Highlanders drop close one to Independence

Highlanders drop close one to Independence

It was the tale of two halves for the McLennan Highlanders as they fell to the Independence (Kansas) Pirates 76-71 this afternoon at the Joe White Classic in Hillsboro.
 
Tre Thomas put the Highlanders on the board with a bucket and one less than a minute into the game. The lead was quickly erased by a 3-pointer from the corner for Independence's Payton Hudson. The Pirates took the lead at 5-3 on a Jaden McClanahan jumper less than 30 seconds later. Everything seemed to be going Independence's way in the first half. The Pirates took their first double-digit lead at 19-9 with 12 minutes to play before the break. McLennan struggled on both ends of the court, allowing Independence to build an 18-point lead at the break, 43-25.
 
Independence held McLennan at arm's length for the first seven minutes of the second half, leading by 20, 55-35, with 13:06 to play. A bucket by Highlander reserve Tyrese Taylor swung the momentum and ignited a 9-0 run to trim the lead to 11, 55-44. McLennan continued to chip away at the lead behind strong shooting from Akili Vining and Chris Pryor, who combined to score the Highlanders' final 29 points in the contest. McLennan pulled within two, 71-69, on a Vining 3-pointer with 40 seconds to play but the Pirates sealed the win from the free throw line.
 
Vining led the Highlanders with 28 points and Pryor scored 20.
 
McLennan hosts Bossier Parish at 6 p.m. Monday at The Highlands.
 
Independence: Ryle Burley 1 5-6 8; Payton Hudson 2 0-0 4; Tim Dalger 2 0-0 5; Tonje Durham 3 1-2 10; Juan Hood 3 3-4 10; Jaden McClanahan 4 2-2 11; Sami Roe 5 0-0 12; Demetric Horton 3 1-1 9; Cedrick Harris 0 0-0 0; Marlo Brown 3 0-1 7; Totals:
 
McLennan: Akili Vining 9 6-8 28; Lorenzo Anderson 3 1-2 7; Rodrique Massenat 0 0-0 0; Cameron Copeland 0 0-0 0; Chris Pryor 5 8-10 20; Rayquan Brown 1 0-0 2; Tre Thomas 3 1-1 7; Claven Wilson 1 0-0 2; Asare Otchere 0 0-0 0; Isaiah Wyatt 0 0-0 0; Tyrese Taylor 2 1-1 5; Scott Ator 0 0-0 0; Totals: 24 17-22 71.
 
3-pointers: Independence 12 (Durham 3, Roe 2, Horton 2, Burley 1, Dalger 1, Hood 1, McClanahan 1, Brown 1), McLennan 14; Total fouls: Independence 18, McLennan 14; Halftime score: Independence 43,  McLennan 25; Record: McLennan 3-2.