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DevilMayCare

Highlands vs. Ashland Predictions/Updates (Sweet 16® Semifinal)

KHSAA Sweet Sixteen  

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  1. 1. Who advances to the state finals?


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  • Poll closed on 04/03/2021 at 03:00 PM

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If the shooting prowess on display by the Bluebirds and Tomcats in the quarterfinals is any indication of what's in store for the semis, the KHSAA should ready itself to update the record books. The teams combined for 21 threes and have all the necessary tools to carry that over into the next round. Three of Highlands' sharpest tools include Luke Muller (seven 3s against McCracken), William Herald, and Zachary Barth, who've connected on 260 threes this season and shoot 49% from long range as a group. That doesn't even include Sam Vinson, who happens to be Highlands' (28-4) best player, averaging 22 points and 9 boards per game. 

Ashland (22-4) is no slouch in the perimeter shooting department themselves. The trio of Cole Villers, Ethan Sellars, and Colin Porter have combined for 168 made threes this season and collectively shoot 42%. Freshman Zander Carter is in the mix as well, after going 4 of 5 from behind the arc against GRC.

The Birds and Tomcats tipped off the season against one another on January 4th, resulting in an 84-75 Highlands win. Vinson went for 30 and 10, while Villers netted a game high 32. Highlands led throughout, but Ashland closed to within three late, before the Birds salted it away. Time to find out how far these two have come since then.  

Game time is set for 2pm.

 

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Yes, I realize I accidentally used the football bird. It's always football season in Fort Thomas anyway, right?

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1 hour ago, DevilMayCare said:

Yes, I realize I accidentally used the football bird. It's always football season in Fort Thomas anyway, right?

Any indication of the amount of physical play that you expect?

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It’s very hard to beat a GREAT team twice in one season. Ashland avenges the opening season loss today. 

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1 hour ago, Tomcats1990 said:

It’s very hard to beat a GREAT team twice in one season. Ashland avenges the opening season loss today. 

That game was a lifetime ago, 😆.

This stage of the tournament, with 2 evenly matched teams, give me the squad with the best player, and that would be Highlands and Sam Vinson.  Birds in a close one.

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6 hours ago, addout said:

Any indication of the amount of physical play that you expect?

If a football game breaks out, give me Ashland for no other reason than Hunter Gillum. 

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Not the first time Ashland and Highlands have met in the Sweet 16. Highlands rolled the Tomcats in the 1924 event, 36-11. Ashland couldn't do anything with Mr. Allphin - 25 points. Will the "dope bucket be upset again" this afternoon?

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19 minutes ago, gchs_uk9 said:

Not the first time Ashland and Highlands have met in the Sweet 16. Highlands rolled the Tomcats in the 1924 event, 36-11. Ashland couldn't do anything with Mr. Allphin - 25 points. Will the "dope bucket be upset again" this afternoon?

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There's a Listerman in the Highlands box score. Interesting. Thanks gc.

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At this point the biggest factor becomes leg strength and conditioning. Shooting can really be affected by leg strength and both teams can fire it up. This will be a battle of wills....if Ashland doubles down on Vinson can the other guys continue to come up big? Have a great game!!

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Any word on Ashland point guard Colin Porter's condition, and his game status? 

Right after he went down the announcers seemed to think that he had a cramp, and others thought that he had turned his ankle. 

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5 minutes ago, B-Ball-fan said:

Any word on Ashland point guard Colin Porter's condition, and his game status? 

Right after he went down the announcers seemed to think that he had a cramp, and others thought that he had turned his ankle. 

Porter playing hurt or not playing at all that would be a game changer. It would surely affect the game strategy of both teams offensively and defensively.

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4 minutes ago, addout said:

Porter playing hurt or not playing at all that would be a game changer. It would surely affect the game strategy of both teams offensively and defensively.

You're right about that....game changer for sure. I sure hope that he's alright and can play. He's helped tremendously to bring this team this far, and it would be a shame if he couldn't play. 

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I believe Porter is fine. He took a beating in that game but he's a gamer and the incident everyone is referring to was a cramp.

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The first game:

 

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