By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter
A bad first quarter cost the Highlands Ladybirds (1-2) in another road loss Tuesday in Louisville.
The Sacred Heart Valkyries (3-0) jumped out to a 19-2 lead after the first quarter ane held on for a 64-54 win. Sacred Heart led 26-4 at one point in the second quarter. Highlands made things respectable with a 20-3 run later in the game.
The shooting percentages were about even. Ladybirds made 40.5 percent (17-of-42) from the field including 40 percent (6-of-15) from three-point land and 70 percent (14-of-20) from the free-throw line. The Valkyries hit 41.4 percent (24-of-58) overall, 23.8 percent (5-of-21) from beyond the arc and 50 percent (11-of-22) from the free-throw line. In the first quarter, Highlands made 1-of-11 shots for just more than nine percent compared to Sacred Heart hitting 7-of-18 for about 39 percent.
Highlands could not stop Sacred Heart guard DaiJia Ruffin. She finished with a double-double of 23 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, a blocked shot and steal. Teammate Ashley Johnson added 10 points and six steals with Raven Merriweather tallying eight points and 11 rebounds.
Freshmen guards Brianna Adler and Haley Coffey led Highlands with 11 and 10 points respectively. Adler made both three-point shots and Coffey hit 6-of-8 free throws.
Senior Leah Schaefer followed with nine points and 10 rebounds for the Ladybirds. Ava Abner hit both three-point attempts to add six points.
Highlands returns home Thursday to face Bishop Brossart at 7:30 p.m.
Lady Breds down Lady Tigers:
The Newport Central Catholic Lady Breds improved to 2-0 with a 67-51 home victory over the Beechwood Lady Tigers (1-1) Tuesday.
NewCath received 20 points from Nikki Kiernan and Alexus Mayes each. Point guard Michaela Ware followed with 11 points, five steals and six assists.
NewCath plays host to Lexington Catholic (1-2) Friday at 7:30 p.m.