McLennan Highlanders outlast Temple Leopards

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 10:22 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The McLennan Highlanders outlasted the Temple Leopards 76-74 to pick up another conference victory Monday night at The Highlands. 

The two teams were evenly matched throughout the game.

Khalif Allim banked a shot off the glass less than 30 seconds into the game to put the Highlanders on the board. Temple got on the board with a 3-pointer at the top of the key from Braelon Seals. McLennan responded with a 10-0 run to lead 12-3 with 17 minutes to go in the first half.

The Highlanders led 20-15 midway through the half and then held the Leopards scoreless for the next three minutes of play to extend the lead to 10, 25-15. Temple pulled within two before McLennan rallied again with a 6-0 run to be up 33-25 with three and a half minutes to go before the half. The Highlanders held the Leopards at arm’s length down the stretch and led 41-35 at the half. It remained close through the first 10 minutes of the second half.

McLennan led 58-56 with nine minutes remaining in the game. An 8-0 run ignited by 3-pointer from Jared Clawson followed by strong free-throw shooting from CJ Hall and Nick Shogbonyo gave the Highlander a 10-point lead at 66-56 with 5:44 to play. Temple wasn’t going down without a fight and began to rally. The Leopards pulled within one on a 3-pointer in the corner from Adrian Cohen with 35.4 seconds to go.

Cohen was fouled on the next possession and went 1-2 from the free throw line to tie the game at 74 with 33.42 seconds on the clock. McLennan took the ball the length of the court and after several shots bounced off the iron with Highlanders getting the offensive rebounds, CJ Hall scored from underneath the goal with 2.2 seconds to go to seal the two-point victory. Nick Shogbonyo led the way for McLennan with 21 points and Hall chipped in 11. Mason Lockhart and Khalif Allim scored 10 points each.

Omarion Smith was the leading rebounder, pulling down 16.