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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Highlands Handles County Rival on Road

Bluebirds Record Consecutive Wins over Camels

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior guard Zach Barth makes a pass in a recent game. Barth scored 30 points in the 86-74 Highlands victory at Campbell County on Tuesday.

The Highlands Bluebirds boys basketball team (9-3 overall) traveled south hoping to earn another impressive win following the thrilling comeback win over Conner on Saturday.

The Bluebirds shot the lights out once again besting the Campbell County Camels, 86-74 on Tuesday in Alexandria. Highlands has won six straight.

Campbell County (8-4) advanced to the state semifinals two years ago losing to eventual state champion Louisville Trinity, 42-40 in a thriller. The Camels finished 18-15 last year winning the 37th District crown before losing 76-59 to Montgomery County in the 10th Region semifinals.

"They (Camels) shoot it really well at home and they had some guys step up that shot it above their season averages. They kept pace with us, which made for an entertaining game for sure," said Kevin Listerman, Highlands Head Coach. "Early in the game, they came out in a zone trying to take away our penetration. We got very comfortable shooting the ball. Our guys played very complimentary. I was really proud of their composure and the way they moved the ball."

Junior guard Zach Barth led the way with a career-high 30 points making eight three-pointers. Senior point guard Sam Vinson followed with 24 and senior forward Luke Muller made four three-pointers on his way to 16 points. Junior forward Oliver Harris followed with eight points and sophomore guard Will Herald made two three-pointers for six points.

"We just took good shots, which played a big part in the game and it's good seeing the ball go in," Barth said. "It felt really good. At all times, we have people on the floor that can score, which makes it hard for the other team."

Highlands made 34-of-57 shots for just under 60 percent and 5-of-7 free throws for 71 percent. Vinson finished with a triple-double with 10 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals. Herald and Barth added four assists each.

Campbell County had four players score in double figures. Senior forward Dane Hegyi had 16 and sophomore guard Jake Gross scored 15. Senior guard Garrett Beiting scored 14 with sophomore forward Aydan Hamilton scoring 13.

"Garrett Beiting and Aydan Hamilton are their two main offensive weapons and (Campbell County Head) Coach (Aric) Russell does a great job getting the kids to run their system and their offense and they're very efficient at it," Listerman said. "I thought we did a good job of making them go to their second and third options in their offense and they made shots. It wasn't that we weren't doing what we were trying to do. They were just better on the offensive end. They were better than we were defensively."

The Camels made 27-of-53 shots for 51 percent and 8-of-12 free throws for 67 percent. Campbell County also had 16 rebounds and two assists.

Highlands has another battle Friday at home against Beechwood (11-3). Game time is 7:45 p.m.

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