Foster, Highlands boys race past Shady Side Academy

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 | 9:41 PM

While most of us were chomping down turkey dinners on Thanksgiving Day, Bradyn Foster was sneaking into the gym working on his shooting.

The extra work paid off as the Highlands junior scored a career-high 31 points Tuesday night as the Golden Rams rolled past Shady Side Academy, 92-53.

Junior guard Cam Reigard also scored a career-high 26 points as Highlands (3-0) took a 12-0 lead 2 minutes into the game and were never headed.

“I think I was able to get the rebounds tonight. I’m taller, and I could get to the hoop,” Foster said. “I’ve been working on my outside shot a lot outside of practice. I got up about 300 shots on Thanksgiving.”

Foster hit a pair of 3-pointers early and made a number of successful moves toward the hoop, scoring 12 in the first quarter alone.

“Starting as a sophomore last year and getting a little time as a freshman, it’s starting to click for him,” said Golden Rams coach Corey Dotchin. “The varsity level and the speed of the game, it takes a little time to adjust and get used to it. He’s a gym rat. He puts in the time in. On Thanksgiving, he was in the gym. He constantly works at his game, and you saw the rewards of it tonight.”

Reigard had nine points in the first quarter as Highlands dominated play. His six 3-pointers in the first half threatened the school single-game record of 10 treys set by Seth Edwards in 2008. But in the second half, Reigard made four baskets from inside the arc before Dotchin gave the starters a rest down the stretch.

Highlands had a 27-10 lead at the end of one quarter and increased the bulge to 51-27 at the half.

“We have terrific energy when we play at home,” Dotchin said. “Guys are comfortable. It’s something that we always stress, getting off to a good start and progressing through the rest of the game. The guys executed the gameplan from the start, and we’re continuing getting better every game.”

“I feel like we hit a buzzsaw tonight,” said Shady Side coach David Vadnais. “They made 11 threes tonight, and their transition is so, so good that we couldn’t get back. Their ability to get out on transition and finish is really tough to guard.”

The Bulldogs (2-1) cut the lead to 36-23 on a steal and a basket by Eli Teslovich with 2 minutes, 20 seconds left in the first half. But Highlands went on a 15-4 run to end the half.

A basket by Reigard on an assist from Foster made it 69-38 Golden Rams with 3:07 to go in the third quarter to get the PIAA mercy rule in effect.

“We worked hard in the second half and competed, but they’re a really good team,” Vadnais said. “They’re fast, and they’re physical more than any team we’ve played in the recent past. I was really impressed with them.”

Teslovich finished with 23 points to lead Shady Side, Ethan Salvia scored 12 in the second half to finish with 17 for the game.

Jimmy Kunst had 18 for Highlands. Chandler Thimons didn’t hit the scoring column but collected 11 rebounds.

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