Saturday, December 10, 2016
Earning Saturday Victories
The win marked the first time Highlands beat St. Henry (2-3) since Kevin Listerman became head coach in 2013 snapping a three-game losing skid in the series. The Bluebirds last beat the Crusaders, 60-59 on Dec. 7, 2012.
Highlands pulled away in the fourth quarter after St. Henry cut the lead to one in the third quarter. The Bluebirds moved to 1-2 in 9th Region action.
"Our guys did a good job locking down their penetration and shooters in the fourth quarter," Listerman said. "I think it was a huge mental hurdle for us to get over."
Senior post Kyle Finfrock again led Highlands with a double-double of 22 points and 14 rebounds. The Bluebirds made 11-of-18 free throws for 61 percent compared to 6-of-10 for 60 percent for the Crusaders.
Highlands had a season-high 14 assists on the season. Junior Braden Posey led the way with 10 assists, four steals, four rebounds and six points.
Listerman also credited Highlands junior forward Griffin Huber for guarding St. Henry senior guard Stephen Maley well in the first and fourth quarter. Maley finished with 19 points.
"The biggest thing for us is to continue to work and learn how to win," Listerman said. "We're still learning about ourselves in terms of how to play complementary basketball with the guys that we have. When we figure that out, I think we can be a really good basketball team."
Highlands travels to Williamstown (1-3) on Tuesday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Highlands 77, Scott 58:
The Highlands Ladybirds basketball team (3-2 overall) moved above .500 for the first time this year with a convincing victory over the visiting Scott Lady Eagles on Saturday.
Highlands again saw senior guard Jenna Martin and sophomore guard Zoie Barth lead the way scoring 29 and 24 points respectively. Martin showed off her long-range ability hitting 11-of-16 shots including 7-of-10 from three-point range and Barth made 7-of-10 shots overall including 3-of-4 from three-point range and all seven free throws. Barth added seven assists and two steals and Martin had three assists and a team-high three steals.
A third Highlands player in senior guard Emma Little recorded 12 points. Little made 6-of-8 shots.
"It's more than just the points," said Jaime Walz-Richey, Highlands Head Coach. "We've changed up our defenses a bunch. That takes all five people out there. They did great. The teammates also found Zoie and Jenna when they were open and they were able to knock down some shots."
The effort started on the glass. Highlands won that battle by a 29-19 count. Senior Lauren Epperson led the way for the Ladybirds with nine and sophomore guard Chloe Jansen had four. Epperson also had four assists.
"We talked before the game that rebounding was going to be the key," Richey said. "The girls really stepped up and rebounded the ball really well (Saturday). We made Scott take some hard shots. We limited them to one shot and got the rebounds, which we've been preaching. The hard work has paid off."
Both teams recorded 20 turnovers. Highlands had 11 steals to eight for Scott.
Highlands also dished out 20 assists. Eight players had assists. Highlands senior forward Taylor Baioni said the solid team chemistry has really helped so far.
"We've always been a close team," Baioni said. "We enjoy cheering and watching each other succeed. It's just fun being with them."
Scott (2-3) saw two players score in double figures. Anna Clephane led the way with 20 and Summer Secrist had 16. Clephane made 8-of-16 shots and Secrist made 7-of-10.
Highlands made 29-of-51 shots for 57 percent including 11-of-21 from three-point range for 52 percent and 8-of-9 free throws for 89 percent. The Ladybirds held Scott to 25-of-52 shooting for 48 percent including 3-of-11 from three-point range for 27 percent. The Lady Eagles hit 5-of-8 free throws for 27 percent.
Highlands travels to Conner on Tuesday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.