Herriman • Preseason basketball games serve as experimental learning experiences as coaches try to build their teams.
And the lessons Herriman learned in a come-from-behind 53-43 victory over Class 5A Highland on Tuesday night could be valuable when league play begins in the new year.
The Mustangs learned that a quick start doesn’t always lead to an easy win. They also discovered the ability to battle back in the midst of adversity.
“The thing we take from this is you have to play for 32 minutes,” Herriman coach Brad Tingey said. “You keep playing and keep playing until the buzzer sounds, and hopefully it works out.”
The Mustangs, who improved to 7-3, roared to a 7-0 lead that may have come too easily. Highland got hot behind some good 3-point shooting by Christian Rich and Elijah Shelton to take a 23-20 halftime lead.
The Rams appeared to be sailing to an impressive road victory over a larger Class 6A squad as they built a seven-point lead in the third quarter.
“We have to become more efficient with our zone offense,” Tingey said.
But then Herriman, led by junior guard Jael Vaughn, went on an 11-0 run to start the fourth quarter. Everything seemed to go right as the Mustangs outscored Highland 21-6 in that decisive fourth period.
“I don’t know if they got tired, but we finally got something going offensively and defensively,” Tingey said. “When things got going on the offensive end, that just feeds our defense.”
Herriman did it with a balanced attack. Sophomore Alex Anderson scored 14, big center Blake Freeland added 11 and McCann 10.
Highland displayed excellent balance. Rich led the Rams with 11, but there were plenty of contributors.
But in the end, Herriman started and ended too fast for the visitors.
HERRIMAN 53, HIGHLAND 43
• Herriman uses an 11-0 run to begin the fourth quarter to grab its seventh victory.
• While Jael Vaughn enjoys a big fourth quarter, Alex Anderson leads Herriman with 14 points.
• Christian Rich is the only Highland player in double figures with 11 points.