Kingsland boys drop two as regular season nears end

CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Seniors are honored during Senior Night at Kingsland. From left, are Zachary Hauser, Nathan Lund, Brady Musel, Lucas Howard, Reed Merkel and managers Kaysie Vreeman and Erin Gossman.
Chad Smith

The Kingsland boys basketball team lost two games last week, dropping its fourth- and fifth-straight games at home.

The Knights started with a rough non-conference game against Goodhue on Tuesday, Feb. 11, falling to the Wildcats 60-27. They played a much more competitive game in Southeast Conference play on Friday, Feb. 14, but lost to Grand Meadow 68-53.

The team is 6-19 overall (4-11 SEC). The regular season was scheduled to come to an end on Monday, Feb. 17, weather permitting, with a home game against Lanesboro. Watch for stats from that game and playoff information here next week in the Tribune.

Loss to Goodhue 60-27

The Knights were in for a tough game with the Wildcats, out of the always-tough Hiawatha Conference. Goodhue came into the game with 18 wins and just four losses in the season and the Wildcats flexed their muscle at both ends of the floor.

Points were hard to come by against the Goodhue defense. The Knights could only come up with 15 points in the first half while Goodhue more than doubled that at 34. The second half was equally tilted in favor of Goodhue, which doubled up the Kingsland point production 25-12.

Reed Merkel was the only Knight to crack double figures, finishing with 10 points (4 of 8 shooting) and a team-high six rebounds, Walker Erdman added seven points, while Zach Hauser scored five.  

The team hit just 10 of its 43 (27%) from the field. The Knights were especially cold from outside the arc, making only three of 19 tries from outside the perimeter. It didn’t go much better at the free-throw line, where Kingsland was just four of 10.

The Knights pulled down just 18 rebounds, seven on the offensive end.

Luke Howard led the squad with three of its 11 steals, while Brady Musel wound up with four of the team’s seven blocked shots.

Loss to GM 68-53

The Knights dropped the season series against Grand Meadow, which beat Kingsland 61-43 back in early December. The Kingsland boys shot the ball much better in the second go-around, making 22 of 53 (41%) shots in the game, greatly improving from the Tuesday night loss to Goodhue.

The Knights were especially solid from two-point range, making 15 of 31 (48%) tries. They were also solid outside the arc, hitting seven of 22 (solid 31%) from long range. There weren’t a lot of opportunities to add to their total at the free-throw line, where the Knights were just two of four.

Musel had one of his best games of the season, leading the team with a double-double of 22 points (10 of 18 shooting) and 10 rebounds. Merkel also hit double figures with 11 points (5 of 8 shooting). Three players (Hauser, Nate Lund, and Luke Howard) each finished the game with six points. Lund led the team with four of its 11 assists.

The Knights pulled down 22 rebounds, including nine of their own missed shots on the offensive end of the court. Howard contributed seven rebounds but no one else had more than two.

Defensively, the team blocked three shots and came up with just two steals.