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Monday, December 31, 2018

HHS Girls Basketball Alumni Game; Highlands Hoops Update

Highlands Girls Take on NewCath on Friday

PHOTO: Dale Dawn. Highlands senior Ben Sisson comes down after a dunk in a recent game.
It's a streak not mentioned much.

But when teams go out and take care of business continuously in these type of games, the streak becomes a product of the consistency. With four straight 36th District championships and a win over Dayton earlier in the season, the Highlands Bluebirds girls basketball team (11-3 overall) has won 25 straight over district opponents.

Highlands has also earned the top seed in the district tournament in each of the five seasons since the district went away from the blind draw. The last time the Bluebirds lost to a district opponent came on Feb. 27, 2014 at Newport Central Catholic in the district title game.

Highlands takes on the Thoroughbreds in Fort Thomas on Friday in another district game at 7:30 p.m. The Bluebirds have beaten the Thoroughbreds (8-5) seven straight times and nine of the last 10 meetings.

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"It's a seed game coming on Friday and we have to be ready to go," said Jaime Walz-Richey, Highlands Head Coach. "We just have to treat them like we do any opponent. We have to be prepared for them, know what they're going to do and know what we need to do offensively and defensively against it."

The Bluebirds have outscored opponents, 825-630 on the season for averages of just under 59 to 45. Highlands is coming off two holiday tournament runner-up finishes. The Bluebirds led Conner by five with 47 seconds left in the LaRosa's Holiday Classic championship game. But the Lady Cougars rallied for a 54-46 overtime win.

Senior guard Zoie Barth continues to lead Highlands with 17.9 points per game. She's had a lot of help from different people including junior Piper Macke and sophomore Rory O'Hara. Highlands has five seniors on the team.

"I think the girls understand that these seniors are leaving it out on the court every game and they have to do that, too," Richey said. "Every play matters. We have to learn from that."

Highlands has made 282-of-630 shots for 45 percent including 80-of-234 three-point tries for 34 percent and 179-of-247 free throws for 73 percent. The Bluebirds also have 366 rebounds for an average of just under 26 per game. Barth and senior Chloe Jansen lead the way averaging just more than five per game.

NewCath comes into the game off an 84-56 loss at Campbell County. The Thoroughbreds have a new head coach in Ralph G. Meyer, III. They are led by senior Kara Zimmerman.

Highlands Boys Hoops Update:

Highlands came back from the Florida trip with an 8-5 record going 2-2 on the trip. The Bluebirds face two Kenton County teams this week going to Scott (6-5) on Friday before playing host to Simon Kenton (9-3) on Saturday. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.

The Bluebirds are seeking their first winning season since 2010. They fell just short of it last year finishing 13-15.

Highlands is 1-1 in district play with the final two district games taking place Jan. 22 and 26 at home against Newport Central Catholic and Bellevue. The Bluebirds have not advanced to the 9th Region Tournament since 2014.

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