Kingsland girls remain undefeated in conference

By: 
Chad Smith

The Kingsland girls basketball team won its only game last week, a key Southeast Conference road win at Randolph on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 61-59.

The Knights overcame a slow start, a shorthanded bench, and a team that’s always tough on their home floor to get the win. The road game with Houston scheduled for Friday night was postponed and hasn’t been rescheduled yet. Kingsland is 10-7 overall and still unbeaten in the SEC at 7-0.

“It’s a tough place to play after a long drive,” said Kingsland coach Steve Hauser. “We were shorthanded as Emily Miner was sick and Shelby Beck is out, which meant we were two players short on the bench. Anika Reiland was also feeling ill but managed to battle through it and contribute to the win.

“We started slowly, down 11-1 and then 14-4 before we started to battle back and took the lead at halftime.”

The Knights had a one-point lead (28-27) at the break. The two teams took turns making scoring runs in the second half but each time, the opposition battled back. Kingsland won the second half scoring 33-32 to finish the two-point conference win.

“The second half was like watching two heavyweight boxers throw haymakers at each other,” Hauser said. “We had them down by seven or eight points in the second half, but they came roaring back to take the lead, but we never wavered at all. We finished the game with a nice run and had a five-point lead when Randolph hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.”

Ellie Buchholtz was on fire and determined to carry the load while the team was shorthanded. The junior scored a game-high 29 points and completed a double-double with 10 rebounds. She also added four assists, three steals, and one blocked shot.

“In my mind, Ellie wasn’t going to allow us to use a short bench as an excuse,” Hauser said. “She knew our bench was short, so she really stepped up her game.

“The other factor was we didn’t get flustered when we fell behind, whether it was early in the first half or later in the second half. When we were behind, every shot we were taking was a good shot. That’s all you can ask for as a coach. I knew they were going to fall at some point.”

Alyssa Link scored eight points for Kingsland, including a big three-pointer late in the game that helped seal the win. Merredith Farlinger added seven points and seven rebounds.

Meredith Taylor led three Rockets in double figures with 18 points, while Megan Erickson and Paige Ford each scored 14.

The Knights hit 23 of 61 shots  (37%), including five of 20 (25%) from beyond the three-point line. They also grabbed 35 rebounds, including 14 on the offensive end.

The defense finished with eight steals and seven blocked shots (Farlinger 5).

Schedule

The Kingsland girls were scheduled to go on the road to LeRoy-Ostrander on Tuesday, Jan. 21, to begin the week. The Knights will be looking for the season sweep after they beat L-O 67-29 on Dec. 10. They’ll face Lanesboro on Friday night for their second go-around with the Burros after winning the first matchup 60-28 in the season opener. Next week starts with a home game against Chatfield on Monday, Jan. 27, before they’re back on the road the following day at Rushford-Peterson.