Highlands boys basketball suffers first losses of the season in Christmas break tournaments


Will Todd

Senior Seth Ryan blows by his defender in an attempt to get to the basket.

Over Christmas break, the Highlands boys varsity basketball team played in two tournaments in Mason County and South Oldham.

For the first tournament in Mason County, the team had to make the trip without one of their two senior leaders and leading scorer Will Herald, as he was out with the flu. The birds lost the first game against the Henry Clay Blue Devils by a score of 69-60 after facing a 21-9 deficit in the first quarter.

Although it was a tough pill to swallow, the team was able to quickly bounce back and beat both Augusta and Fleming County by over 25 points, and take home fifth place overall.

Herald noted that losing players and getting other players back for certain games throughout the tournaments contributed to the inconsistent play from the team.

“Having players come back and losing players for certain games definitely made us struggle, but we have room for improvement and we can still play better.”

In the second tournament over the break, the birds didn’t do as well, going 1-2 and taking 7th place after losing to Mccracken County and Seneca.

Junior Brayden Moeves stated that Head coach Kevin Listerman has been stressing defense and rebounding most in practice after their struggles in South Oldham.

“We’ve been going over a lot of defense, rebounding, and boxing out. He’s come up with some close-out and scramble drills to help us get better.”

Even though the team suffered their first losses of the year over the break, they must shift focus quickly with some important region and district games coming up this week.

Junior Nathan Vinson noted that watching film and going over the scouting report will be key in preparation this week. 

“These are the games that really matter since they’re in region, so we’re gonna really focus on these games, study the scouting report, watching film, you know we gotta learn everything about these teams and know them better than they know themselves.”

Herald also pointed out that these games will affect the team’s seeding come tournament time as well, adding even more importance to them.

“We got some big district games this week so we need to perform well in these games so we can get high seeding in the district tournament.”

The Birds will tip off their first game this week at Holy Cross at 7:30 PM Wednesday. With these games holding so much value within the region and district, it is important that the Ozone shows out this week and supports the team!