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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Highlands Handles Bellevue

Highlands Ready for Battle with NewCath on Tuesday

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior Luke Muller (11) gets in defensive position in a recent game.
Some coaches would call this a danger game.

The Associated Press poll's 10th-ranked Highlands Bluebirds boys basketball team (18-1 overall) traveled just up the road to face the Bellevue Tigers (2-13) with rivals Newport Central Catholic and Covington Catholic on the horizon. But the focused Bluebirds took care of business dominating the Tigers, 96-35 to move to 3-0 in 36th District play.

Highlands made 38-of-69 shots for 55 percent including 14-of-30 three-point tries for 47 percent and 6-of-8 free throws for 75 percent. The Bluebirds also had 37 rebounds, four fouls, 20 assists, no turnovers, two blocked shots and 12 steals.

"The biggest compliment you can pay to your opponent is to play as hard as you can," said Kevin Listerman, Highlands Head Coach. "You're respectful to them because you compete at a high level. I thought we did that all the way up and down the line. All the guys that got in the game I felt competed hard and we did a great job of sharing the ball."

Thirteen different Bluebirds scored in the victory. Junior guard Sam Vinson, sophomore guard Zach Barth, junior forward Bryson Cody and freshman guard Will Herald scored 11 points each to lead the Bluebirds. Vinson also had six assists and five rebounds.

Bellevue made 14-of-42 shots for 33 percent including 4-of-12 from three-point range for 33 percent and all three free throws. Sophomore guard Will Strong led the way with 15 points.

The reserves saw a good bit of action in the lopsided win. That included sophomore guard Isaac Surrey.

"The chemistry is really good and they've been playing together for a long time," Surrey said. "They just know what to do and when to do it. We always want to compete. We want to play to our level."

The Bluebirds travel to NewCath on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The game against Frankfort at home on Friday was called off because the Panthers advanced to the All "A" State semifinals and had too many games scheduled as a result.

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