HUNTSVILLE | Things looked bleak late in the third quarter.
With two starters — representing half of their 52 points — on the bench with four fouls each, Scott High trailed Northview Academy. The Cougars had defeated the Highlanders in December, and appeared poised to do the same in the first game post-Christmas.
But then the Highlanders cranked up the intensity to extend their winning streak to three games by building an eight-point lead and riding that to a 65-62 win over Northview.
Isaiah Washam came off the bench to score five big points, including a key 3-pointer. Brady Strunk pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. And Scott Jeffers took over the game.
Jeffers scored seven of his 10 points in the fourth quarter, including back-to-back layups as the Highlanders built an 8-point lead.
Grey Todd scored 17 points to lead the way. He had 14 in the first half to help keep the Highlanders in the game at a time when the Cougars were red-hot. But he exited the game with four fouls after a 3-pointer early in the third quarter.
Skye Babb continued his resurgent play with 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Toby Garrett scored 11 points, but also wound up on the bench late in the third quarter with a fourth foul.
The Cougars had started off red-hot. Blayne Jackson scored 15 points in the first quarter to help his team to a 26-20 lead. But the Highlanders adjusted defensively. Jackson would not score again, and Northview scored only 26 points over the next two quarters combined.
In the third quarter, it was Richard Bell who went off. He scored 13 of his game-high 21 in the third, as Northview turned a one-point halftime lead into a three-point lead entering the fouth quarter.
After the Highlanders built an eight-point lead, Northview mounted one last charge. The Cougars closed to within one point after a D.J. Thompson 3-pointer, but were never able to regain the lead. First Kayleb Woodward drew a key charge on Bell under the basket with under a minute remaining. Then Jeffers knocked down a pair of free throws to make a two-point lead four points. Finally, after Korbin Presnell nailed a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game, Garrett hit two free throws with 5.9 seconds remaining, and the Highlanders escaped with the three-point win.
As a team, Scott was eight of 10 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
SCOTT (65): Todd 17, Babb 13, Garrett 11, Jeffers 10, Washam 5, Woodward 5, Strunk 4.
NORTHVIEW (62): Bell 21, Jackson 15, Presnell 10, Lewis 8, Thompson 3, Boivin 3, Kinsey 2.