BATH TWP. — The Highland boys basketball team showed grit and determination and played an almost perfect final 10 minutes, but a sterling rally came one play short Friday night in a 66-63 loss to Suburban League American Conference leader Revere.
“We started off kind of rough. They were running out on us, but then we fought back hard and came so close,” said senior forward Ryan Chema, who had 13 points and 12 rebounds. “It really sucks to lose by three when you fight that hard to get back in the game.”
Highland (6-8, 3-5) trailed by 19 points with roughly two minutes left in the third quarter after a basket by Minutemen sophomore Andrew Rinn, but the Hornets gave Revere (10-3, 7-1) all it could handle from there.
Junior Preston Grinder came off the bench and recorded a 3-pointer and another basket, and fellow reserve Tommy Williams hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 57-46 late in the third period.
The Hornets continued their run in the fourth, as Chema opened with one of his three buckets in a 17-4 run. Shooting guard Cole Tessena closed with a 3-pointer with one minute left to cut the Minutemen lead to 64-63. It was Tessena’s fifth 3-pointer on his way to a team-high 15 points.
“The kids just manned up and played some great half-court defense and strung some stops together, and offensively did a good job of attacking the rim,” Highland coach Adam Cestaro said.
Revere ran the clock to 28 seconds before Highland fouled point guard Samson Albert. The fourth-year player split two free throws to give the Hornets a chance at 65-63.
On the next possession, Chema and center Connor Klein (4 points, 9 rebounds), who was starting for an ill Alex Jaworski, had looks near the rim rattle out of the hoop.
Highland fouled post Hunter Drenth (game-high 21 points) with nine seconds left. The junior split his foul shots and the Hornets raced up the floor.
Chema launched a 3-pointer, but it went off the rim, off a Revere player and out of bounds with 0.5 seconds left. Junior Bryce Profitt caught the inbounds pass and released a fadeaway 3-point attempt that hit off the right side of the backboard.
A three-minute stretch in the second quarter proved just too hard to overcome for the Hornets. Thirty seconds into the period, Hornets sophomore Rob Huttner tied the game with a bucket. Revere answered with a decisive 13-2 run, including six points from forward Chris Richardson (15 points, 11 rebounds).
“We stuck with a zone for a little too long. We wanted to give them a different look,” Cestaro said. “We went to the well a few too many times. We should have left it in the first quarter, and that’s all on me.”
Revere defeated Highland 59-46 in the junior varsity game. The Hornets were led by freshman Griffin Albright’s 14 points.
Contact John Urchek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Revere 66, Highland 63
HIGHLAND 10 15 21 17 — 63
REVERE 14 28 18 6 — 66
Highland — Bryce Profitt 5-0-10, Ryan Chema 6-1-13, Connor Klein 2-0-4, Cole Tessena 5-0-15, Jake Osborne 0-2-2, Tommy Williams 3-0-7, Rob Huttner 2-1-5, Preston Grinder 3-0-7. TOTALS: 26-4-63.
Revere — Grant Scherler 0-0-0, Chris Richardson 5-5-15, Hunter Drenth 9-3-21, Sean Leyden 1-0-2, Samson Albert 1-3-5, Jimmy Salamone 5-0-12, Andrew Rinn 4-0-11. TOTALS: 25-11-66.
3-point goals — Tessena 5, Williams, Grinder, Rinn 3, Salamone 2. Rebounds — Highland 34 (Chema 12), Revere 23 (Richardson 11). Assists — Highland 8 (Profitt 3), Revere 8 (Albert 3). Records — Highland (6-8, 3-5), Revere (10-3, 7-1). Junior varsity — Revere 59, Highland 46.