Kingsland girls show resilience in tight win


CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Anika Reiland lays the ball up for two points in Kingsland’s game against Randolph.
By: 
Chad Smith

The Kingsland girls basketball team won its only game of the week, a 68-67 win over Randolph in Spring Valley on Friday, Dec. 6. The game was back-and-forth the entire way as the Knights battled through foul trouble, injuries, and a furious second-half rally by Randolph to come away with the win.

Kingsland is 2-1 on the season (1-0 Southeast Conference).

Knights coach Steve Hauser was quick to say a big SEC win like this takes a complete team effort. Every girl that stepped out on the floor made some kind of contribution.

“We were up one at halftime,” Hauser recalled. “We went up by 10 or 12 points in the second half before Randolph came roaring back to eventually take a lead on us. It went back-and-forth to the end and we were fortunate to pull it out.

“We had to have some girls step up, especially after Shelby Beck went out with a shoulder injury. She hurt it going up for a rebound when she and another girl grabbed the ball at the same time.”

As if that wasn’t bad enough, returning starter Ellie Buchholtz picked up two quick fouls in the game and didn’t play more than six minutes in the first half. As if that wasn’t enough, Merredith Farlinger fouled out late in the game, too.

Despite the early foul trouble, Buchholtz led the team in scoring with 13 points but had plenty of help. Three other girls finished in double figures, including Audrey Webster (12 points), Farlinger (11), and Emily Miner (10).

Miner completed a double-double with an impressive 16 rebounds (8 offensive) in the game, keying a good night on the boards for Kingsland. The team finished with an impressive 52 rebounds, including 26 on the offensive end, which gave the Knights several second-chance scoring opportunities off missed shots.

“The girls just didn’t panic when Randolph made their second-half run, which is good when you remember we have an inexperienced team,” Hauser said. “They got to the free-throw line, they got the ball inside, and gave us some second chances by grabbing some big rebounds. We didn’t shoot a great percentage but did enough in the second half to get a nice win.

“Emily Miner did a great job filling in for Merredith (Farlinger). Alexys Harwood (3 points, 6 rebounds) played her first extended varsity minutes and did a nice job. We are a young team but we’re learning at a faster pace than I expected.”

The team wanted to play at a faster pace this season and did so against Randolph, putting up an impressive 76 shots against the Rockets D. The Knights made 24 shots (32 percent), including just two three-point baskets.

“We’re going to be working on our passing this week,” Hauser said. “We had a few opportunities go off our fingertips as we’re still getting used to playing together. We’ll work on a lot of the little things.”

Defensively, the Kingsland girls came up with 11 steals, led by three each from Alyssa Link and Anika  Reiland. They added six blocked shots, four coming from Farlinger.

Schedule

The Kingsland girls have a busy week ahead, which was to start at home on Tuesday, Dec. 10, against LeRoy-Ostrander. They’ll stay in Spring Valley to play a tough Grand Meadow team on Thursday, Dec. 12, and then end the week at the Iowa-Minnesota Border Battle against Elkader in Decorah on Saturday, Dec. 14. The Knights are back in conference play the following Tuesday, Dec. 17, at Lyle/Pacelli.