Story Matters

Story Matters

THE Official HHS Football Site

Friday, January 30, 2015

Highlands drops another tough 9th Region game

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands Junior McKenzie Leigh goes up for a shot in Thursday's game against Holmes.

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

It had the same feeling as Saturday.

All the Highlands Ladybirds basketball team can do now is hope for better results come postseason when it matters more. Like Saturday, the Ladybirds led a 35th District opponent late in the game only to fall. Highlands turned the ball over several times late and fell 64-62 to the visiting Covington Holmes Lady Bulldogs in the 9th Region clash. The Ladybirds lost 40-39 to host Covington Holy Cross on Saturday.

“I thought we’d learn from Saturday. But we still made some mistakes that can’t happen,” said Jaime Walz-Richey, Highlands Head Coach. “We have to take things we did well and did not do well and build on them. I thought our bench played big for us.”

Highlands (17-3) built a 13-point lead in the third quarter behind the hot-shooting of junior Brianna Adler. She made four three-pointers in that quarter. The fourth one gave the Ladybirds a 40-29 advantage with 2:38 left in the quarter before Zoie Barth hit two free throws to put Highlands up 42-29 with 2:25 left in the quarter.

Adler finished with a team-high 21 points as both teams had balanced scoring. Haley Coffey and Lydia Graves followed with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Holmes (21-1) saw four players score in double figures. Freshman Laila Johnson had 16 with Amori Gulley, Shania Parker and Jynea Harris scoring 14, 13 and 11 respectively. Parker hit a pair of three-point shots to help Holmes rally.

Holmes outrebounded Highlands, 31-22 including 18-4 on the offensive end. Tyrah Englemon and Alexus Mayes nabbed seven each. Mayes transferred to Holmes after helping Newport Central Catholic to the 9th Region championship last year.

It did not help that Highlands played without Graves and McKenzie Leigh down the stretch. Post Alex Combs played a good part of the game with foul trouble. Graves fouled out with 2:48 left in the game. Leigh drove to the basket in the game’s first minute, drew the foul and hit her head on the floor causing her to miss the rest of the game.

Highlands led 23-22 at halftime and 16-15 after the first quarter. Neither team led by more than five points in the first half.

Highlands led 47-36 entering the fourth quarter before Holmes began to chip away. Parker’s second three-pointer cut the margin to 58-53 with 3:10 left in the game.

Adler made two free throws with 2:48 remaining then two more with 1:49 left to put Highlands up 62-56.

Johnson scored twice down the stretch. The second came on an offensive rebound to trim the margin to 62-58.

Then with 1:26 left, Myranda Sheets hit a three-point play on a block call. That cut the lead to 62-61.

Highlands called timeout. But Jaynice Stovall recorded a steal and score with 27 seconds left in the game and Engleman hit a free throw with seven seconds left.

Highlands had its chances to tie or take the lead. But the Ladybirds recorded the turnovers in those situations.

“(It came down to) costly turnovers and not getting rebounds and giving up second-chance points,” Richey said. “You can’t let that happen and we did that. We can only hope we learn from that.”

Highlands travels to Conner on Saturday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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