Girls continue compressed schedule due to winter weather


Emily Miner drives through St. Charles defenders to get a basket for Kingsland. CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
By : 
CHAD SMITH
SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE

The Kingsland girls’ basketball team won one of the three games played last week, losing a fourth to winter weather.

The Knights lost at Chatfield 66-54 on Monday night, Feb. 4. They beat Lanesboro on Friday,  Feb. 8, sweeping the season series with a 57-54 win. The team wrapped the week with a hard-fought loss at St. Charles, 62-60, on Saturday, Feb. 9. The girls are 12-9 (7-3 Southeast Conference) overall with four games left in the regular season.

Chatfield’s size wears Knights down

The Knights started a busy week with a road trip to Chatfield on Monday night. The Kingsland girls played a good first half of basketball but wore down in the second half, thanks in part to some skilled players in the Gophers’ frontcourt. Knights’ coach Steve Hauser said the team was only down by three points (29-26) at the half.

“They came out in the second half and forced their will on us,” Hauser said. “They had a lot more size inside than we did. They had bigger bodies that rebounded hard and really took us out of our game. We weren’t able to get a lot of our own second chances that night.

“They also got to the free throw line a lot that night, which really hurt us,” he added. “That much size inside wore us down in the second half. We keep preaching to the girls that they need to box out and get rebounds, but the ball just wasn’t bouncing right for us.”

The Knights had the Gopher lead down to six and eight points in the second half, but Hauser said they just ran out of gas.

Lauren Buchholtz led the Knights with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds (four assists, one steal). Ellie Buchholtz added 12 points, four assists, and a team-high of six steals. Nora Jahn added eight points, and Audrey Webster seven. Alanna Goetzinger was the top Chatfield scorer with 15 points, while Tessa McMahon added 14.

The Knights hit 21 of their 63 shots (33%), struggling from the outside at only two for 16 beyond the arc. Kingsland also hit just 10 of their 19 free throw opportunities.

Kingsland struggled on the glass, getting just 29 rebounds, 11 on the offensive end.

Defensively, the Knights finished with nine steals and six blocked shots (Meredith Farlinger, three).

Sweep Lanesboro in squeaker

The Knights returned to Spring Valley for their second matchup against Lanesboro, looking to sweep the Burros after a 65-39 win in late December. The second game was much closer than the first, with Kingsland squeaking out a three-point win and the season sweep. Hauser said just because the Knights beat a team once doesn’t mean it’ll be easy the second time.

“We’ve said it from the beginning of the season that SEC games are the most important ones,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re on the road or at home, it’s usually going to be a tough game. To Lanesboro’s credit, they played well. We were down one at halftime.

“We made some adjustments at halftime and got back to work,” Hauser said. “We had three scorers and we’ve said from day one that we need to find that third double-figure scorer every game. It’s was Sam (Wernimont) this time that added 14 points, including four three-point shots that were vital to us.”

Ellie Buchholtz carried the offensive load, leading the team with 19 points. She was a sparkplug in the first half, scoring 17 of the team’s 30 points in the first half. Ellie added seven rebounds, four assists, and tied for the team lead with five steals. Lauren Buchholtz added 14 points and seven rebounds. Payton Benson led the Burros with ten points.

The Knights hit 21 of their 69 shots (31%), including eight three-pointers. They also made seven of their 11 free throws.

They grabbed 35 rebounds, 15 on the offensive end. Shelby Beck pulled down seven rebounds and Megan Schultz added six. With the basketball, they had 18 assists.

Defensively, the girls had 10 steals (Lauren Buchholtz, five) and Farlinger had all three of the team’s blocked shots.

Saints edge Knights

The Knights finished a busy week with a Saturday afternoon home game against St. Charles in non-conference basketball. The first half belonged to the Knights, who led 32-27 at the half. St. Charles took the second half by seven points (35-28) and the game by just two points. Hauser called it a “heck of a game” despite the loss.

“I probably made one of my bigger mistakes of the year,” he said. “Lauren (Buchholtz) had three fouls late in the first half. She sat out the last six minutes of the first half before we got the ball back one last time. I subbed her back in for one more good chance at a basket. We missed the shot and Lauren was called for her fourth foul.

“They came out on fire and started the second half with a couple of three-pointers,” he recalled. “I figured we had to put her back in to stabilize things and sure enough, she got called for her fifth foul the second time down the floor. Here we were with 14 minutes left in the game without the top scorer and rebounder on the team.”

Other players stepped up to fill in the gap offensively. Wernimont continued to show an improved offensive game, leading the team with 22 points. She hit seven field goals, six outside the three-point line. Ellie Buchholtz scored 17 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and led the team with seven assists. Lauren Buchholtz finished with 10 points before fouling out early in the second half.

The game probably turned at the free throw line, where Kingsland hit just nine of 16 at the stripe. St. Charles didn’t shoot well at the line either, but they did outscore the Knights by five points, hitting 14 of 31 attempts

The Knights grabbed 36 rebounds (15 offensive). They also added another 17 assists (Shelby Beck, three). Defensively, the Knights had two steals and one blocked shot.

Schedule

The Kingsland girls are down to their final four games of the regular season, with playoff seedings due on Saturday. The week was to begin on Monday, Feb. 11, with a rescheduled game at Randolph. Weather permitting, the Knights head to Fillmore Central on Tuesday, Feb. 12, for their last non-conference game of the season. Kingsland plays a big rescheduled game on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at home against Houston, the team the Knights are chasing for the top spot in the SEC East Division. The regular season ends with a second go-around at home against Spring Grove, with the Knights looking to sweep the season series. 

 

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