By Mark Johnson, coach
KCC 32 – WAO 48
Kittson County Central hosted the Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Ponies Monday, Feb. 1 at the Kittson Central site in Hallock. It was the second time the two teams faced each other in a week with the first contest going to the Ponies 64-50.
The first half of the game was a competitive battle in which the Bearcats’ biggest lead was 4 points while the Ponies’ largest margin climbed to 6 for a brief moment. KCC trimmed the lead to a single basket at 23-21 as the first half closed out and the two teams headed to the locker rooms for the break.
The second half of play wasn’t as kind to the Bearcats. The Ponies took advantage of KCC turn-overs and either converted baskets in transition or made their way to the free throw line and kept stretching their lead over the Bearcats. Even though the KCC defense held the Ponies to 48 points for the game, the Bearcats’ offense could not get on track.
The Bearcats had 16 more shot attempts than their opponent due to a strong offensive rebounding effort. Despite getting 15 second-chance points as a result of offensive rebounds, the Bearcats’ overall shooting percentage checked in at 26 percent for the evening.
The biggest advantage for the Ponies came on points off turnovers. The visitors put up 20 points off turnovers that helped them hand the Bearcats the 32-48 loss.
We did some things well. The girls were very strong on the offensive boards and gave us a number of opportunities at second chance points, and defensively our weakside defense was more aware of their responsibilities and made it difficult for the Ponies to score in the post. Unfortunately, we could not get the ball in the basket for a good chunk of the second half of the game.”
Scoring leaders: Gracie Whitlock 10, Ella Olson 8, Morgan Turn 7, Elsa Steen 4, Cheyanne Scalese 3.
Rebound leaders: Ella Olson 8, Cheyanne Scalese 7, Gracie Whitlock 6.
Assist leaders: Jenna Davis 3, Gracie Whitlock 2.
KCC 34 – SAC 60
The Bearcats headed south on Friday, Feb. 5 to tangle with the Stephen-Argyle Storm. The first matchup of the season went the way of the Storm 62-52 back on Jan. 18. KCC was hoping to turn the tables on the Storm and even the season series.
The Bearcats got off to a good start in the game and were not giving the Storm any easy baskets on the offensive end of the floor. KCC got to the free throw line as a result of aggressively attacking the basket and converted on 7 of 8 free throw attempts in the first half of play. The Bearcats trailed the Storm 9-12 midway through the first half, when the wheels started to fall off the wagon. Turnovers again bit the Bearcats in the butt and the Storm started getting easy offensive opportunities and pulled away from the Bearcats to post a 41-21 halftime lead.
The two teams played pretty even through a good junk of the second half, but the Bearcats were never able to make a run at the Storm.
Late in the second half the Storm pushed their lead to 26 points when they finished the game on a 10-2 run. The game ended in favor of the Storm 60-34.
We had stretches that we played well in and held our own, but we were not able to sustain that success over long enough periods of play. We created some defensive pressure of our own with our half-court trap defense and got some easy baskets, but in the end, we just committed too many turnovers that they turned into easy baskets of their own.
Scoring leaders: Cheyanne Scalese 10, Morgan Turn 8, Courtney Fredrickson 7, Gracie Whitlock 7, Ella Olson 2.
Rebound leaders: Elsa Steen 5, Courtney Fredrickson 4.
Assist leaders: Jenna Davis 5, Elsa Steen 3.