By Mark Johnson
KCC 55 – SH 57
The Bearcats were a model of consistency last week. KCC played three games and in all three games scored exactly 55 points in each contest. The question that needed to be answered in each game was how many points would their opponents be able to tally.
The first matchup of the week had the Bearcats traveling to East Grand Forks to square off against the Sacred Heart Eagles. The two teams have in recent history played some tight games with the difference between winning and losing boiling down to single possessions. It was no different on Monday, Feb. 10 in Grand Forks. KCC got off to a fast start and jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game. Sacred Heart hung tough and reeled the Bearcats in and took a late first-half lead at 27-22.
KCC responded in the second half and regained their advantage and built a 7-point lead by clamping down on defense and pushing the ball up the court on offense. The Eagles had one more answer in them and once again reeled the Bearcats in and took the lead late in the game. KCC wasn’t done, however. The Bearcats tied the game at 55-55 but fell victim to a pair of free throws that finalized the win for the Eagles at 57-55.
Scoring leaders: Gracie Whitlock 14, McKenna Peterson 12, Morgan Olson 9, Josie Steen 7, Shelby Pankratz 6, Marlee Turn 5, Cheyanne Scalese 2
Rebound leaders: Turn 10, Pankratz 7, Whitlock 6
Assist leaders: Turn 12, Morgan Olson 7
KCC 55 –FB 45
The 55 points the Bearcats scored in game one of the week fell a bit short against the Eagles, but it turned out to be more than enough to handle a different bird of prey in the Falcons. KCC hosted the Fertile-Beltrami Falcons Friday, Feb. 14 in an entertaining and competitive game.
The Bearcats struggled a bit in the first half against the Falcons. The KCC offense kept creating scoring chances but the conversion rate left something to be desired. On the other end of the floor, the Falcons hit five 3-point shots in the first half to account for 15 of their 30 first-half points. KCC stayed within striking distance though, and finished the first half trailing Fertile-Beltrami 24-30.
The Bearcats changed defensive tactics in the second half and turned to full court and man-to-man defensive pressure that started to turn the momentum in favor of the home team. The defensive effort held the Falcons to 15 second-half points and allowed the KCC offense to settle into a rhythm and start to capitalize on their scoring chances. The Bearcats dumped in 31 second-half points and pulled away to capture the 55-45 win.
Scoring leaders: Josie Steen 17, Shelby Pankratz 10, Marlee Turn 7, Morgan Olson and Mariah Olson 6 each, Gracie Whitlock and Cheyanne Scalese 3 each, McKenna Peterson and Jenna Davis 2 each
Rebound leaders: Turn 9, Pankratz 6, Whitlock andPeterson 5 each
Assist leaders: Pankratz 5, Turn, Morgan Olson and Whitlock 3 a piece
KCC 55 – Roseau 76
The opponent on Saturday, Feb. 15 for the Bearcats was the Roseau Rams. KCC played a double header in Roseau with the boys playing the Rams in the last game of the night. The 55 points the Bearcats scored once again was not going to be enough against the Rams, unless the Rams helped the cause by clanking shots and committing turnovers.
The Rams were not willing to help the Bearcats and got off to a quick start. Roseau quickly pulled out to a double-digit lead and then really maintained that lead for the remainder of the game.
In the first half, KCC’s transition defense was not able to keep the fast break style of the Rams in check and it led to a number of easy baskets for the Rams. When the Bearcats were able to force the Rams to set up in their half-court offense the results favored KCC. Nevertheless, the Rams built a 44-23 halftime lead and put the Bearcats in an unfavorable position. KCC found a way to hang tight in the second half and at one point midway through the half had trimmed the Ram lead to 13 points. It was as close as KCC would get, however. The Rams went on to win the game 76-55.
Scoring leaders: Morgan Olson 13, Shelby Pankratz and Marlee Turn 8 each, McKenna Peterson 7, Cheyanne Scalese 6, Josie Steen 5, Gracie Whitlock, Jenna Davis, Courtney Fredrickson and Mariah Olson all scored 2
Rebound leaders: Pankratz 6, Morgan Olson, Turn and Steen 4 a piece
Assist leaders: Davis 8, Turn 5, Pankratz 4
By Mark Johnson