Story Matters

Story Matters

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Highlands Advances in 36th District Semifinals

Bluebirds Ready for District Championship Thursday

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior Emma Riccobene (left) goes up for a score in a recent game while Piper Macke (1) watches in a recent game.
The Highlands Bluebirds needed to go 1-0 to start the postseason and hit a significant win total.

Highlands defeated the Bellevue Tigers, 83-39 to move to 20-10 on the season and move on to the 36th District championship game Thursday against the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (20-11) at Newport. The Bluebirds hit the 20-win mark in the season for the eighth straight season. Bellevue's season ended at 12-16.

Highlands also advanced to the 9th Region Tournament for the 10th straight season with the victory. The Bluebirds have only missed the region tournament once since Jaime Walz-Richey became head coach in 2002. That came in 2010 during the district's blind draw days.

"We talked about that before the game on how the focus was on Bellevue," Richey said. "That's the team that's between us and going to the district finals again."

The Bluebirds saw 11 different players score. Senior guard Piper Macke made five three-pointers on her way to 23 points. Senior forward Meghan Walz added 13.

The reserves received some postseason action in the second half. This included sophomore forward KJ Toole.

"It was an elimination game, but J-Rich and the coaches had our focus on winning (Tuesday)," Toole said. "When I got in, I was just ready to go. Our teammates had set us up for previous success so I got to go in and play nice and loose."

Highlands takes on the Thoroughbreds for the fourth straight season in the district championship Thursday. NewCath rallied to beat Highlands, 50-47 on Jan. 28 on the Hill for the first loss to a district opponent for the Bluebirds since 2014.

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