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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Highlands Overcomes Holy Cross to extend win streak to 8

Bluebirds Post Eighth Straight Victory

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior point guard Sam Vinson (3) watches a pass in a recent game.

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It came down to another halftime adjustment against one of the top scorers in the 9th Region for the Blue and White on the road Monday.

It helped the Highlands Bluebirds boys basketball team (17-4 overall) beat the Covington Holy Cross Indians (12-7), 86-82. Highlands has won eight in a row and moved to 9-3 in region action.

Holy Cross sophomore guard Jacob Meyer averages 25.4 points per game. He scored 32 against the Bluebirds including 25 in the first half. Highlands Head Coach Kevin Listerman credited junior guards Zach Barth, Leyton Read and sophomore guard Will Herald for adjusting to guarding Meyer in the second half.

"They shot it well, especially early. We did not shoot it well in particular in the first half," Listerman said. "In the first half, we allowed them to get to the rim and finish. We did a much better job of stopping penetration and forcing them to shoot jumps shots instead of lay-ups in the second half."

Meyer had some help with senior guard Blake Robinson scoring 16. Senior guards Brandon McClendon and Jeremiah Hicks added 15 and 14 respectively.

Holy Cross made 31-of-67 shots for 46 percent including 11-of-26 from three-point range for 42 percent and 9-of-14 free throws for 64 percent. The Indians also had 28 rebounds, nine assists and six steals. McClendon had four thefts.

Highlands senior point guard Sam Vinson led the Bluebirds with a double-double of 28 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and a steal. The Bluebirds made 27-of-52 shots for 52 percent and 20-of-29 free throws for 69 percent to go with 26 rebounds, 18 assists and five steals.

"It was a crazy, fast-paced game. It was a lot like a region (tournament) game," Vinson said. "We try to play our game. We had some crucial stops at the end and made our free throws to seal (the win)."

Vinson had the usual help offensively. Barth and Herald scored 18 each with junior forward Oliver Harris scoring 10.

"We flipped the game by getting loose balls and rebounds and turning them into baskets," Listerman said. "We were down seven at halftime. We opened the fourth quarter on a run. We hung on and really managed the situation late in the game for the most part. I told our kids in the locker room that nobody panicked. Nobody tried to do things that were out of their character. They just trusted each other. That's the most important thing when you get into a game like that."

Highlands takes on Campbell County on Thursday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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