By Mark Johnson
KCC 53 – NB 31
The Bearcats headed north to Pembina last Tuesday for a cross-border contest with the North Border Eagles. KCC entered the game having won their last two contests and wanted to keep that trend going.
Early in the game the Bearcats took a quick 5-0 lead and it appeared they may run away with the game in the opening minutes of play. After the initial burst, however, it became a bit of a struggle for KCC. Despite creating opportunity after opportunity with their defensive play, the offense sputtered, and it seemed like a lid had been put on the basket for the Bearcats. It wasn’t until the second quarter of play that KCC started to get their shots to fall and the offense attacked the opponent from all areas of the floor. The second quarter burst by the Bearcats grabbed them a 23-13 lead at the end of the first half.
KCC continued to build that lead in the third quarter and held a 23-point lead late in the quarter. The Eagles rallied and scratched back to only trail by 14 points at the end of the third quarter. The final quarter of play favored the Bearcats and they were able to capture the 53-31 victory.
We were hot and cold during the course of the game. Our defensive effort was very good on the ball, but we fell asleep on the boards and gave North Border second shot opportunities. Offensively, we created a number of good looks but weren’t finishing very efficiently. Too often we chunked a shot or committed an untimely turnover. We didn’t play bad; we just didn’t play consistent.
Scoring leaders: Morgan Olson 17, Gracie Whitlock 12, Marlee Turn 8, Shelby Pankratz 7, McKenna Peterson and Mariah Olson 3 each, Jenna Davis 2 and Cheyanne Scalese 1.
Rebound leaders: Turn 8, Steen 5, Peterson and Whitlock 4 each.
Assist leaders: Turn and Pankratz 4.
KCC 28 – EGF 45
The Bearcats returned home Friday night to host the East Grand Forks Green Wave at Kittson Central. It is the first of two matchups between the two teams this season.
The Bearcats got off to a good start and pushed out to a 7-2 lead in the opening minutes of play, but much like the game before the offense sputtered and it became a struggle to get the ball to go in the basket. The two teams battled in the first half and played to just about a stalemate. The Green Wave held on to a slim 2-point lead at the end of the first half.
The second half became a real struggle offensively for the Bearcats. KCC was only able to score 9 total points. Defensively, the Bearcats played well enough on the ball to make it tough on their opponent to score, but it was rebounding that once again bit the Bearcats. EGF had too many extended offensive opportunities and converted enough to pull away from KCC and hand the Bearcats the 45-28 defeat.
We were not aggressive enough against their extended 2-3 zone defense. We did a good job of handling their full court pressure, but once we got into the half court set, we played around the defense the majority of the time. They gave us the middle of the floor and we didn’t take advantage of it. We worked hard and scrapped on the defensive side of the ball, but we never got comfortable on offense. We shot 22 percent from the field for the game. When that happens, it makes it tough to come out on the right end of the win. Generally, when we hold a team to 45 points we will usually be on the winning side of that contest.
Scoring leaders: Gracie Whitlock 10, Morgan Olson 5, Josie Steen 4, Marlee Turn and Shelby Pankratz 3 each, Cheyanne Scalese 2, Mariah Olson 1.
Rebound leaders: Olson and Peterson 6 each, Turn 5, Whitlock and Pankratz 4 each.
Assist leaders: Turn 2,
By Mark Johnson