Highland's third quarter sinks Mesa
November 30, 2021 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365
AJ Riggs scored 24 of his game-high 28 points in the
second half spurring Highland to a 54-49 victory over Mesa High at
The game was the season opener for both schools in terms of power-ranking
games - contests that count toward playoff qualifying and seeding.
Highland trailed at halftime, 20-14, in a sluggish first 16 minutes for
Highland remained undefeated with its fourth win. The Hawks were 3-0 at
Red Mountain's Beyond Ball Tourney. Mesa fell to 3-2. The Jackrabbits
posted a 3-1 mark in its tourney. They lost the tourney final to
Riggs, 6-foot-2 senior guard, couldn't be handled in the second half. He
made 6 of 7 field goals - five of them threes. He scored all the Hawks'
points in the final period sinking a three and 6-of-6 free throws.
Highland outscored Mesa, 29-12 in the third period and its largest margin
was 15 (37-22) with 2 1/2 minutes left in the quarter. Riggs got offensive
help from senior Mason Knollmiller, who tallied 10 of his 16 points in the
"Our first half was abysmal," Highland coach Todd Vazio said. "You have to
credit Mesa for some of that. I loved our energy the second half, but we
still haven't come out and put together four quarters.
"AJ came out of it tonight," Fazio said. "He gave us a lift in the second
half as did Mason."
Josh Irish paced Mesa with 16 points and Talbot Cummard added 14. Cummard
did not score in the first half, but still managed a lead at intermissin
with seven points of the bench from Conway Cummard.