LUCAS — Highland Park has probably had just about enough of Frisco.
The Raccoons took advantage of a poor shooting night for the Scots and rode it to a 58-46 Class 4A bi-district victory on Tuesday night at Lovejoy High School. The Raccoons have eliminated Highland Park from the state playoffs this school year in volleyball, football, and now boys basketball.
“We struggled scoring,” Scots head coach David Piehler said. “It seemed like every loose-ball deflection went to them. The first possession of the game, we get a deflection and should have had the ball. Instead, they hit a three. Give them credit — they’re a very good team. If they play like that, I think they’ll have a good chance against Lincoln [in area].”
Still, Highland Park (26-8) started off pretty well. The Scots led, 15-12, after the first quarter even though Chase Fletcher had some difficulty dealing with Frisco 6-9 senior Ryan Horton down low.
“We couldn’t get much to go,” said Fletcher, who led the Scots in scoring with 12 points and rebounding with 10. “I was having trouble down low. We were having trouble hitting shots outside. Every 50-50 ball they ended up getting.”
Things were still close in the second quarter. After Scots senior Matt Fraschilla notched his 500th career assist, Highland Park tied the game at 23 on a Clayton Murtha layup with 2:11 to go in the half. But the Raccoons (22-7) scored the final six points of the half and the first five of the third quarter to take a 34-23 lead.
“Early on we tried to get the ball inside and get [Horton] in foul trouble,” Piehler said. “Things didn’t go our way. I liked what we tried to do, but the outcome didn’t come out like we wanted it to. When we’re not making our shots, we have to play extremely well defensively. We didn’t play extremely well. Timely baskets for them really hurt us. We didn’t quit, and I’m proud of them. I’m just sorry for the seniors.”
Highland Park trailed by double digits most of the rest of the way. However, an offensive outburst that started with a Will Miller 3-pointer off a beautiful assist from Fraschilla to end the third quarter helped the Scots whittle the advantage all the way down to six points early in the fourth. But that was as close as Highland Park would get.
Miller finished with nine points, while Fraschilla had eight, and Derek Cahn and Murtha added seven each. Kanetis Mays and Kevin Stephens led the Raccoons in scoring with 15 points each. Horton had seven points, nine rebounds, and five blocked shots.
The Scots will lose seven seniors to graduation, including captains Fletcher and Fraschilla, and Miller, another starter.
“I loved it,” Fletcher said of his career at Highland Park. “I’m crying with the guys in the locker room. Murtha comes up and gives me a hug and just starts bawling. It just shows how close we’ve become. It’s something you can’t get outside from the sport, where you’re constantly together. You look at it and say, ‘I won’t get too emotional.’ Then it happens and the floodgates open.”