Kingsland girls busy last week with four games

CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Alyssa Link brings the ball down the court for the Knights vs. Lewiston-Altura.
Chad Smith

The Kingsland girls basketball team had an extremely busy and challenging week with four games.

The Knights beat Lewiston-Altura 75-52 on Monday, Jan. 6. They were on the road the next night in St. Charles and came out of there with a 54-50 win. They had a tough trip to Kenyon-Wanamingo on Friday, Jan. 10, and lost 63-50. They finished the week with tired legs in a 57-28 home loss to Hayfield on Saturday night.

The Kingsland girls are 9-7 overall and still unbeaten in the Southeast Conference (6-0.)

Beat L-A 75-52

The Kingsland girls made it two wins in a row on their home floor thanks to their 23-point victory. The Knights put together a solid first half of offense and headed into the halftime break up by 12 points (39-27). Kingsland outscored the Cardinals by 11 points (36-25) while cruising to a non-conference win.

Three Kingsland girls carried the load offensively, combining for 57 of the team’s 75 points. Ellie Buchholtz led all scorers with 26 points (7 of 7 free throws) while adding four rebounds, three assists, and a blocked shot. Sam Wernimont added 19 points (5 of 12 three-pointers) and Emily Miner had a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The Knights hit 26 of their 68 shots (38%). They hit a solid 30 percent (7 of 24) from three-point range. The team was also very sharp at the free-throw line, draining 16 of 22 attempts (73%). Kingsland outscored L-A at the line 16-4 as the Cardinals made only four of their nine tries.

The offense was in sync all night, with Kingsland’s team total of assists at 21 for the game. The Knights’ backcourt combined for 11 of their 21 assists. Anika Reiland was the top helper with six assists and Alyssa Link added five.

Kingsland was solid on the glass, grabbing 45 combined rebounds, including nine on the offensive end. Meredith Farlinger contributed eight boards of her own and Reiland chipped in six.

The squad combined for 11 steals defensively, including three apiece from Audrey Webster and Reiland.

Beat St. Charles 54-50

The Knights won their third game in a row and had to go on the road to St. Charles to do it, typically a tough place to play. The game was a tale of two halves. The first half was a low-scoring affair for both teams as neither could find the range consistently. Kingsland was up 18-15 at the break. Both squads picked up the offensive pace in the second half, which Kingsland won by a point (36-35) on the way to a hard-fought non-conference win.

Two players combined for 30 of the Knights’ 54 points. Farlinger was back in double-double territory with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Buchholtz also scored 15 points and tied Reiland for the team-lead with five assists.

Emilee Buringa led St. Charles with 14 points.

Free-throw shooting was likely the biggest difference-maker in the game’s outcome. The Knights hit 12 of 16 (75%) and held an eight-point edge. St. Charles had a lot of chances to change the outcome on their home floor but only made four of their 16 free throws.

The Knights made 20 of 54 shots (37%). They were most effective closer to the basket, hitting 15 of 33 shots (45%) from two-point range. Farlinger led the way down low, making seven of her nine shot attempts (77%). They were five for 21 (24%) from three-point range.

Kingsland grabbed a total of 35 rebounds, 14 on the offensive end. Link pulled down six boards and Buchholtz added five.

The Knights’ defense came up with 13 steals, led by three from Webster. The team also blocked eight shots (Farlinger 3, Miner 3).

Lose to K-W 63-50

The third game in four days for Kingsland was another non-conference matchup, this time at Class AA Kenyon-Wanamingo of the Hiawatha Valley League. A slow first half on the offensive end of the floor was the difference in the ballgame. The Knights only came up with 21 points in the first half while K-W put 34 up on the scoreboard at the break. Each team scored 29 points after halftime and Kingsland wasn’t able to cut into that double-digit halftime lead.

The Knights only made seven field goals in the first half but put in another 12 after halftime. For the game, Kingsland made 19 of their 60 shots (32%), which usually won’t get the job done against a Class AA team like K-W. Kingsland did make six three-pointers in 24 attempts (25%). K-W made 10 three-pointers, outscoring Kingsland 30-18 outside the arc.

Buchholtz led the Knights with 20 points. Wernimont nailed three treys on her way to 11 points, while Alexys Harwood added nine points. Riley Dummer of Kenyon-Wanamingo led all scorers with 24 points, while Julianna Boyum added another 20.

The Knights grabbed 32 rebounds, with 13 on the offensive end. Farlinger once again led the Knights with nine rebounds while Buchholtz added six. The team put together 14 assists, with Reiland leading the team at five dimes.

The defense only came up with seven steals (Buchholtz 4) and blocked eight shots (Farlinger 3).

Lose to Hayfield 57-28

The Kingsland girls finished up a four-game grind with a home game on Saturday against Hayfield (Gopher Conference), falling 57-28 in their fourth game in six days. The Knights’ legs were likely tired as they generated fewer shots in the game than typical while not enough went through the hoop. They trailed the Vikings by 11 points (27-16) at the half and were outscored 30-12 after halftime, falling by 29 to the Vikings.

The Knights made just five field goals in each half, going 10 for 47 (21%) in the game, including just three of 16 (19%). Their best shooting effort was at the free-throw line, making just five of seven shots.

Buchholtz was the only Knight in double-figures but was well below her season average with 14 points. Miner was the next-highest scorer with only four points. Senior forward Taylor Burt led the Vikings with 13 points and senior guard Celia Carney added 12.

The other stat that proves the legs were tired is rebounding. Kingsland wound up with just 24 rebounds, seven of which were on the offensive end. Miner had eight clears and Reiland added seven.

“You didn’t notice the grind the first couple of games,” Hauser said. “But you definitely notice it later in the week. Bodies get tired and the mind isn’t as sharp, either. The mind tells the body what you need to do, and it just doesn’t want to do it.

“Take nothing away from Hayfield,” he added. “They’re quick, fast, and experienced. Plus, they only played two games last week, so they were ready to go.”


The Kingsland girls are back to a more typical schedule this week, beginning with a road game at Randolph, always a tough place to play, on Tuesday, Jan. 14. The Knights are looking for a regular-season sweep of Randolph after just getting by the Rockets 68-67 on Dec. 6. They head to Houston on Friday, Jan. 17, and then kick off next week on the road to LeRoy-Ostrander on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Kingsland beat LeRoy-Ostrander earlier this season, 67-29, on Dec. 10.