The Highlands Bluebirds boys basketball team (6-3 overall) ventured to Union and knocked off the Cooper Jaguars (3-5), 75-46 on Tuesday.
This marked the first time Highlands has beaten Cooper in consecutive meetings in school history. Prior to last year's 66-61 win over the Jaguars in Fort Thomas, Highlands had not beaten Cooper since an 85-49 win there on Dec. 11, 2008 during the inaugural season for the Jaguars.
"(Cooper) does such a great job defensively. They run their stuff and they're patient," said Kevin Listerman, Highlands Head Coach. "We were able to dictate the pace and tempo of the game by scoring early. They play what's called the pack line man-to-man (defense). They're physical. They load the lane up and make it difficult to drive to the rim. We did a good job being patient, making the right reads and the right passes. We've talked a lot the last week and a half about making the right choice and seeing the right guy. Our guys did an excellent job of that."
The three leading scorers for the Bluebirds led the way. Senior forward Luke Muller made eight three-pointers on his way to 24 points and point guard Sam Vinson scored 21 with Will Herald adding 14. Vinson had 10 rebounds for a double-double to go with six assists and three steals.
Highlands made 30-of-56 shots for 54 percent and 5-of-7 free throws for 71 percent. The Bluebirds also had 25 rebounds, 10 fouls, 19 assists and five steals. Junior forward Oliver Harris had four assists with Herald and junior guard Zach Barth recording three each.
"We just kept doing what we were doing - moving the ball and getting everyone involved playing good team basketball in order to keep our groove going," Harris said. "I feel like we started the game really well, built off that and keep building our lead throughout the game to get to where it eventually it ended up. We try to learn from anything we can whether we win or lose because the most important games aren't in January. They're in March."
Cooper made 16-of-44 shots for 36 percent and 7-of-13 free throws for 54 percent. The Jaguars also had 11 rebounds, six fouls and two assists. Senior forward Jacob Deere led the way with 11 points.
Highlands plays at Lloyd Memorial (2-4) on Friday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.