Gilbert Highland boys basketball coach Mark Carlino said that he had some concerns just before his team played a road game against Gilbert. “I was worried that we wouldn’t keep our composure,” he said.
No need to worry, coach, your team’s composure was definitely maintained.
Matt Carlino scored 15 points and Nick Witherill added 14 points as the Hawks overcame a sluggish start to defeat crosstown Gilbert, 64-38, in a Fiesta Region game Friday night in front of an equally divided crowd.
The Tigers started the game on an 8-2 run, highlighted by two 3-pointers from Daniel Carter.
But then Highland responded with 12 unanswered points, six of which came from Carlino, to close out the first period, 14-8.
The situation didn’t get much better for the Tigers in the second period.
They missed their first three shots before Daniel Carter hit a 3-pointer with 5:42 remaining.
The Tigers fell behind by 17 in the quarter but scored six consecutive points to pull within 11.
But Chase Wardrop’s layup as time expired gave the Hawks a comfortable 30-17 lead at the half.
Highland opened the third period with a 10-3 run, taking advantage of three Gilbert turnovers.
Brett Lewis scored seven points for the Hawks in the third.
Chris Johnson capped a 14-5 run in the fourth quarter with a slam dunk, thrilling the visiting fans.
The 6-foot-6 junior finished with four points.
Daniel Carter scored 13 points and Elliot Fletcher contributed seven points for Gilbert (11-4).
K.C. Toolson chipped in with 13 points and Witherill grabbed a game-high seven rebounds for the Hawks, who improved to 11-3, 4-0 in region play.
“I was pleased to see that we were able to play well against a capable team like Gilbert,” Mark Carlino said.