Prep boys' basketball: Success with 3-pointers carries Judge past Highland
The rain wasn't the only thing falling Friday.
Highland's and Judge Memorial's boys' basketball teams combined to make 16 3-pointers during their nonregion game. But the Bulldogs made the majority of theirs when it mattered most to overcome the host Rams 54-51.
Terrell Young made four of his team's seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lift Judge. The Bulldogs made 11 treys, including nine in the second half.
"It feels like it's going in every time," Young said about his hot shooting. "Everyone was hitting shots. When somebody is feeling it, we're all feeling it. We all played as a team and we all picked it up in the second half."
The game was one of streaks as both teams made a run in the first half. Highland took a seven-point lead into the half on the strength of an 11-1 spurt. The Rams' lead grew to 12 points (38-26) midway through the third quarter before Judge began its 3-point shooting clinic.
Amazingly, Judge (5-2) won despite making only one free throw on two attempts and hitting just 10 2-point baskets.
"[The 3-pointers were] definitely not our strategy, but that's the character of our team," said Judge coach Dan Del Porto. "Every time we play them, it's close. Our kids still really believe we can beat them. We've got a lot of guys that can shoot it, but we definitely have struggled."
Without much of an inside game, the Bulldogs fired away from the perimeter. They made 67 percent of their 3-point attempts. Young and Ryan Pauley combined to make seven 3s, while three other players hit at least one.
"We run a motion offense that's spontaneous," Del Porto said. "We kind of get the best look we could. Sometimes you've got to have luck to beat teams. The biggest thing, I thought, in the fourth quarter was our defense."
Trailing 54-51, Highland had two chances to at least tie the game, but Henry Morris and Jake Connor both missed 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds. Morris made three 3-pointers and scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in the second half.
Young and Sean Sloan hit back-to-back 3s with the game tied 45-45 late in the fourth quarter to give Judge a lead it never relinquished.
While Highland (2-3) committed only five turnovers and outrebounded Judge, its lapses on defense were evident. David Divver scored 11 points, Riley Tucker had 10 points and Todd Connolly had seven rebounds for the Rams.
Pauley finished with a double-double for Judge, scoring 20 points along with 10 rebounds. Young had 14 points and Patrick Neville seven points.