Story Matters

Story Matters

THE Official HHS Football Site

Monday, September 21, 2020

Monday Highlands Sports Results

Highlands Boys Golf Wins NKAC Division II Title

Highlands junior KJ Toole hits the ball toward the hole in the Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference Division II Tournament at AJ Jolly Golf Course in Alexandria. Toole earned medalist honors shooting a 78.
The Highlands Bluebirds golf teams won medalist awards at the Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference Division II Tournaments on Monday.

Senior Justin Gabbard won the Division II Boys Tournament at the Par 72 Willows Golf Course in Independence and junior KJ Toole took medalist honors in the Division II Girls Tournament at the Par 71 AJ Jolly Golf Course in Alexandria. Second-place Olivia Phirman of Bishop Brossart took second with 89 for the girls.

"I just know the way AJ Jolly plays. It's helpful to know what clubs to hit, know my yardage and honestly to know where not to hit the ball," Toole said. "You know where it's okay to have a miss. You're able to hit accurate lines into the green and such."

The Highlands boys captured another Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference Division II crown at the Par 72 Willows Golf Course in Independence. Highlands shot 312 to win its ninth tournament of the year out of six teams. The Bluebirds not only had the lowest score of Division II, but of any division. Covington Catholic shot 314 to win the largest Division I. St. Henry finished second shooting a 330.

Senior Luke Muller shot 77 for three strokes behind Gabbard with sophomore Joel Craft firing 79 Highlands. Only one other player in Division II shot in the 70s. That score came at 77 from Beechwood's Will Stamn.

"All four of them did their part," said Bert Richey, Highlands Head Coach. "It's always good to go (into the postseason) with momentum. It's been a really good regular season."

Junior Jack Schneider shot 82 to finish the scoring for the Bluebirds. Highlands Eighth Grader Hank Shick also golfed in the tournament. He shot an 88.

"We didn't play our best. But we got it done," Craft said. "That's all that really matters. It gives us good momentum going into next (Monday). Whenever we can break 300, that's when we know we played well. When we break 300, we're hard to beat."

Highlands has shot below 300 three times this year. The Bluebirds won the Bourbon County Invitational on Sept. 13 and the Beechwood Invitational at Hickory Sticks on Aug. 6 shooting scores of 292. Highlands also shot a 294 to open the season winning the Bullitt East Invitational.

Highlands has a week off before playing in the Region 8 Tournament at Pendleton Hills Golf Course in Butler. The Bluebirds will take some practice rounds twice later this week. Tee time is to be announced.

Highlands won the region tournament two years ago. But only the region champion qualifies for state as a team.

The Highlands girls finished second in the tournament shooting a 407 out of six teams. Bishop Brossart won it shooting a 395.

Senior Ellie Rowland shot an 85. Eighth Grader Jenna Richey shot 116 and sophomore Aly Welch shot 128 to finish the scoring. Sophomore Elise Brown also golfed shooting 130.

"I think as a team, we've definitely improved as the year went on," said Mike Lipscomb, Highlands Head Coach. "We definitely have a few different people than we traditionally would."

Lipscomb said Toole and Rowland had bounce-back games after not playing well at the Kentucky Golf Coaches Association All-State Tournament on Saturday and Sunday. That took place at the University of Club of Kentucky in Lexington

The 8th Region Tournament takes place next week at Eagle Creek Golf Course in Dry Ridge. Tee time is 8 a.m.

Soccer, Girls:
Highlands 1, Dixie Heights 0:

Highlands (5-1-1 overall) moved to 4-0 in 9th Region play with its fifth shutout of the season.

Dixie Heights (5-1) came into the game undefeated. The Lady Colonels scored 31 goals coming into the game and allowed just two in a 6-2 win over Conner.

The Bluebirds made a first-half goal stand. It came seven minutes into the game when junior defender Jade Rehberger booted a corner kick and versatile senior Kenzie Nehus scored. That s Nehus' second goal of the season and Rehberger's first assist.

"That was the first goal we've had from a set piece on a corner kick," said Alex Dean, Highlands Head Coach. "We hadn't really worked on that a lot this year. It's nice seeing girls going after the ball and if you put a header toward the goal, anything can happen. I'm not talking about a deflection. Creating chances is putting the ball at the goal. The ball will do the rest of the work. That kind of got us off to a good start. We wish we could have put in another one. But that's the way it goes."

Dean agreed the Bluebirds have done well all season making decisions. They know when to pass, when to dribble, when to shoot and what type of each to do.

"Being at Highlands, you have girls that play year-round," Dean said. "It's great to be able to walk in each day of practice and have girls that are athletes as well as soccer-smart. We continue to work on their smarts and help them on the field. I probably coach a little too much. I think they understand it's for the success of the team."

Highlands managed just five shots with one on goal that made the difference. Dixie Heights had five shots with three on goal. Bluebird senior goalkeeper Jasmine Rehberger made one save in the first half before junior Meg Gessner made two in the second half.

The Bluebirds kept the pressure up all game. They had four corner kicks and five fouls, but no yellow cards. Dixie Heights had at least one yellow card.

"I think we work really well up top," said Jordan Stuempel, Highlands senior defender. "We connect passes and we win balls in the air. We get open for each other and make sure we talk to each other."

Highlands celebrated its 11 seniors before the game. Senior defender Anna Kidney expressed gratitude it happened.

"I was really scared we wouldn't get (Senior Night) because of the (Coronavirus 2019) and all of that," Kidney said. "It's kind of sad that we can't have everyone in the stands like past Senior Nights. But it was great that we all got to be with our teammates. We have a really good team bond. There is drama. Everyone is friends with everyone."

Highlands originally had four-time defending 12th Region champion West Jessamine (1-4-1) on the schedule for Sept. 26. But Dean said Lady Colts veteran Head Coach Kevin Wright let him known via an email through one of the assistants that West Jessamine did not want to make the trip north for unspecified reasons. Dean said he's reached out to other teams to try to find a 14th game.

The Bluebirds play again Monday against Bishop Brossart (3-4). Game time is 8 p.m.

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