Fatigue was a factor for Haskell in its 89-64 junior college basketball loss to Highland on Tuesday night at Coffin Complex.
"Highland's pretty talented," Haskell coach Walt Wilson said. "They've got some size and some shooting and that just took over and wore our kids down."
Haskell sophomore Ray Ellenwood, who finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds, concurred.
"We were getting tired," Ellenwood said. "They just came out, and they wanted it a little bit more."
Haskell struggled in the first half committing a number of fundamental errors. Poor passing and dribbling resulted in turnovers that the Scotties readily converted into a sizable lead. Facing an 11-point deficit twice during the first period, Haskell was forced to play catch-up.
The Indians' defense was plagued with inconsistencies as well.
"Everybody was getting mixed up on defense. It was
a miscommunication between the team," Ellenwood said. "We just broke down and they pulled ahead. It was pretty hard to catch up."
Despite sloppy play, the Indians managed to reduce Highland's lead to a point at the half.
The Scotties were able to remain one step ahead of the Indians with the hot hand of Traveon Parks, who accounted for 18 of the team's 34 points in the first half.
The second half looked promising for the Indians in the first couple of minutes, yet with 16:32 remaining, Haskell once again began to lose momentum. Highland went on a 12-0 scoring spree in the next 4 minutes and didn't look back. The Indians couldn't get within 10 points of the Scotties for the rest of the period.
"We came out and played a good first five minutes of the second half," Ellenwood said. "After that we lost it. We just weren't very intense. They were much more intense than we were."
Wilson attributed his team's performance in the second period not so much to lack of intensity as to fatigue.
"We came out strong and started strong, we just couldn't hold on," Wilson said. "We might have used everything up in the first half."
Haskell is scheduled to face McPherson Central at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Coffin Complex.