Knights can’t hold lead vs. preseason favorite Lions


Bradyn Willford defends against Spring Grove while Kingsland teammates Lucas Howard (12) and Reid Kruegel (5) help out. CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
By : 
CHAD SMITH
SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE

The Kingsland boys’ basketball team played a solid game against preseason Southeast Conference favorite Spring Grove on Monday, Dec 17, in Spring Valley, dropping a tight game against the Lions 62-59.

The Knights are 2-3 overall (2-2 in the Southeast Conference).

Potential tying shot hits rim twice

One of the things head coach John Fenske wanted to find early in the season was three consistent scorers to lead the offense. The Knights got the three double-figure scorers they were looking for during the matchup at home against Spring Grove. The challenge was the rest of the roster didn’t provide much help. The game was tight the entire way, with the Knights trailing Spring Grove at the half 34-31. Each team scored 28 points in the second half, with the Lions holding on for a conference win by that same three-point margin.

Wyatt Pruter continues to lead the team in scoring, tossing in 23 points and pulling down a team-high eight rebounds. Reid Kruegel had his best offensive performance of the young season by scoring 16 points (four of eight on three-pointers), dishing out a team-best five assists, and grabbing seven rebounds. Lucas Howard also had his best game to date by making six of eight shots to finish with 15 points (two rebounds, two steals).

Pruter had a late-game three-pointer hit the rim not once but twice, before falling away from the basket as time expired. It was a frustrating night for the Kingsland boys, who led 58-52 in the second half but could only add one more point over their final eight possessions.

The Knights hit 21 of their 55 shots (38 percent), doing most of their damage from outside the arc. The team hit 11 of their 35 shots from long range (33 points, 31 percent shooting) while making 10 of their 20 attempts on two-pointers (20 points, 50 percent shooting). They didn’t get a lot of extra chances at the free throw line, going six for eight.

The Lions also shot 38 percent from the field (22 for 58). All-SEC point guard Alex Folz led the Lions with a double-double of 21 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Ethan Matzke also had a double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds of his own. 

The Knights grabbed 26 rebounds against the Lions, seven on the offensive end, while the Lions grabbed 35 rebounds (10 offensive). Defensively, the Knights had five steals, six pass deflections, while turning the ball over themselves just 10 times.

Schedule

The Knights were on the road Tuesday, Dec. 18, for a non-conference game at Rushford-Peterson, coming up short to the Trojans 65-44. Kingsland was back home on Friday, Dec. 21, for the Knights’ final home game before Christmas, a conference matchup against Houston. Watch next week’s edition for details as there was an early deadline this week due to the holiday schedule. The Knights play at home against Southland on Thursday, Dec. 27, before another matchup the next night against Houston, this time on the road. 

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