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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Highlands Wins Low-Scoring Road Battle

Bluebirds Win Fifth Straight

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior forward Rory O'Hara (35) gets in position in a recent game.

A low score like this often means one team tried to slow the game down holding the ball and only taking high-quality shots.

But that was not the case in this one. The Highlands Bluebirds girls basketball team (16-5 overall) overcame foul trouble playing solid defense on the way to a 31-16 victory over the Owen County Lady Rebels (13-8) on Saturday. Owen County of the 8th Region is 0-5 against 9th Region competition this year.

"We've talked about how we're going to need everyone ready to go and you don't know when you're time is going to be called," said Jaime Walz-Richey, Highlands Head Coach. "It was good to get another game under our belt, go to another region and learn how to play with officials that we're not used to."

No one ended up fouling out for the Bluebirds. But the three leading scorers for Highlands in senior forwards Kelsey Listerman, Rory O'Hara and Emma Riccobene picked up a couple fouls each in the first half and had to sit a good portion of it combining for just three points in that half.

"Despite all our setbacks, our bench came out really, really strong," Riccobene said. "We were able to pull through. I think it's definitely important to take the challenges that we had (Saturday) and go with them. It was a little different."

The game was tied 3-3 after the first quarter. But senior guard Kate Vaught made two three-pointers and eighth grade center Marissa Green had a key bucket to put Highlands up 11-4 at halftime. Richey also credited freshman guard Laney Smith for key plays during that half.

Listerman finished with a team-high 10 points. Vaught and sophomore point guard Alyssa Harris followed with six each.

Highlands made 6-of-18 shots for 33 percent including 3-of-11 from three-point range for 27 percent and all 10 free throws. The Bluebirds also had seven assists, 12 steals, 19 turnovers and 31 rebounds. Riccobene had seven rebounds and five steals with senior guard Emma Mallery recording seven rebounds.

Owen County made just 3-of-7 free throws for 43 percent and just five shots including three three-pointers. Senior guard Natalie Smith led the Lady Rebels with six points.

Highlands plays Lloyd Memorial on Monday in the final home game of the season. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Basketball, Boys:
Highlands-Oldham County Called Off:

The Bluebirds (18-4) had a home game called off with the Colonels. Oldham County also did not play its game at Louisville Central on Friday as a result of Coronavirus 2019 protocols.

Highlands plays at Covington Holmes on Tuesday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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