Kingsland boys winding down season


CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE James Howard defends for the Knights in Friday’s game vs. Spring Grove.
By: 
Chad Smith

The Kingsland boys basketball team dropped three straight games last week and the Knights have only three more regular-season games left before the playoffs begin.

They started last week with a 55-33 loss at home against Blooming Prairie on Monday, Feb. 3. They played one of their better offensive games since early January at home against Houston the next night, but they couldn’t keep up with the potent Hurricanes and fell 84-65. They dropped a home game on Friday night against Spring Grove 69-40, losing their only matchup of the season against the Lions.

The team was 5-7 overall after a win over Glenville-Emmons on Jan. 7. Since then, the Kingsland boys have just one win in their last 11 games, falling to 6-17 (4-10 SEC) overall.

Lost to BP 55-33

The offense was hard to come by at home against the Blossoms, with the Knights putting up just 14 points in the first half and trailing by 12 (26-14) at the break. They couldn’t cut into the deficit in the second half when they were outscored by 10 points (29-19) while on the way to dropping the non-conference game by 22 points.

Two players finished in double figures. Walker Erdman led the Knights with 14 points while grabbing eight rebounds and blocking one shot. Luke Howard wound up with 10 points (4 of 8 shooting) and five rebounds.

The Knights struggled from the field, making 14 of 48 (29%) shots. They were 12 of 35 (34%) from two-point range, but just two for 13 outside the arc. Kingsland didn’t generate many opportunities at the free-throw line, making three of their five shots.

Brady Musel was the top Knight on the glass, grabbing 10 rebounds while scoring six points. The team pulled down 31 rebounds, 10 on the offensive end.

Defensively, the Knights deflected eight BP passes, stole the ball three times, and blocked four shots (Musel 2).

Lost to Houston 84-65

Averaging just 51 points a game during the season, the Knights played one of their best offensive games to date against the Hurricanes. Three players wound up in double figures to pace the Kingsland offense. The Knights shot well from two-point range and at the free-throw line but couldn’t keep up with the potent Hurricanes offense. The Knights trailed 47-30 going into halftime before making it much closer in the second half when Kingsland scored 35 points to 37 for Houston after the break.

Musel had one of his best games of the season, finishing with 22 points on eight of 12 shooting. He was also six of six at the free-throw line, grabbed three rebounds, and blocked two shots. Erdman was next with 18 points, along with four rebounds and one blocked shot. Zach Hauser added 10 points, five rebounds, and blocked two shots.

The Knights were 25 of 66 (37%) from the field and were especially tough inside the three-point line. They were 21 of 41 (51%) from two-point range. Free-throw shooting has been up-and-down at times this season, but the Knights made 11 of their 12 attempts against Houston.

The Knights grabbed a team total of just 21 rebounds on the night, including 10 on the offensive end. They also dished out a total of eight assists (Reed Merkel 2, Nathan Lund 2).

Defensively, the Knights had 10 steals (Luke Howard 3, Lund 3) and blocked five shots.

Lost to SG 69-40

A slow night on the offensive end of the court was the undoing for the Knights against Spring Grove. Kingsland put up only 19 points in the first half while being outscored by nine points (28-19). The Lions widened the distance in the second half by outscoring Kingsland 41-21 to win the game 69-40.

Musel was the only Knight in double figures with 14 points (6 of 12 shooting) and eight rebounds. William Jahn added six points and Erdman added five.

The Knights were once again under 30 percent from the field, hitting just 16 of 54 (29%) shots. They hit 11 field goals from two-point range and made five more baskets outside the three-point line. Once again, the Knights couldn’t generate many chances at the free-throw line, where they made three of four shots.

They grabbed a team total of 27 rebounds, 12 on the offensive end of the floor. Merkel pulled down five missed shots while Howard and Hauser each added three.

The Kingsland defense had just two steals and blocked a total of three shots.

Schedule

The Knights have three games left in the season, the first of which was a home game against Goodhue on Tuesday, Feb. 11. They host Grand Meadow on Friday, Feb. 14, looking for a season split with the Superlarks. The regular season ends on Monday, Feb. 17, against Lanesboro, where the Knights will look to avoid being swept by the Burros.