By ROB HAMILTON
A fourth quarter comeback allowed Highland to claim sole possession of the Blue Division championship in boys’ basketball.
In their Friday night home contest with Centerburg, the Scots led 13-6 after the first quarter, but watched the Trojans, who were fighting for a share of the title, outscore them 10-5 in the second quarter and 20-11 in the third to take a 36-29 lead.
However, the Scots were able to recover and outscore their opponents 23-11 over the final eight minutes to take the win and the Blue Division title.
Jett Swetland led a balanced attack for the Scots with 18 points. Ryan Burt added 11, while Curtis Belcher scored 10 and Nate Hilborn finished with nine.
On the next night, Highland followed up that win with a 57-39 non-conference victory over Utica.
The host Scots only led 14-12 after one quarter and 22-18 at the half, but outscored their opponents 18-3 in the third quarter to pull away to a comfortable lead they would not relinquish.
Swetland finished with 25 points, while Curtis Belcher added 11 and Byron Belcher finished with eight.
Northmor topped Cardington 59-55 on Friday night to claim their second league victory of the season.
The Knights built a lead in the first half and then held on for the win. Northmor led 15-11 after eight minutes of play and increased their advantage to a 32-23 score at the half.
Cardington cut two points off their deficit in the third quarter and outscored the Knights 21-18 over the final eight minutes, but Northmor held on for the win.
The Knights got 22 points from James Donner, while Kyle Johnson added 14 and Gunner Lilly scored 11.
For the Pirates, Tyler Dornon finished with 20. Mitch Yake added 14 and Cole Hess finished with 11.
Earlier, on Tuesday, the Knights nearly came back against East Knox, but fell by a 60-59 score.
Northmor trailed 19-12 after the opening quarter. The margin was still seven at the half, but in the third quarter, the Bulldogs increased their advantage to a 53-43 margin.
Northmor came back to outscore their opponents 16-7 in the fourth period, but could not quite get over the hump. James Donner scored 19 ponts, while Daniel Donner hit four three-pointers to finish with 18.
Cardington’s week opened with a 55-46 loss at Delaware Christian.
The Pirates trailed 14-11 after the opening period, but closed within a 24-23 margin at the half.
However, they were outscored 16-5 in the third quarter. Despite outscoring their opponents 18-15 down the stretch, they could not catch up to the Delaware school.
Cole Hess led Cardington with 19 points, while both Tyler Dornon and Mitch Yake finished with nine.
Mount Gilead Indians
Mount Gilead’s week opened with a 67-49 loss at Worthington Christian Tuesday. After falling behind 18-11 after the opening period, the Indians came back to take a 28-27 lead at the intermission.
However, they were outscored 23-10 in the third period and 17-11 in the fourth as the Warriors came back for the win.
Chris Godfrey led Mount Gilead with 15 points, while Xavier Harris scored 10 and Zach Hosack finished with eight.
The Indians rebounded with a win on Wednesday, as they topped East Knox 61-53.
Mount Gilead led 14-8 after the opening period, but the Bulldogs got within a 29-27 margin by the half. It was still a two-point lead after three quarter, but the Indians were able to take the fourth by a 20-14 margin to clinch the win. Godfrey scored 21 to lead the locals, while both Harris and Elijah Keen added 12 and Hosack finished with eight.
On Friday, the Indians struggled to get untracked offensively against Elgin and lost 62-43.
The Comets led 13-6 after the opening period and increased their advantage to a 31-13 margin at the half and a 51-21 score after three. While the Indians took the fourth quarter by a 22-11 margin, they would not be able to catch up to their opponents.
Godfrey scored 12 to pace Mount Gilead.
Gilead Christian Eagles
Tree of Life was able to outscore Gilead Christian in all four quarters last week in claiming a 73-39 win over the Eagles.
The Trojans led 15-8 after the first quarter and 28-17 at the half, but blew the game open by outscoring the Eagles 27-11 in the third period. Derek Goodman’s 15 points led Gilead Christian, while Nick Kerman added eight.
Rob Hamilton may be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 204.