|Highlands basketball teams record victories|
|PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands sophomore Morgan Coffey goes in for a score in a recent game.|
Sophomore Zoie Barth did not play because of sickness. But her teammates picked up the slack recording 17 steals on their way to a 73-29 demolition of the Lexington Lafayette Generals (8-4) to take third place in the tournament. Highlands (9-3) forced 24 turnovers and committed just 10 on four Lafayette steals.
Seniors Jenna Martin and Lauren Epperson led the way with four steals each with senior Taylor Baioni and Morgan Coffey recording three each. Martin made 7-of-10 shots including 3-of-6 from three-point range on her way to 17 points and Epperson hit 6-of-11 shots on her way to 16 points. Baioni added four assists.
"We did our full-court press," Epperson said. "We trapped and did a good job rotating to the ball and turning them over. We just try to step in the passing lanes and get the ball quicker than they can."
Nine different players scored for Highlands. A third player hit double figures in sophomore Hanna Buecker with 10. Buecker also led Highlands with six rebounds.
"We came out and were looking to push the ball," said Jaime Walz-Richey, Highlands Head Coach. "We made it a fast-paced game and they got tired."
Highlands led 31-12 at halftime. The Ladybirds finished the game outscoring the Generals, 24-2 in the fourth quarter.
Highlands did better rebounding the ball in the win. Lafayette had 25 to 24 for the Blue and White. Senior Kiara Pankins led the Generals with nine points and nine rebounds.
"We gave up 16 offensive rebounds against GRC (on Thursday) that led to 19 points," Richey said. "So we went back to emphasizing every possession matters and we have to get rebounds. We came out and did that."
The Ladybirds made 27-of-50 shots for 54 percent including 8-of-16 from three-point range for 50 percent. They also hit 11-of-17 free throws for 65 percent.
Lafayette made just 13-of-37 shots for 35 percent including 2-of-8 from three-point range for 25 percent. The Generals also made 1-of-6 free throws for 17 percent.
Highlands faces Cincinnati St. Ursula (6-3) on the road on Tuesday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Highlands 70, Russell County 53:
The Bluebirds (5-8) led by 22 at halftime and 14 after three. They put the game away in the fourth quarter for their first two-game winning streak this season. Highlands took fifth in the Magnolia Bank Holiday Classic at LaRue County with the win over the Lakers (3-10) from the 4th Region.
"We did a tremendous job in the first half with our pressure," said Kevin Listerman, Highlands Head Coach. "We dictated the tempo and had guys come off the bench and give us solid contributions. We did a good job running our stuff."
Senior post Kyle Finfrock did his thing inside scoring 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Senior Bryce Traylor followed with 16 points with Braden Posey contributing 13 points and six assists.
"We just have to be patient and swing the ball," Posey said. "When we get the ball to the middle, we have to push the ball because most teams recently could not keep up with our quickness and athleticism. All three teams put a lot of pressure on us. We didn't back down."
Russell County beat Thomas Nelson to face Highlands on Friday. The Lakers also own victories over 16th District opponents Metcalfe County and Cumberland County. Ben Walters led them with 13 points.
Highlands takes on Cooper (9-3) on Tuesday in Union. Game time is 7:30 p.m.