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Friday, March 5, 2021

Highlands Teams Post Non-Region Victories

Bluebirds Continue to Roll

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior forward Kelsey Listerman (20) gets in defensive position in a recent game.

18 N. Fort Thomas Ave. 

It had been a long time since the Highlands Bluebirds boys basketball team (18-4 overall) hit the century mark entering the season.

The Bluebirds have done it twice this year with a 100-79 win over the rival Campbell County Camels (14-8) on Thursday. Highlands beat Bellevue, 104-42 on Jan. 28.

This also marked the second win of the season for the Bluebirds over the Camels. They beat Campbell County, 86-74 on Feb. 9 in Alexandria.

"We jumped on them early in the first quarter," said Kevin Listerman, Highlands Head Coach. "Our guys are just doing a great job of finding the open guy and finishing. They made a run at us early in the fourth quarter and cut it to eight. We made an adjustment defensively. We got a couple stops and were able to get out in transition."

Senior forward Luke Muller scored 26 points to go with nine rebounds and a monster dunk with around a minute left in the game. Senior point guard Sam Vinson had a double-double with 24 points and 15 rebounds to go with seven blocked shots, one assist and one steal.

"We have shooters all around and guys that can flat-out score the ball," Muller said. "When you know that, you feel confident in everyone around you. You move the ball and we know we're going to knock down shots. We work on that in practice and it's really showing in the games."

Six Bluebirds scored in double figures. Sophomore guard Will Herald scored 16 with junior guards Leyton Read and Zach Barth scoring 12 and 11 respectively. Junior forward Oliver Harris added 11.

Highlands made 41-of-63 shots for 65 percent and all five free throws. The Bluebirds also had 36 rebounds, seven blocked shots, 19 assists and five steals.

Campbell County saw four players score in double figures. Senior guard Garrett Beiting led the way with 19 points. Sophomore forward Aydan Hamilton scored 18 points and sophomore power forward Eric Davie scored 16 with senior forward Dane Hegyi scoring 15.

The Camels made 32-of-65 shots for 49 percent and 6-of-8 free throws for 75 percent. They also had 18 rebounds, one blocked shot, two assists and two steals.

Listerman said the Camels guarded the Bluebirds man-to-man the entire game defensively and trap in the backcourt. Campbell County started off in a zone in the first meeting before going to man defense.

Highlands plays host to Oldham County (10-4) on Saturday. Game time is 3 p.m.

Basketball, Girls:
Highlands 48, Great Crossing 34:

The Bluebirds (15-5 overall) ventured south to Georgetown and came away with the win over the Warhawks (10-5).

Highlands used a seven-player rotation. Senior forward Kelsey Listerman led the way with 14 points with senior guard Emma Mallery scoring 11 and senior forward Emma Riccobene scoring 10 and senior forward Rory O'Hara nine.

"I was really proud of the girls," said Jaime Walz-Richey, Highlands Head Coach. "We got down 8-0 to start the game. We called a timeout and talked about what we needed to do offensively and made some adjustments on defense. The girls came out and did what we asked of them."

The Bluebirds made 12-of-30 shots for 30 percent including 4-of-14 from three-point range for 29 percent against a man-to-man defense and 12-of-19 free throws for 63 percent. Highlands also had 11 assists, 13 steals, nine turnovers and 26 rebounds.

Highlands used full-court pressure to disrupt the Great Crossing offense. Listerman had seven steals with Riccobene, O'Hara and sophomore point guard Alyssa Harris securing six rebounds each. Harris also had four assists.

"I think that we just got out there. We were focused and kept more control of the ball," Mallery said. "We were more confident in ourselves and were driving more in one-on-one (situations). We've been working on that a lot."

Great Crossing made 13-of-38 shots for 34 percent including 4-of-19 from three-point range for 21 percent and 4-of-6 free throws for 67 percent. The Warhawks also had 33 rebounds.

The Warhawks did not see anyone score in double figures. Junior guard Timothi Williams led the way with nine points and freshman guard Ava Schureman had 10 rebounds.

Highlands travels to Owen County on Saturday. Game time is 2:30 p.m.

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