FREEPORT (WREX) — Highland Community College has a newly-renovated gym, but no fans are allowed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Still, the Cougars took care of business on opening night as the men's team beat Wabash Valley, 77-72. A big finish helped propel the Cougars to the victory in Luke Norman's first game as head coach.
Marvens Petion led the way for Highland with 20 points and 6 rebounds, while Byron grad Tony Eddy chipped in 7 points. Norman, a Freeport native who also played at Highland, coached his team to the win, as he follows in his dad Pete Norman's footsteps.
The Highland women had a 37-33 lead at the half, but Wabash Valley used a big 3rd quarter to beat the Lady Cougars, 90-75. Highland battled back in Blake Becke's first game as head coach. After giving up 36 points in the 3rd and trailing 69-56, the Lady Cougars went on a 4th quarter run to pull within 2 at 75-73 with 3:13 to play. But the Lady Warriors closed out the game on a 15-2 run to seal the deal. Madison Zadro led Highland with 16 points, while Aquin grad Abby Barr and Pearl City grad Tyra Clark each had 13 points in the loss.