Kingsland boys keep basketball win streak alive


Kingsland’s Reid Kruegel dribbles around a Fillmore Central defender. CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
By : 
CHAD SMITH
SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE

The Kingsland boys’ basketball team ran its winning streak to four after taking three straight last week.

The Knights beat Fillmore Central 54-46 on Monday, Feb. 11. They knocked off Schaeffer Academy at home on Friday night, Feb. 15, by a score of 70-37. The team made it four-straight wins at home on Saturday against Glenville-Emmons, beating the Wolverines 75-44.

The Kingsland boys are 13-10 overall (9-3 Southeast Conference) and in second place in the SEC East Division behind unbeaten Spring Grove.

Defense key vs. FC

The Kingsland boys kicked off an important stretch of games that features five of the last six on their home floor, with an eight-point win over non-conference foe Fillmore Central (0-23). The second-half defense would turn out to be a big key to the win. The Knights actually trailed by three points (29-26) at the half. Kingsland would take the second half by limiting the Falcons to 17 second-half points while adding another 28 of their own.

The pace of the game was likely slower-paced than normal as Kingsland only attempted a total of 44 shots, making 18 (40%). As has been the case a lot this season, the Knights actually scored more points from three-point range (24) than two-point territory (20). The Knights shot their highest percentage inside the arc, hitting 10 of 17 shots (58%). They also hit 10 of 16 free throws (62%).

Wyatt Pruter, Zach Hauser, and Reid Kruegel combined for 43 of the team’s 54 points. Pruter didn’t have his best shooting night but still led the team with 16 points (eight of 11 free throws), as well as team-highs in assists (six) and rebounds (five). Kruegel added 14 points and a team-best five steals. Hauser chipped in 13 points on five for nine shooting.

The team got 24 rebounds against the Falcons, eight on the offensive end.

Defensively, the Knights had nine steals, seven pass deflections (Pruter three, Kruegel three), and two blocked shots (Pruter, Brady Musel). The Knights took good care of the basketball, finishing with just 10 turnovers all game.

Strong start vs. Schaefer

The Knights ran their current winning streak to three after a big win in their only SEC matchup of the season against Schaeffer Academy (11-11). The first half was the difference in the game as the Knights raced out to a lead and never looked back, holding a 33-16 halftime lead. Kingsland also owned the second half, outscoring the Lions 37-21 to put the game away by 33 against rebuilding Schaeffer Academy. The 33 points represented the largest margin of victory this season for Kingsland.

The Knights hit half the shots they attempted, draining 22 of their 44 shots (50%). They scored 36 points on 12 three-point baskets to 20 points on 10 two-point shots. Kingsland might a red-hot 12 of 25 treys (48%) to jump out to a big lead and remain in control of the game. They also drained 14 of their 20 free throws (70%).

Pruter showed why he’s considered one of the top scorers and pure shooters in the Southeast Conference, leading all scorers with 30 points (4 of 8 on three-point shots), including eight of 12 free throws. He added a team-high seven rebounds as well as two steals. Freshman guard Walker Erdman joined Pruter in double figures with 11 points (3 of 5 on threes). Kruegel added eight points and four rebounds. Nic Sanger led Schaeffer Academy with 13 points.

Kingsland pulled down 29 missed shots in the game, nine on the offensive end. Rebounding was a team effort as eight of the players on the roster contributed at least two rebounds.

The Knights’ defense came up with four steals, four pass deflections, and three blocked shots (Hauser two). Kingsland took very good care of the ball against the Lions’ defense, committing just five turnovers all night.

Offense strong vs. G-E

The Knights had one of their best offensive performances of the season against Glenville-Emmons (0-18, 0-12 SEC) in a Saturday afternoon SEC game. The 75 points were the second-highest total of the season for Kingsland, just behind the 77 they scored against Chatfield during a win on Feb. 4.

The Knights took control of the game by halftime, holding a 15-point lead (35-20). Kingsland outscored the Wolverines 40-24 in the second half, winning the game by 31 points, their second-biggest margin of victory.

Four Kingsland players wound up in double figures on offense, and in a rare occurrence, Pruter wasn’t number one on the scoring list. Kruegel led the squad with 18 points on eight of 11 shooting (a phenomenal 72%), adding five assists, three rebounds, and three steals. Instead of leading the team in scoring, all Pruter did was come up with a triple-double. He scored 16 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and dished out 11 assists. Wernimont added 12 points and Erdman 10.

Kingsland hit 30 of 63 shots (47%). The Knights were dominant from two-point range, making 24 of 38 shots (63%). They went six of 25 from outside the arc and nine for 14 at the free throw line.

Pruter also made defensive contributions, leading the Knights with five of their 13 steals, four of their five total blocked shots, as well as four of their eight pass deflections.

Schedule

It’s down to the final week of the regular season with only three games to go, two of them at home. The Knights were set to begin the week at home with a non-conference game against United South Central on Monday, Feb. 18. Kingsland was scheduled to head to Houston on Tuesday night for the final road game of the regular season, which wraps up on Friday, Feb. 22, at home against Mabel-Canton.

 

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