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Saturday, February 6, 2021

Bluebirds Roll to Another Region Victory

Highlands Wins Fourth Straight

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior forward Cole Kocher (2) defends a drive to the basket in a recent game.

The Highlands Bluebirds boys basketball team (7-3) continued its impressive play with a fourth straight win Friday on the road in 9th Region play.

Highlands defeated the Lloyd Memorial Juggernauts, 87-62 to move to 4-2 in region action. Lloyd Memorial fell to 2-6 with its sixth consecutive loss. The Juggernauts missed several games because of Coronavirus 2019 protocols.

"We were very solid in a lot of ways," said Kevin Listerman, Highlands Head Coach. "The first quarter was a two-point game. But I thought we had the tempo in our favor. We hit a couple threes, got some stops and really stretched the lead in the second quarter. We were pretty methodical with what we did the rest of the game."

Senior point guard Sam Vinson again led the Bluebirds with a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds to go with five assists and three steals. He made all 10 free throws.

But 11 different players scored for the Bluebirds. Senior forward Luke Muller scored 14 with junior forward Oliver Harris and sophomore guard Will Herald scoring 13 each. Junior guard Zach Barth added nine.

Highlands made 28-of-53 shots for 53 percent and 21-of-24 free throws for 88 percent. The Bluebirds also had 25 rebounds, nine assists, five steals and 10 turnovers.

"We're looking at other players to see what they're doing to develop and improve what what we're doing on the court," said Coby Kramer, Highlands sophomore guard. "(The upperclassmen) are always on us to be our best. They're very helpful."

Lloyd Memorial saw 10 players score. Junior guard Ryan Davis led the way with 14 with senior guard Dominic Pouncy and junior forward Joe Cooley scoring 10 each.

The Juggernauts made 21-of-49 shots for 43 percent and 8-of-16 free throws for 50 percent. They recorded 27 rebounds, three assists, three steals and 11 turnovers.

"They actually shoot the three pretty well," Listerman said. "They have some nice guards and they have some athleticism. If you let them have too many good looks, they can be dangerous. We did a good job, especially in the second quarter. We probably gave up a few too many good looks in the third quarter then did a much better job in the fourth."

Highlands takes on Conner (8-2) in a huge region showdown on Saturday. Game time is 7:30 p.m. in Fort Thomas.

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