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Bearcats fall to Freeze, top Roseau in girls basketball

By Mark Johnson, coach

KCC 51 – NF 63
KCC girls spent last week on the road again. Monday, Jan. 8 they traveled to Karlstad to face the Northern Freeze and Thursday, Jan. 11 they rolled east to Roseau to tangle with the Rams.
The Bearcats ran into tough sledding in Karlstad on Monday night. The opening minutes of the game were a back-and-forth type of affair with both teams feeling each other out. The middle minutes of the opening half were a struggle for the Bearcats. KCC could not get shots to fall, while on the other end the Freeze knocked down four three-point shots along with garnering a handful of second chance points to build a 15-point lead late in the first half. The Bearcats responded, cranked up their defensive pressure, and trimmed that lead to 35-29 by the end of the first half of play.
KCC kept the game within reach throughout the second half but could never get over the hump to take the lead away from the Freeze. KCC cut into the lead and made a small run, but in response the Freeze got a possession or two to protect the lead and keep the Bearcats at arm’s length. KCC mounted their biggest push late in the game when they made it a single possession game and trailed by only 3 points.
The Freeze lead sat stagnant for three or four possessions, but the Bearcats couldn’t manufacture the points they needed to overtake their opponent. Down the stretch, the Freeze converted on their free throws and pushed the game back out to double digits to capture the 63-51 win over KCC. It only marked the second loss of the season for the Bearcats.
We never hit our stride during the game. The Freeze did a good job of pushing us a step or two further out on the perimeter. They closed off the middle of the floor and we didn’t find the path inside their defense to get better offensive opportunities. We shot a season low 34 percent from the field, only made 11 trips to the free throw line and we still had a chance to win the game late in the contest. The girls battled to the final buzzer; we just didn’t have enough to get the job finished.

Scoring leaders: Kaydence White 12, Berlyn Strege 10, Lily Peterson 9, Morgan Turn 8, Afton Lindgren 6, Greta Kuznia 4, McKinley Folland 2
Rebound leaders: Berlyn Strege 5, Kaydence White 5, McKinley Folland 5, Lily Peterson 4
Assist leaders: Morgan Turn 7, Lily Peterson 4

KCC 76 – Roseau 67
The Bearcats waited out Mother Nature on Thursday night as the area experienced weather advisories throughout the day. The weather settled down as the day progressed and KCC got the chance to get back to their winning ways.
The Bearcats sprinted out of the starting blocks and took control of the game. KCC pushed out to a 28-7 lead and looked to be in complete control of the contest. Roseau settled down a bit and started to chip away at the lead as the Bearcats seemingly lost some of their focus. KCC remained in control of the game, but the Rams pulled to 40-29 by the end of the first half of play.
Roseau continued to make a steady run at the Bearcats in the second half and just kept chipping away at the KCC lead. Bearcat turnovers and second chance points for the Rams helped Roseau’s cause along the way. The Rams came all the way back from the 21-point deficit and took a 63-62 lead with a little over 4 minutes to play. KCC regained the lead for good with 2:55 left in the game on a huge corner three-pointer. The possession gave KCC a 65-63 lead. KCC finished the game on the back of good free throw shooting and a refocused defensive awareness and effort. The Bearcats closed out the Rams with a 14-4 run to capture the 76-67 win. The win moved KCC’s overall record to 8-2 for the season.
Every game has its peaks and valleys. This one just had higher peaks and lower valleys. We played about as well as a team can play together for stretches in the first half. The second half we were more disjointed and not as focused. Down the stretch, the girls regained the composure to close the deal. They are resilient and tough-minded.

Scoring leaders: Greta Kuznia 22, Lily Peterson 18, Morgan Turn 14, Kaydence White 8, McKinley Folland 5, Berlyn Strege 3, Hanna Warnke 2, Aliyah Vig 2, Afton Lindgren 2
Rebound leaders: McKinley Folland 5, Greta Kuznia 4, Hanna Warnke 3, Aliyah Vig 3, Afton Lindgren 3, Kaydence White 3, Ellen Hilman 3
Assist leaders: Kaydence White 3, Lily Peterson 2, Berlyn Strege 2, Morgan Turn 2, Afton Lindgren 2, Ellen Hilman 2


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