Kingsland boys have even week to keep record even


Kingsland’s Brady Musel battles with Chatfield’s Josef Fahrenholtz. CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
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CHAD SMITH
SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE

The Kingsland boys’ basketball team split the two games they played last week on each side of a winter storm that postponed one game.

They started off with a non-conference loss at home against Chatfield, struggling against the size of the Gophers’ frontcourt, falling 77-69 on Monday, Feb. 4. Winter weather hit the next night, postponing a road game at Houston to Feb. 19. The Knights played their last Saturday game of the regular season against LeRoy-Ostrander, which was rescheduled from Jan. 29. Kingsland won the game 73-52 in their only matchup of the season against the Cardinals. The Knights are 10-10 (7-3 Southeast Conference) with six games left in the regular season.

Tough matchup vs. Chatfield

The Knights ran into a tough matchup at home against the Gophers, a team the Knights had a hard time matching up with. The second half would turn out to be the difference in the game. Kingsland led by a bucket (38-36) at halftime. However, the size of the Gopher front line took over, with Chatfield outscoring the Knights by 10 points (41-31) in the second half. Kingsland coach John Fenske said Chatfield has a tough team this season.

“We couldn’t handle their size,” he said. “They have a 6-foot-7 kid on the inside that kind of dominated us, especially in getting offensive rebounds. For a kid that big, he moved pretty well too.

“We went right at Chatfield all night. We were up by double-digits at one point in the first half. They didn’t take their first lead until there were around eight minutes to go in the game. We had to foul at the end, which allowed them to pull away, but it was a good game.”

Wyatt Pruter continued to lead the offense, draining a game-high 35 points while getting four rebounds, four steals, and two pass deflections. Reid Kruegel added 12 points and a team-high five rebounds. Zach Hauser chipped in nine points.

The Knights drained 26 of their 61 shots (42%). Despite giving up size to the Gophers near the basket, Kingsland hit 15 of 28 (53%) from two-point range. They didn’t get a lot of opportunities at the free throw line, hitting six of their seven attempts.

The team finished with 19 rebounds, only six on the offensive end. They did finish with 11 steals (Kruegel, five), eight pass deflections (Kruegel, four), and only 11 turnovers of their own.

Offense soars vs. L-O

The Knights hit the road to play their final Saturday game of the regular season at LeRoy-Ostrander. It’s the only time the Knights face the Cardinals in the regular season and the offense was ready to go in the 21-point win. Kingsland led by eight points (33-25) at the half and then outscored the Cardinals by 13 points (40-27) in the second half. Fenske said this was the kind of team effort that they’re looking for to win games down the stretch.

“That was a great effort,” he said. “We had three guys in double figures and others that helped out a lot. Everybody threw in a little bit and that’s the secret for us. If we can get the whole group throwing in together, instead of just one guy having 25 or 30 points, that makes things so much easier.”

Pruter, the team’s top scorer, is one of the better shooters in the Southeast Conference. But, Fenske said he can’t do it himself. “Kruegel does a nice job taking some pressure off him, and if we can get a third guy to throw in double digits every night, that really helps,” Fenske added. “That makes it tough for other teams to stop us. In every one of our big wins, we’ve had that third guy in double figures.”

This was an unusual game for the Knights, in that Pruter wasn’t the top scorer. Zach Hauser had his most complete game of the year, tossing in 24 points on eight of 12 shooting, (five of seven on three-pointers), while grabbing five rebounds. Pruter was next with 15 points, four rebounds, along with team-highs of four blocked shots and two steals. Freshman guard Walker Erdman added 12 points and four rebounds.

The Knights scored as many points from three-point range (30 points, 10 for 31 shooting) as they did inside the arc (30 points, 15 of 27 shooting). Overall, the Knights drained 25 of 58 shots (43%). The team hit 13 of its 19 free throw attempts.

Kingsland did a better job on the boards, grabbing a total of 32 rebounds (12 offensive). Kruegel, who’s been a workhorse on the boards this season, led the team with 10 rebounds.

The team had four steals, three pass deflections, and just 11 turnovers against the Cardinals.

“We still need to get more physical over the last six games of the season,” Fenske said. “When you get to the playoffs, it seems like the referees tend to let things go a little more. You get hit a little more, so you have to be able to deal with that. I think we’re on the right track. Five of the next six games are at home and that’s a nice thing.”

Schedule

The Knights have three games on the schedule this week and all are in Spring Valley. The week started on Monday with a home game against Fillmore Central. The next night was supposed to be a conference game scheduled against Glenville-Emmons. The Knights host Schaeffer Academy on Friday night, Feb. 15. The following week starts with a home against United South Central on Monday, Feb. 18. They’ll play their final road game of the regular season at Houston on Tuesday, Feb. 19. 

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