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Friday, February 11, 2022

Highlands Dominates Newport

Bluebirds Earn Third Seed in 36th District Tournament

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior point guard Alyssa Harris sets up to shoot a free throw in a game earlier in the week.

The Highlands Bluebirds girls basketball team (9-13 overall) knew another district loss would mean having to win twice in the 36th District Tournament to make it to the 9th Region Tournament.

The Bluebirds made sure that did not happen dominating the Newport Ladycats (15-6), 50-13 on Friday at Russell Bridges Gym. Highlands finished 1-2 in district play and will be the third seed in the district tournament to be played at Bellevue.

"It was great how the girls responded from that (52-45) loss at Bellevue (on Wednesday)," said Jaime Walz-Richey, Highlands Head Coach. "We watched film from that game for about an hour or so then came back up and went over things for about 45 minutes. Film is such a teachable tool we try to use whenever we can. The things that we did on Wednesday aren't things that we're supposed to do. When they saw that on film, they were like, 'Oh.' So we made sure we didn't do the same things (Friday)."

Highlands saw nine different players score in the win. Junior point guard Alyssa Harris led the way with 13 points making three three-pointers and freshman 6-foot-2-inch center Marissa Green scored 10. Green also had nine rebounds.

Highlands made 19-of-41 shots for 46 percent including 7-of-19 three-point shots for 37 percent and 3-of-4 free throws for 75 percent. The Bluebirds also had 17 assists, 12 steals, 14 turnovers and 23 rebounds.

"We preach that to them," Richey said. "When we're watching film, some of those girls didn't get in. In the film, it's one person. But it's really all of them that we're talking to so we don't make the same mistakes."

Newport did not have anyone score more than five points. The Ladycats made 2-of-4 free throws for 50 percent.

The win marked the 401st since Richey took over the program in 2002. That ties her for 35th on the all-time wins list for Kentucky girls basketball head coaches with 25-year Villa Madonna Head Coach Don Shields, who retired in 2014.

Highlands travels to Conner (20-3) on Saturday. Game time is 3 p.m.

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