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KCC Bearcat boys basketball find solid footing in new year

By Trent Jerome, coach
KCC 34 — W-A-O 54
On Monday, Dec. 19, the KCC boys basketball team headed south to take on the W-A-O Ponies. The Ponies’ record entering the game was 5-0 and the Bearcats’ record was 1-2.
To start the game, the high powered Ponies offense was successful at scoring inside. The Bearcats matched it by feeding Kaden Vig for easy baskets. The Bearcats used momentum from a Vig dunk to keep it neck and neck with W-A-O through the early stages of the first half. Midway through the half, both teams started to get hot from three, but Brody Scalese’s deep shooting propelled the Bearcats to their first lead of the contest. The Ponies responded with a surge before half to tie it 24-24 at the break.
The Ponies continued right where they left off after the half. W-A-O continued to pour in 3-point shots while the Bearcats struggled offensively. The Ponies used their length in a 1-3-1 zone to stall out the KCC offense by forcing tough shots and turnovers.
Although the Bearcats held the Ponies to their lowest point total of the year, it was not enough to secure the win. Bearcats lost 34-54.
Scoring: Kaden Vig 11, Brody Scalese 9, Ty Vig 6, Braden Faken 4, Chisum Schmiedeberg 2, and Dylon Warnke 2.

KCC 45 — SH 69
Over Christmas break, on Friday, Dec. 30, the Bearcats headed to Sacred Heart in East Grand Forks to take on the Section 8 reigning champs. Right from the tip, Sacred Heart was ready to show off their offensive firepower as they were quick to get on the board with a score. The Bearcats were forced to score in different methods right away as they could not feed Kaden Vig inside.
The Eagles ran a triangle and two designed to not let Vig catch the ball near the basket. KCC used this as an opportunity to try and score from the three-point line and off offensive rebounds. Sacred Heart continued to shoot well while also forcing turnovers to score in transition before the Bearcats could set their defense. The Bearcats went into the half trailing by 14 with a score of 34-20.
After the half, KCC came out ready to battle back into the game. Some solid defensive stops allowed the Bearcats to get their offense going. Back-to-back threes by Vig and Braden Faken allowed the Bearcats to crawl within 8 points. The Eagles quickly responded by hitting two threes of their own, stretching the lead back out to 14. As the second half continued, the Bearcats struggled to make the game close while Sacred Heart remained solid scoring on all three levels. At the end of the game Sacred Heart was victorious 69-45 over the Bearcats.
Scoring: Kaden Vig 14, Ty Vig 9, Braden Faken 8, Chisum Schmiedeberg 4, Brandon Ristad 4, Brody Scalese 3, and Jaydon Nordin 3.

KCC 58 — G-G 49
The Bearcats were excited to bring the Grygla-Goodridge Chargers to Lancaster for a home game on Thursday, Jan. 5. It was their first home game since they hosted the EGF Green Wave at the beginning of the season. KCC was ready to compete for their home crowd and the atmosphere was electric right from the tip. The game started with a back forth battle between the Bearcats and Chargers. The Chargers relied on inside jump shooting to create offensive success while the Bearcats were forcing turnovers for easy layups on the other end.
G-G started to heat up from three, but the Bearcats responded by getting back to their bread and butter of feeding Kaden Vig inside. Neither team was successful at pulling away from the other and it remained close for the first half. At the break, G-G was leading 30 to 28 over KCC.
To begin the second half, the Bearcats picked up their defensive intensity. G-G continued to half to score off tough jumpers while KCC continued to impose their will in the paint. This led to a continued battle of lead changes throughout most of the second half.
As time was winding down, the Bearcats successfully took the lead and did not look back. The Chargers were forced to foul to make the Bearcats shoot free throws in hopes they missed to get the ball back. The Bearcats made their free throws and put the Chargers away. KCC held the Chargers to 19 second-half points while scoring 30 of their own. The final score was KCC 58-49.
Scoring: Kaden Vig 29, Ty Vig 10, Braden Faken 9, Chisum Schmiedeberg 7, and Brody Scalese 3.

KCC 68 — LOW 37
After the exciting win over the Chargers, the KCC boys basketball team headed to Baudette on Saturday, Jan. 6. The boys played after the Bearcat girls’ victory over Lake of the Woods as it was a double header.
To start the game, LOW came out hot and took a quick lead due to their three-point shooting. On defense, Lake of the Woods played a packed-in 2-3 defense that forced the Bearcats to score from the perimeter. The Bears continued their early success and matched KCC for the beginning of the first half. Once the Bearcats found out how to feed Kaden Vig, they were able to take control of the ball game. The inside out play allowed for the Bearcats to go into halftime leading 31-17.
KCC continued where they left off in the second half. They got solid defensive stops and moved the ball efficiently on offense for easy scores. Vig produced a dominant dunk after a nice drive and dish by Brody Scalese, which gave the Bearcats all the momentum they needed to finish out the game. The Bearcat reserves played out the last five minutes of play and continued to move the ball to create easy baskets. The Bearcats were victorious 68-37 over LOW.
Scoring: Kaden Vig 25, Ty Vig 8, Braden Faken 7, Brody Scalese 6, Brandon Ristad 6, Chisum Schmiedeberg 4, Jaydon Nordin 3, Andrew Knutson 3, Oliver TerWee 2, Dylon Warnke 2, and Emmett Lunsetter 2.

This week, the Bearcats take on the Warroad Warriors on Tuesday, Jan. 10 and play the BGMR Gators on Friday, Jan. 13.

Photos courtesy of Kittson Central Media Arts

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