Highland took another step forward this week, but followed it with a step back. The Rebels won their first conference game by beating Cave City, 54-43, at the Hutson Center on Thursday, Jan. 10, but were blown out by Westside, 64-36, at home on Saturday, Jan. 12.
The Lady Rebels lost to the Cavewomen at Cave City, 63-48, on Tuesday, Jan. 8.
The Rebels jumped out to an early 20-14 lead against Cave City (15-5), who came into the game with a 4-2 conference record, and Highland extended the lead with each quarter. Avery Johnson got eight of his game-leading 21 points in the opening quarter, and the Rebs only had two turnovers. Caveman Chaz Matthews had six points to keep Cave City close.
Highland hit a dry spell in the middle of the second and Cave City went on a 9-0 run, but a trey by Sterling Stowers allowed Highland to go into halftime up, 31-24.
Neither team shot well in the third period with the Rebs hitting 4 of 11 from the field, and the Cavemen just 3 of 7, but Spenser Stowers had two late buckets to keep Highland out front, 41-22. Matthews had seven of Cave City's eight points.
The Rebels went nine of 16 from the free throw line in the fourth to seal their first conference victory.
Matthews led Cave City (15-5, 4-3) with 19 points, and Justin Hunter added 11.
Spenser Stowers had 12 points for Highland.
Because of Highland's extra football games, the Westside game from November had to be postponed until Saturday. Westside lost a tough game to conference leading Brookland, 44-40, in overtime the night before, but the Warriors didn't seem to be affected by the back-to-back games.
The two teams exchanged the lead five times in the first quarter, but Westside finished the period with two buckets for a 13-7 advantage.
Highland didn't score in the second half of the second quarter, and the Warriors went perfect from their eight trips to the free throw stripe for a 26-14 halftime lead.
Westside (9-5) hit seven three-pointers in the third to propel a 30-point quarter that setup a running competition clock in the fourth period.
Highland (4-9, 1-5) had nine players score in the game, with Ethan Hoppe leading the team with eight points. Charlie Fuller added seven.
The Cavewomen came into the game at 4-1 in the 3-4A conference. Morgan Graddy got Cave City off to a good start with three first quarter threes for a 16-9 lead. Kylie Severn closed out the period with a trey for Highland.
Cave City's Jamie Holley had seven points and Vashti Crick six in the second quarter to give the Cavewomen a 32-18 halftime lead. Shaina Manning started and finished the period with a bucket for Highland.
The Lady Rebs scored on six of their first seven possessions to cut the Cave City lead to 38-31. The Cavewomen responded with a 7-2 run, but Severn hit a three-pointer to make the score 45-36.
Highland scored 12 points in the fourth, but couldn't make up ground as Cave City went seven of eight from the charity stripe.
Holley led Cave City with 18 points, Graddy added 17 and Crick 11.
Highland (0-16, 0-8) was led by Severn with 16, and Hope Isaacs with 12.
Cave City (13-4, 5-2) lost at the Brookland Lady Bearcats, 39-35, on Thursday, Jan. 10.