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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Highlands Wraps Up Season This Week

Bluebirds Drop 9th Region Battle

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands sophomore guard Zach Barth (10) gets in defensive position in the game at St. Henry on Wednesday.
The Highlands Bluebirds boys basketball team has put together a solid season at 23-3 overall.

But the one bugaboo has been going on the road against another 9th Region team favored to win its district and winning. The Bluebirds finished 0-3 in those situations with a 68-51 loss in Erlanger against the 34th District favorite St. Henry Crusaders (21-4) on Wednesday.

The other two Highlands losses have come at Covington Catholic and Conner. CovCath is the favorite in the 35th District and Conner is the favorite in the 33rd.

Highlands led 31-25 at halftime and leading into the fourth quarter. But St. Henry hit consecutive three-pointers and pulled away.

"(St. Henry) really attacked us inside in the second half, especially the fourth quarter," said Kevin Listerman, Highlands Head Coach. "We took a couple of shots that were a little hurried and then they were able to stretch it to six. Then we had a couple good looks that we normally knock down. We didn't make them. St. Henry gets credit. It sort of snowballed there at the end, but we did some good things. We have to relax in those situations and trust what we do. We got a bit out of character."

Highlands only saw junior point guard Sam Vinson reach double figures with 19 points. Vinson also had five rebounds, four assists, five steals and two blocked shots.

The Bluebirds made 19-of-51 shots for 38 percent including 4-of-23 three-point tries for 17 percent and 9-of-15 free throws for 60 percent. Highlands also had 29 rebounds, 18 fouls, five assists, seven turnovers, three blocked shots and seven steals.

Highlands has no answer for junior guard Wyatt Vieth. Vieth scored 32 points making 9-of-11 free throws to go with nine rebounds. Junior forward Jude Bessler added 14 points for the Crusaders.

St. Henry made 23-of-50 shots for 46 percent including 6-of-13 three-point tries for 46 percent and 16-of-21 free throws for 76 percent. The Crusaders also had 38 rebounds, 13 fouls, four assists, nine turnovers and a steal.

Highlands concludes the regular season on Friday against the Beechwood Tigers (20-9). Game time is 8 p.m. in Fort Mitchell.

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