Hansen/Rees combination was cooking from the start.Rees hit an inside jumper and tossed in a free throw on Highland's first two possessions.
Hansen nailed a trey from the top of the key.When Allen Moore drained a 3-pointer of his own, the Rebels had rushed out to an 11-2 lead.
Justin Batterton closed ground for the Longhorns with seven straight points on a variety of moves around the basket.The first period ended with the Rebels hanging onto a 14-12 lead after a hot start to the game. The Longhorns began to find their offensive groove in the second frame.Batterton connected on a corner trey to give the Longhorns their first lead of the game at 15-14. Inside hoops from Derek Winter and Kyle Baumunk, plus a long distance 3-ball by John Mark Montgomery, pushed the Longhorn advantage to 21-16 at the 5:02 mark.
The Viola lead swelled even more on another corner 3-pointer from Batterton and a fast break slam dunk by Baumunk.Defensive pressure by the Rebels kept the game from getting out of hand midway through the period.
Joe McEntire converted two steals into 5 quick points and drew the Rebels to within 4 at 29-25.
Hansen donated to the Rebel cause with 5 points of his own to wrest the lead back in favor of Highland at 30-29.The Rebels led 34-32 with time winding down in the period.With one second remaining until the half, Batterton was fouled attempting a shot beyond the arc.
Batterton marched to the line, where he made two of three to pull the Longhorns even with the Rebels, 34-all at halftime.Both teams tried to establish an inside presence in the third period.
The Rebels held the advantage at 46-38 when Longhorn Dustin Jones put in a couple of hoops from the low post at the 3:22 mark.
The Longhorns captured the lead, 52-50, at the end of the period thanks to a 10-0 run.Rees opened the final frame with a 4-footer off a nifty pass from Hansen.
A free throw line jumper from Baumunk kept the Longhorns on top 56-54 at the 6:30 mark.The Rebels used four free throws to grab the lead back at 58-56.
Batterton dropped in a pullup jumper on Viola's next possession to knot things at 60-all.
Playing with four fouls, Hansen remained aggressive as he attacked the basket for a deuce, plus one foul shot.The next trip down court found Hansen nailing a long distance trey for a 66-62 Rebel lead.
Off the ensuing inbounds play, Baumunk broke away from the Rebel defense for his second slam dunk of the evening.
With 29 seconds left on the clock, Baumunk stole the ball as the Rebels tried to throw it into play. Baumunk was fouled and hit the front end of a one-and-one to pull Viola within one at 66-65.
The Rebels looked to run out the clock with the scoreboard in their favor and the ball in their hands.The Longhorns had other plans.
A trapping defense led to a critical traveling violation on Highland and gave the ball back to Viola with 13 seconds showing on the clock.
The Longhorns failed to take advantage of this good fortune as they turned the ball over and were forced to foul Rees with one second left in the game.
Rees missed his first attempt from the charity stripe, but his second one went in for a 67-65 Highland lead.After the Longhorns took a time-out, the ball was inbounded under the Rebel basket. A length-of-court pass bounced off the backboard at the Viola end of the floor, and into the hands of Batterton. As Batterton flipped the ball toward the basket, the buzzer sounded to end the game.
The ball rolled off the hoop, securing the 67-65 hard fought victory for the Rebels.
The Rebels were led by the dynamic duo of Hansen with 21 points and seven assists, followed by Rees with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Moore added 10 for Highland.
The Longhorns were paced by a game high 26 points from Batterton. Montgomery added 11. Baumunk and Jones followed with 10 apiece.
The junior Rebels continued their strong start to the season with an easy 46-26 win over the junior Longhorns in the evening's first game.
Michael Kish opened the contest for Highland with a couple of baskets off Viola turnovers for a 4-0 lead.The junior Longhorns countered with the outside shooting of Corey Batterton.
He hit two three-pointers to keep Viola close at 12-9 to begin the second period.
The Rebels managed only 4 points in the second period, but still led 16-13 at the half.
The Rebels proceeded to put the game away in the third period. Stu Smart opened up with a three-pointer from the corner. John Bean nabbed 4 points on a pair of stickbacks.The Rebels outscored the Longhorns 16-6 to end the third frame with a 32-19 advantage.
Sticky defense by the Rebels held the Longhorns scoreless the last 3:49 of the 46-26 Highland victory.