WACO, TX — The McLennan Highlanders closed out the regular season with an 80-52 victory over the Weatherford Coyotes on the road.
McLennan was in control from the opening tip. The game was tied at five with 16:32 to go in the first half. The Highlanders broke the game open with a 9-0 run highlighted by four points from Willie Thomas and a long 3-pointer from Garrett Shaw, 14-5. McLennan extended the lead to 15, 33-18, with 7:50 to go in the first half. Weatherford used a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 10 but the Highlanders ended the half on a 7-2 run to lead 40-25 at the break.
The second half was much the same as McLennan continued to dominate. The Highlanders put together several runs down the stretch two of the 7-0 variety and a 10-0 run to end the game as they cruised to the easy victory.
Willie Thomas and Mike Adewunmi lead McLennan with 14 points each. Garrett Shaw and Dayante McClellan scored 12 and 11, respectively.
The Highlanders will compete in the Region V Tournament March 7 in Abilene.
In women’s action, the McLennan Highlassies closed the season with a 76-68 loss to the Weatherford Lady Coyotes. It was a hard-fought battle from the opening tip with neither team acquiring a double-digit lead until the final minutes of the contest.
McLennan began the scoring on a drive in the lane and layup by KeeKee Nowlin with 8:49 to go in the first quarter. Weatherford took the lead on a River Romine bucket and free throw less than 20 seconds later. The Lady Coyotes built a six-point lead at 23-17 with 50 seconds remaining in the quarter. Annya Moss drained a 3-pointer with 26 seconds to go to cut the Weatherford lead to three at the end of the first, 23-20.
The Lady Coyotes extended the lead back to six with 7:53 to play in the second quarter. McLennan went on a 6-0 run over the next three minutes, tying the game at 28 on an Anastacia Mickens free throw with four minutes to play before the half. The Highlassies built a four-point lead at 33-29 but a pair of Monika Faerber trimmed the lead to two at the break, 33-31.
The two teams traded baskets and the lead throughout the third with Weatherford holding the 51-49 lead going to the final period. The Lady Coyotes began to pull away early in the fourth and built a 10-point lead at 73-63 with 1:11 to play. The Highlassies pulled within seven but was unable to get any closer.
Kenidi White scored a season-high 21 points to lead the Highlassies. KeeKee Nowlin added 11.
The Highlassies end the season with an overall record of 13-16 and a conference mark of 4-12.