By Josie Steen
The Bearcats boys basketball team started off the season this past week with games at Badger-Greenbush/Middle River and at Stephen-Argyle.
They finished this first week 1-1, losing a tough game against the BGMR Gators, but cleanly defeating the SAC Storm.
On Thursday, they played at Greenbush against the Gators.
The Bearcats fought hard throughout the game, overcoming large scoring gaps, but ended up losing the game 63-71.
The game started somewhat low-scoring, a close battle being fought between the two teams.
It quickly picked up pace several minutes into the game, each team balancing any points by the other. Several 3-point shots made by the Gators allowed them to take the lead, 35-27 at the end of the first half.
In the second half, BGMR started strong, stretching the lead to 13. The Bearcats began fighting their way back into the competition, putting the game within just 6 points.
The lead once again jumped to 15, but the Bearcats did not give up. Several fouls by the Gators allowed multiple Bearcats free throws.
With just over two minutes left, Whitlock scored 5 to bring the game back within 6 points. In the last minute, though, the Bearcats were forced to foul to earn possession, allowing BGMR to stretch the winning difference to 8 points. BGMR earned the win with the help of Kasen Swenson’s 16 points and Adam Benke’s 15 points.
Jarrett Kujava led the Bearcats with 29 points, with seniors Kaleb Whitlock and Mitchell Docken adding 15 and 11 as well. Chisum Schmiedeberg also scored 6 points, and Evan Austad added 2. Kujava led the team with 15 rebounds, but senior Tucker Nelson earned 8 rebounds as well as leading the team with 4 assists.
The Bearcats and Gators meet once again on Monday, Feb. 3, in Lancaster.
On Saturday, the Bearcats met another conference matchup in Stephen versus the Stephen-Argyle Central Storm.
The Bearcats played well throughout the game, earning a nearly 30-point win of 64-35.
The game began evenly, but just after the 10 minute mark of the first half, that changed. KCC could not be stopped, stretching the lead from 7 to 15 in just a few minutes. By halftime, the Bearcats led the Storm 34-18.
Once again the Bearcats came out strong, quickly stretching the lead to nearly 20. The Bearcats continued slowly increasing their lead, with the largest gap being 33 points.
Younger players were able to play during this game, giving essential varsity experience.
Stephen-Argyle held an even point spread in the loss, with Jason Lindgren, Colten Pagnac and Brandon Kroll each scoring 8 points.
Jarrett Kujava led the Bearcats in scoring with 36 points, including 8 3-pointers, also earning 10 rebounds.
Kaleb Whitlock scored 13, Mitchell Docken added 11 points and 8 rebounds, and Evan Austad contributed 4 points and 5 assists. Tucker Nelson also contributed, with 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
The Bearcats head into their season 1-1, hoping to continue on the upswing of this clean win versus the Storm.
This week the Bearcat boys played Roseau in Lancaster on Tuesday, Dec. 10 and will play East Grand Forks Sacred Heart in East Grand Forks on Friday, Dec. 13.
Good luck to the Bearcats throughout their season!
By Josie Steen