By Mark Johnson
KCC 63 – Warroad 27
KCC hosted two games last week against North Border Conference opponents. The first of the two games was played in Lancaster against the Warroad Warriors. It was a rescheduled game from earlier in the month and the first matchup of the two teams this year.
The opening minutes of the game were a bit of a back and forth exchange of baskets and turnovers. It didn’t take long for the Bearcats to find a rhythm and start to take control of the contest. KCC dumped in 39 first-half points while limiting the Warriors to 19 and held a comfortable 20-point lead at the break.
The Bearcats continued to be the aggressor in the second half. The offensive production waned to a degree, but the defense picked up some of the slack. KCC held Warroad to 8 points in the final half and coasted to the 63-27 win.
Scoring leaders: Morgan Olson 15, Josie Steen 11, Marlee Turn, Shelby Pankratz and McKenna Peterson 6 a piece; Jenna Davis and Gracie Whitlock 4 each, Cheyanne Scalese and Mariah Olson 3 each, Emma Sjostrand and Rachel Schmiedeberg 2, Courtney Fredrickson 1.
Rebound leaders: Turn 6, Pankratz, Peterson and Davis 4 a piece.
Assist leaders: Turn 6, Morgan Olson 5, Davis 4.
KCC 52 – N. Freeze 60
The Bearcats stayed at home last Friday, this time at Kittson Central. The Northern Freeze made the short road trip to face the Bearcats for the second time this season. The Freeze took the first matchup in mid-January in a game that was lopsided early but had KCC make a furious comeback late in the game to only fall short in the final minutes.
The Bearcats and Freeze battled for a large portion of the first half and looked as if they would be in a see-saw battle for the rest of the night. KCC’s offense went cold and the Freeze capitalized and went on a 21-8 run to finish the first half and hold a 35-23 halftime lead.
The second half continued to be a struggle for the Bearcats. The Freeze at one point held a 19-point advantage at 43-24. The Bearcats turned to full court pressure and started to chip away at the lead. Eventually the Bearcats made up the entire lead and took a 52-51 lead, but the final 1:30 of the game was not kind to KCC. The Bearcats were not able to get the ball through the hoop again and fell to the Freeze 60-52.
There are things we can point to that we didn’t do well and led to us coming up short, but for those who got a chance to watch the game they got a glimpse at the lack of quit and the relentlessness of this team. We will never be out of a game because of that characteristic.
Scoring leaders: Morgan Olson 17, Scalese 13, Whitlock 5, Pankratz and Turn 4 each, Steen 3, Davis, Peterson and Mariah Olson 2 each.
Rebound leaders: Turn 9, Morgan Olson 7
Assist leaders: Turn 6, Whitlock and Davis 4 each.