By Mark Johnson, coach
KCC 56 – Roseau 61
The Bearcats started their basketball season on the road last Thursday with a trip to Roseau to face the Rams in a North Border Conference matchup. It was the first game of the season for KCC and the second game for the Rams.
The first half was a close contest on the scoreboard until the final 3 minutes. Roseau held a 22-20 lead with 3:18 left in the first half of play. The Bearcats watched that lead grow to 33-22 by the time the buzzer sounded to mark the end of the first half. Free throws by the Rams down the stretch and a buzzer-beating heave from half court pushed the lead to double digits at the break.
The second half started out sluggishly for KCC. Roseau continued to capitalize on Bearcat turnovers and slowly built their lead to 52-34 with 8:44 left in the game. KCC responded and over the next 5-plus minutes of play outscored the Rams 19-1 and knotted the score at 53-53 with 2:57 left in the game.
The Bearcats had two consecutive possessions with quality opportunities to keep the pressure on the Rams but were unable to get the baskets to fall. The Rams converted on an offensive rebound to get the go ahead score with 2:17 left in game and went on to hold off the Bearcat comeback and escape with the 61-56 win.
The girls did a good job of digging deep and finding a way to overcome the big deficit we faced in the mid stages of the second half. We had been too generous with the basketball and gave them way too many opportunities with turnovers and free throws up to that point in the game. When the girls made our run, we were moving our feet better on defense and beating the Rams to the loose balls. We always want to get the win, but we at least got better as the game progressed. It’s the same goal we have for the season — get better with each opportunity and each experience, and good things happen.
Scoring leaders: Morgan Turn 20, Ella Olson 11, Greta Kuznia 10, Lily Peterson 4, Berlyn Strege 4, Ellen Hilman 4, McKinley Folland 2, Annika Johnson 1
Rebound leaders: Ella Olson 7, Aidra Johnson 5, Morgan Turn 4, Greta Kuznia 4
Assist leaders: Morgan Turn 4, Hanna Warnke 4, Lily Peterson 3, Aidra Johnson 3