By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter
The Highlands Bluebirds girls basketball team bounced back from Friday’s loss to Newport Central Catholic with an impressive 9th Region win in Erlanger.
The Bluebirds (11-5) dominated the St. Henry Lady Crusaders (6-8), 71-37 and snapped a three-game losing streak in the series. Highlands last beat St. Henry, 67-43 on Feb. 4, 2010 in Fort Thomas.
The Bluebirds jumped out to a 21-3 advantage after the first quarter and never looked back. They recorded 20 steals on 23 St. Henry turnovers and yielded just one theft on 12 turnovers. Brianna Adler led Highlands with four steals with Haley Coffey, Vanessa Fisse and Leah Schaefer recording three each.
Offensively, the Twin Towers once again led the way for Highlands. Jesse Daley scored 15 points and Leah Schaefer had 12. Adler also hit double-digits in the scorebook with 11.
Highlands made 26-of-56 shots for 46 percent, including 8-of-18 from three-point range for 44 percent. The Bluebirds also made 11-of-18 free throws for 61 percent. Adler made 3-of-4 attempts from beyond the arc with Coffey, Fisse, Lydia Graves, McKenzie Leigh and Alex Combs all making one each.
On the other side, St. Henry made just 12-of-28 shots for 43 percent and 3-of-6 three-point shots for 50 percent. The Lady Crusaders also hit just 10-of-22 free-throw attempts for 46 percent.
St. Henry saw just Jordan Miller score in double-digits with 11 points. Senior Libby Leedom decided to focus on soccer this year.
Highlands travels to Notre Dame on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Sacred Heart 61, NCC girls 43:
The Thoroughbreds (10-4) could not come up with another big win Saturday at home against the Valkyries (13-1).
NewCath had no answers for DaiJia Ruffin. Ruffin scored 36 points and teammate Kristin Matula added 11. Ruffin made six three-pointers and 6-of-7 free-throw attempts.
MiKayla Seibert led NewCath with 11 points and Alexus Mayes had eight. Sacred Heart held Nikki Kiernan to four points and four rebounds.
The Valkyries made 26-of-43 shots from the field for 61 percent and 8-of-12 free throws for 67 percent.
The Thoroughbreds hit 14-of-49 shots for 29 percent and 10-of-20 free throws for 50 percent. They continued to struggle from outside making just 1-of-6 three-point shots for 17 percent.
NewCath plays host to the All “A” 9th Region tournament this week. The Thoroughbreds will take on either Newport (8-7) or Covington Holy Cross (11-2) at 6 p.m. Wednesday. NewCath has won the last six tournaments and finished state runner-up to Walton-Verona last year.