Story Matters

Story Matters

THE Official HHS Football Site

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Tough District Loss for Bluebirds

Newport Dominates Highlands

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior Ryan Leigh (22) scores two of his five points at Newport on Friday.
The Blue and White hoped to pull off a huge 36th road district win Friday.

Dating back to the 2011-12 season, the Highlands Bluebirds boys basketball team (6-8 overall) had beaten the Newport Wildcats (11-4) only two times. The third time since then did not come as the Wildcats jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never looked back in a 73-39 victory. It marked the first district seed game of the season for both teams.

Highlands did not shoot well making just 17-of-63 shots for 27 percent including 4-of-23 from three-point range for 17 percent. The Bluebirds also made just 1-of-3 free throws for 33 percent.

On the other side, Newport made 27-of-61 shots for 44 percent including 6-of-14 three-point tries for 43 percent. The Wildcats made 13-of-20 free throws for 65 percent.

The biggest area the Wildcats hurt the Bluebirds in was the rebounding. Newport dominated it by a 55-28 count. Junior forward Tahj Harding led Newport with a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds to go along with three assists and two blocked shots. Senior guard MeKell Burries followed with 19 points and junior guard Donnie Miller had 15. Burries and Miller had seven rebounds each.

"They didn't do anything we didn't expect," said Kevin Listerman, Highlands Head Coach. "They owned us on the boards. We got some guys that we talked about being tough and doing things the right way and we didn't do it. I didn't have us ready to go. The message didn't get delivered. We have a lot of season left. The district (tournament) is at our place. We get back after it."

The offensive rebounds especially hurt the Bluebirds. Newport grabbed 21 to 13 there for Highlands and outscored the Bluebirds, 18-8 in second chance points.

Highlands saw just one player score in double figures. Junior guard Alex Starkey came off the bench and scored 12 on 5-of-9 shooting.

Highlands trailed 14-7 after the first quarter and 29-19 at halftime. Newport extended the advantage to 47-31 entering the fourth quarter.

The Bluebirds travel to Conner on Tuesday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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