Story Matters

Story Matters

THE Official HHS Football Site

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Highlands girls stay undefeated

G. Michael Graham Photo. Highlands point guard Haley Coffey (center) brings the ball up in transition in Saturday's game against South Oldham. Highlands won 67-39 to improve to 5-0 on the season.
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Highlands Ladybirds basketball team continued to wreak havoc on the opposition with another convincing win Saturday.

The South Oldham Lady Dragons came to town and Highlands handed them a 67-39 defeat to stay perfect on the season at 5-0. The Ladybirds have outscored those five opponents, 339-192 on the season for a 29.4 point average margin of victory.

“A lot of these players are so unselfish,” said Jaime Walz-Richey, Highlands Head Coach. “They’re not afraid to make the extra pass. They’ve been playing together for a long time and they trust each other.”

Highlands smashed another opponent with offensive balance. Three Ladybirds reached double-digits in the win. Senior Alex Combs led the way making 3-of-3 three-point tries for 16 points. Teammates Zoie Barth and McKenzie Leigh scored 12 points each.

Leigh tore up South Oldham’s 2-3 zone in the middle using her 6-foot-1-inch advantage. That forced South Oldham to collapse and that opened things up for Combs from the outside. Leigh added three blocked shots defensively.

“We really work on moving the ball around to get the defense out of place then get it inside to me,” Leigh said. “If I don’t have a shot, I usually try to kick it out. We’ve having so much fun and we love it.”

Highlands also did a lot of damage attacking the basket. Barth hit 8-of-9 free throws constantly drawing fouls doing that.

The Ladybirds did a wonderful job passing the ball, especially in transition. They had 12 assists to two for the Lady Dragons. Brianna Adler and Lydia Graves had three assists each for Highlands.

Highlands made 22-of-45 shots for 49 percent including 4-of-15 from three-point land for 27 percent. The Ladybirds also made 19-of-25 free throws for 76 percent.

Defensively, Highlands held South Oldham to 14-of-46 shooting for 30 percent, including 3-of-17 from outside for 18 percent. The Lady Dragons also made just 8-of-16 free throws for 50 percent. Abby VanZant and Sydney Jones scored 10 points each for South Oldham.

The Ladybirds pressured the Lady Dragons all over the court forcing 23 turnovers on 16 steals. Coffey and Kristyn Lukjan led Highlands with three steals each. Highlands led 16-2 to start the game.

“(Ball pressure) is very important and the girls know it,” Richey said. “We have to rotate better and they are understanding that. They’re getting in the passing lanes to get steals.”

Highlands won the rebounding battle, 33-31. Senior Lydia Graves led the Ladybirds with four rebounds.

Highlands led 16-4 after one quarter and 33-17 at halftime. The Ladybirds put the game away with a 22-10 third quarter to go up 55-27. That led the reserves play in the fourth quarter. After the top seven for Highlands, Lukjan, Whitney Quillen, Lauren Epperson, Emma Little and Olivia McQueary scored.

Highlands does not play again until Friday at Campbell County (4-2). Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Breathitt County 69, Newport Central Catholic 63:

The Thoroughbreds ventured into the mountains and lost for the first time Saturday to the Lady Cats. Both teams are 3-1 on the season.

NewCath travels to Lloyd Memorial on Tuesday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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