By Kris Folland, coach
KCC 58 — C/G Bears 70
The KCC Bearcats junior varsity had a nice first half against the Bears led by Kaden Vig with 16 points. The second half, the Bears knocked down some nice baskets and cruised to a win over the KCC Bearcats 50-36.
Scoring for the Bearcats was Vig-16, Knutson-4, Schmiedeberg-4, Abe Webster-4, Simon Ter Wee-3, Wiese-2, Warnke-1, Austad-1, Ristad-1.
The Bearcats varsity team has been hampered by injuries, low player numbers and overall a somewhat slow start. As we move into the second half of the season we have been working out some kinks and work on getting the team functioning as a cohesive unit.
This game plan was all about defense and controlling the ball. We knew we might give up a few easy baskets but we had to stop the ball and limit their easy baskets off of turnovers. The C/G Bears jumped out to an early lead and quickly worked through the Bearcats defense hitting some nice shots and some quick layups.
There was not a real good feeling on the Bearcats side as we soon found ourselves down by almost 30 points. The coaches and players refused to buckle and soon started to get to work.
The defensive trap started to force some turnovers and offensively we started to control the ball. Kaden Vig was aggressive on offense all night and started to hit some baskets. Evan Austad also started to find a groove and the Bearcats cut the Bears’ lead to 19 at halftime. At halftime the Bearcats felt fairly good as the momentum had shifted and 19 points is not that far behind.
The second half the Bearcats cranked up the defensive intensity and started forcing turnovers and being aggressive to the basket. At one point, the C/G Bears treated us to a nice off-the-backboard dunk by Dawson but the KCC Bearcats didn’t even flinch and kept chipping away at their lead.
Offensively the Bearcats heated up and hit some nice 3-pointers lead by Austad and Faken with Schmiedeberg adding closer baskets and free throws. The Bearcats made a 3-point shot or attacked the basket almost every possession and got into bonus shooting. As the game was winding down offensively we kept the gas on and were within 12 points as time expired. While the game ended in a 58-70 loss for KCC the momentum felt good in the last half of the game.
Offensive leader was Austad-21, followed by Faken-14, Vig-12, Schmiedeberg-9, and Ristad-2.
Post game a few interesting stats were 12 turnovers for the Bearcats led to about 12 points for the Bears and we also missed 12 free throws. The Bearcat starters had very little rest during the game and played faster and with more energy as time expired. While it was a loss it was a good game individually and as a team overall.
KCC 75 — LOW Bears 31
“I’ve got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.” – Larry Bird.
Parents night, home game, some advanced offense and defensive strategy: the Bearcats were determined from beginning to end. The Bearcats hosted the LOW Bears in the battle of the winless teams. The Bearcats absolutely were not going to underestimate their opponent and the past week we had made great strides on both sides of the ball running some new schemes. While we did not have a lot of time for preparation, the team gave 100 precent effort into that preparation.
The Bearcats came out with their feet on the pedal and quickly forced LOW turnovers and converted easy baskets. LOW, however, showed some resiliency and hit three first half 3-point shots that kept the Bearcats honest. Defensively, Schmiedeberg led the way once again with up front pressure and Faken picked off multiple passes leading to easy baskets. Junior Evan Austad showed off his hard work in the gym the past month and lit up the score board with 26 points for the game.
Vig was also a strong scorer throughout the whole game displaying some nice mid-range shooting and quick steps to the basket. I cannot say enough how much improvement some of our players have made in only four weeks of gym time.
With a half time lead 39-17, the Bearcats were feeling good but had a lot more to execute and show in the second half. There is a risk in easy wins to let off the pressure or play a sloppy style of play towards the end of the game. The Bearcats continued their aggressive but disciplined offense and defense immediately.
Austad and Schmiedeberg continued to make plays and we called off the press with about 10 minutes to go in the game. We did well working on our half court defense and offensively started to get second and third passes and looks to the basket for the high percentage shots and the Bearcats finished the game playing as well as they did in the beginning. A win is a win especially for a team of underclassmen, a starter out for injury and very little preseason preparation. There was nothing but smiles for the players after their well deserved win.
Scoring leader was Austad-26, Vig 18, Schmiedeberg-16, Faken-8, Ristad-4, Simon TerWee-2, Knutson-1. Rebound leader was Vig with 16 for his first double double of the season and Ristad led the team with 6 assists. Steals were spread evenly throughout with 16 total for the team.
By Kris Folland, coach