Harwood traveled to Thetford on Wednesday, January 20, and, according to Coach Mike Woods, "The key to the game was our good shooting in the second and third quarters."
While the Highlanders shot well in the second and third quarters, they started the game slowly by shooting only 4-14 from the floor and going 0-4 from the free throw line in the first quarter. Despite the slow start, Harwood trailed by only three at the end of the first quarter, 11-8.
In the second quarter, Harwood started to knock down their shots from the floor – they were 7-13 – and scored 17 points in the quarter. Leading the way in the quarter was Lucas Baron with six points while Brendan Gildea added four points. Harwood took a 25-21 lead at the half.
Harwood continued its solid shooting in the third quarter by going 10-17 from the floor. Shiv Seethepalli tallied eight points on 4-6 shooting and Lucas Baron scored nine points by shooting 3-6 from the floor and a perfect 3-3 from the free throw line. The Highlanders led 48-36 at the end of three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Harwood extended its lead to 57-42 about halfway through the quarter. At this point, the Highlander's bench players were substituted into the game and Harwood closed out the game for a 62-51 victory. Shiv Seethapalli scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Lucas Baron had 18 points and Aiden Schoellkopf added seven points and five rebounds.
On Friday, January 22, Harwood played U-32 for the second time in five days. In the first game, Harwood tried to rally from an 18-point deficit but came up short. In this game, Harwood carried a slight lead into the fourth quarter but couldn't close out the game.
Harwood opened the game by building a 10-5 lead halfway through the first quarter. U-32 then responded by outscoring Harwood 5-2 the rest of the quarter. The quarter ended with all five Harwood starters – Keegan McKenna, Lucas Baron, Aiden Schoellkopf, Shiv Seethepalli and Cole Lavoie – scoring and Harwood leading 12-10.
At the start of the second quarter, Harwood pushed the lead to 19-13 when Lucas Baron scored five points and Aiden Schoellkopf added two points. U-32 called a timeout and came out of the huddle to push back with its own run of 6-2. The Highlanders carried a 21-19 lead into halftime.
While the first half was more of a defensive game, the third quarter saw both teams warm up their offenses. After trading baskets almost the entire quarter, Harwood held a 36-34 lead with about 20 seconds left in the quarter. U-32 had possession of the ball and brought it to their end of the floor for what looked like a last shot. However, Lucas Baron stole the ball, dribbled up the court, checked the clock to see the time remaining and pulled up to let fly a 3-point shot that went in as the buzzer sounded! The quarter ended with Harwood leading 39-34.
Throughout the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, Harwood held onto the lead. At times the lead was as high as seven points and other times it was only two. With two minutes and 50 seconds left in the game, Lucas Baron made a nice jump hook at the basket to give Harwood a 50-45 lead. U-32 then went on a 5-0 run to tie the game at 50 with about a minute and 20 seconds left. On its next possession, Harwood turned over the ball and U-32 scored to take the lead for the first time since very early in the first quarter. Harwood's Shiv Seethepalli responded with a bucket to tie the game at 52. U-32 responded with its own bucket to take a 54-52 lead. Harwood called a timeout and on the ensuing play, the Highlanders committed an offensive foul which gave possession of the ball back to U-32. Harwood tried to steal U-32's inbound pass but couldn't and was forced to foul. U-32 made their foul shots and won 58-52. Harwood's top scorer was Lucas Baron with 20 points. Cole Lavoie added 11 and Shiv Seethepalli contributed nine points and 11 rebounds.
Harwood hosted Lamoille on Tuesday, January 26. The game opened with Lamoille making its first five shots to race out to a 12-7 lead. Harwood then responded with a 13-7 run to take the lead 20-19 at the end of the first quarter. Harwood was paced by Shiv Seethepalli's seven points in the quarter while Lucas Baron added five.
The second quarter saw the action slow down with both teams scoring only 10 points in the quarter. Harwood maintained its one-point lead at the half 30-29.
The third quarter opened with Harwood and Lamoille trading baskets twice for a 34-33 Harwood lead. Harwood then went on an 11-4 run to push the lead to 45-37 to finish the quarter. Six different Harwood players scored in the quarter: Lucas Baron, five points; Cole Lavoie, three points; Aiden Schoellkopf, two points; Keegan McKenna, two points; Liam Harper, two points; and Shiv Seethepalli, one point.
Harwood opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer by Cole Lavoie to extend the lead to 48-37. However, the Highlanders turned over the ball on three of their next four possessions and Lamoille scored seven unanswered points to reduce the Harwood lead to 48-44 with four and a half minutes left in the game. Shiv Seethepalli ended the Harwood drought with a three. Cole Lavoie stole the ball on the next play and scored two. Keegan McKenna added a free throw and Lavoie added another two points to bring the Harwood lead back to 56-44. Harwood finished with a 61-52 victory. Lucas Baron scored 17 points, Shiv Seethepalli scored 16 points and pulled down 15 rebounds and Cole Lavoie added 13 points.
The Highlanders host Lyndon on Friday, January 29.