MONTEREY — The guys from Highland made the most of a second chance in front of a packed gym here Friday night.
Ethan Moore scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and the Rams were dominate on the glass, posting a revenge 56-39 Pioneer District boys’ basketball victory over Bath County.
Highland used a huge 62-43 rebounding edge to build a 22-point, third-quarter lead before surviving a few anxious moments down the stretch.
Colton Williams just missed a double-double for the winners with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Eli Moore had a big 15-rebound game. John Wagner managed nine more rebounds and Jacob Phillips grabbed eight.
“I thought the guys rebounded really hard the entire game,” said Rams coach Thomas Moore. “Colton had several fouls that slowed him up for a while, but I think the defense really did a good job. The zone we were playing, they didn’t catch us sleeping in the back like they have in the past.”
Williams had six points and Ethan Moore added five as the Rams built an 11-6 lead after one.
They stretched the advantage to 23-14 at the half and 41-24 after three.
A lane jumper from Isaac Gwin cut the Chargers’ deficit to nine with 3:11 to play in the game, but Highland answered by scoring 10 of the last 12 points.
The Rams committed 11 of their 21 turnovers in the fourth quarter, but Ethan Moore made eight of his 10 free throws in the final eight minutes, completing a 12-for-16 night at the stripe.
Jaden Ryder continued his big season for Bath County with 12 points and 16 rebounds. Greyson Walton scored nine points and Kamoy Stone had seven rebounds.
The Chargers were just 6-of-38 from behind the three-point line against the Highland zone.
“We struggled,” said BCHS coach Zach Madison. “The first three quarters we pretty much scored seven points a quarter and you can’t beat anybody scoring like that. We haven’t had that problem all year, at least for that many quarters in a game.
“When our offense isn’t working, we start jacking up threes and when you don’t get any second chance opportunities, it kills us. They kind of just out-muscled us inside. It was a rough and physical game, I guess we weren’t ready for it.”
For the Rams, it was a big turnaround after losing to the Chargers 51-35 in Hot Springs on Jan. 10.
“We didn’t show up (at Bath County),” Moore said of last month’s game. “We had to come out tonight and play. As far as how we finish in the district, it’s right between us and them. We needed this one.”
The two teams may hook up for a third time in the first round of the Pioneer District tournament — on Feb. 13 — with a berth in the Class 1, Region C tournament on the line.
The Rams were 3-8 in the district entering a Wednesday home date with Craig County, while Bath County’s was 3-7 entering games this week with Parry McCluer on Tuesday and Eastern Montgomery on Wednesday.
Bath County (39): Isaac Gwin 7, Braiden Mabe 2, Andrew Turner 3, Landon Long 3, Kamoy Stone 0, Greyson Walton 9, Jaden Ryder 12, Frankie DeBoe 3, Noah Harmon 0
Highland (56): Eli Moore 0, Zach Armstrong 0, Patton Hull 2, Elijah Good 0, Colton Williams 14, Ethan Moore 26, Michael Campbell 7, Jacob Phillips 7, John Wagner 0
Halftime score: Highland 23, Bath County 14
Three-point goals: Bath County 6 (Walton 3, Gwin, Turner, Long); Highland 4 (Et. Moore 2, Campbell, Phillips)