Highland Rambler

The student news site of Highland High School in Salt Lake City, Utah

Highland Rambler

Highland Rambler

The Rams Rebound After Grueling Region Loss

Lauren Baese
Sophomore guard, Bodie Dodge brings the ball down the floor against East High School.

The scoreboard screamed defeat. The silence from the Ram’s side was deafening. Just weeks ago, during the Olympus game, an unexpected blowout left fans with disbelief and players with shattered confidence. On January 26th, Highland was beaten down by Olympus 71-44. This type of loss was shocking. Just weeks before, Highland beat Olympus in overtime at home, 69-68. Although the players knew playing at Olympus would be a challenge, nobody expected a blowout like this.

Straight from the tip off it was clear that something wasn’t right for the Rams. Olympus’ star guards got hot quick with multiple three’s from well beyond the arc. Highland just never figured out how to stop them. On offense, the Rams were very inconsistent with their shooting and struggled to rebound. After going down big in the first quarter, it was clear the rams had dug a hole that was just too deep.

“It definitely humbled us a little bit,” said sophomore guard Isiah Drisdom. “After we beat them the first time, our mindset was just go out there and beat them again, but you have to remember that they are a very good team.”

Although Highland remained 3rd in the region, a loss like this was hard to swallow.

“I think we just have to get back to what we do well,” Said Forward Grayson Gaddis. “Defense and rebounding is what we have hung our hat on all year, and we just didn’t do that tonight.”

The Rams knew that something needed to change. Highland worked hard in practice the next week to prepare for a big regional matchup against the Brighton Bengals.

Highland defeated the Bengals 58-52 in a very close game. The teams exchanged blows throughout the game but, the Rams shooting helped them pull away at the end. This win was a big deal not only for the Rams’ record, but it also built everyone’s confidence back up.

Following the win against the Bengals, Highland prepared for a tough matchup against Alta on February 2nd. Alta is arguably the best team in the state, led by top ranked Utah commit, Jaxon Johnson. They are 21-1 and undefeated in the region. Highland had a tough time keeping up with the Hawks last time, losing 60-41. Highland knew this was a big matchup and they had worked hard all week.

“We’re still third in the RPI,” said Gaddis. “We’re still going to get a really good playoff spot.”

The Rams came out strong and stuck with the Hawks. It remained tight all game with each team playing good basketball. At the end Highland was down two with just seconds left. The Rams got a pretty good look at a three, but it just rimmed out. The Rams were then forced to foul, resulting in a 54-50 loss. Although Highland was unable to come out on top, competing so well with a team like this was promising.

Being able to compete against the top team in 5A shows that the Rams could make a deep playoff run. Highland is currently 3rd in the RPI with region rivals Alta and Olympus ahead of them. With the state playoffs just weeks away starting on the 20th, Highland hopes to close out the season strong to secure a first-round bye.

“Honestly, I think we have a great chance to win state.” Said Drisdom.

Although playoff doubt from past seasons may linger. This team is ready. The Rams are fueled by relentless months of practicing and working together all for this. This team is dangerous, so be ready for Highland to make a title run.

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