By Mark Johnson, coach
KCC 52 – EGF 75
Kittson County Central Bearcats and East Grand Forks Green Wave faced off last Friday evening in a rescheduled contest from the pre-Christmas storm events. The Bearcats won their last three games and were looking to extend that streak.
The two teams played each other tight through the first two-thirds of the first half of play. KCC trailed the Green Wave 25-21 with just over 6 minutes left to play in the first half and looked to be in position to make a run at EGF before the end of the half. The run instead came from the home team and EGF closed the half on a 13-6 stretch, and posted a 38-27 lead at the break.
The 11-point deficit at halftime doubled quickly in the second half. EGF opened the second half on an 11-0 run that pushed their lead to 49-27 and had the Bearcats staring at a significant uphill battle for the remainder of the night. KCC never established a consistent attack on offensive or a formidable enough resistance on defense to make a dent in the Green Wave lead. The game finished with EGF gaining the 75-52 win.
We just were a step or two slow for most of the night on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. We needed to be better in all facets of the game. I didn’t have the group ready to handle what they ran up against. Good news is that it is just one game. We just need to make sure it is an outlier in terms of our performances.
Scoring leaders: Aidra Johnson 15, Morgan Turn 12, McKinley Folland 7, Ella Olson 7, Kaydence White 6, Lily Peterson 3, Afton Lindgren 2
Rebound leaders: Aidra Johnson 9, McKinley Folland 8, Ella Olson 7
Assist leaders: Aidra Johnson 2, McKinley Folland 2, Afton Lindgren 2
KCC 68 – WAO 58
KCC hosted the Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Ponies in Hallock on Tuesday, Jan. 3. The two teams are members of the Galaxy Conference, and it was the first of two games the teams will play against each other during the regular season.
The first half of play had a bit of ebb and flow. The two teams exchanged baskets and leads in the opening minutes and were sitting at 8-7 in favor of the Ponies when the Bearcats went on a 17-5 run to seemingly take control of the game. W-A-O did not go away willingly and fought back to take a 30-28 lead late in the first half. It was KCC’s turn to respond, and their answer came in the form of a 9-6 run to end the first half and post a 37-36 lead.
The second half was a back-and-forth affair with W-A-O holding a 45-43 lead with 12:03 left to play in the game. KCC made their move from that point forward.
The Bearcats switched defensively to a half-court trap and turned the tables on the Ponies and opened a 64-49 lead to comfortably coast to the 68-58 win and stay undefeated in Galaxy Conference games.
We played well in stretches of the game on both ends of the floor. Defensively we stayed engaged for the entire game and never gave them a chance to catch their breath. It was a good overall effort by the entire team.
Scoring leaders: Morgan Turn 27, McKinley Folland 12, Aidra Johnson 6, Ella Olson 6, Berlyn Strege 6, Afton Lindgren 5, Greta Kuznia 4, Lily Peterson 2
Rebound leaders: Aidra Johnson 9, McKinley Folland 7, Ella Olson 6, Afton Lindgren 6
Assist leaders: Afton Lindgren 5, Lily Peterson 4, Berlyn Strege 3
KCC 66 – LOW 55
The Bearcats headed east on Thursday, Jan. 5 for their second game of the week to face the Lake of the Woods Bears in Baudette. KCC looked to stay on the winning track and had their sights on getting off to a quick start.
Intentions and plans are a fickle thing; they sometimes go awry. Most of the first half was a struggle for the Bearcats. KCC kept creating scoring opportunities, but there was a lid on the basket. The Bearcats attempted 45 first-half shots, but only managed to get 12 of those attempts to fall through the basket. Fortunately, they did convert on 7 of 10 freethrow attempts and managed to build a 32-22 halftime lead.
The second half was more kind to the Bearcats in terms of offensive conversion. KCC started to get their transition game going, which also opened some perimeter scoring chances. KCC built a 66-45 lead with about 3 minutes to play in the game, but to the Bears’ credit they did not stop playing and they went on a 10-0 run to end the game and make the final score a little more respectable at 66-55. The win moves the Bearcat season record to 5-3 and kept them on the winning track.
It is good to know we can get it done when we aren’t shooting particularly well. The girls stuck with it and just kept working and getting after it. It may not have been pretty at times, but no one said it had to be pretty. It was a good win.
Scoring leaders: Morgan Turn 17, Ella Olson 15, Greta Kuznia 12, Lily Peterson 7, Aidra Johnson 6, Afton Lindgren 4, Berlyn Strege 3, McKinley Folland 2
Rebound leaders: Ella Olson 10, Aidra Johnson 6, Morgan Turn 5, Afton Lindgren 5
Assist leaders: Lily Peterson 6, Berlyn Strege 4
Photos below courtesy of Kittson Central Media Arts