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Bearcats girls win 4 in a row

By Mark Johnson, coach
KCC 60 – WAO 56
The Bearcats took on a unique challenge last week. KCC played four games in five days, with all four of the games being conference opponents. They first game of the stretch had the Bearcats hosting the Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Ponies on Monday, Jan. 29 at Kittson Central. The two teams played immediately after the holiday break in early January with KCC getting the upper hand 66-53.
The Bearcats and the Ponies battled through the first half with neither team being able to take control of the game. The Ponies hung tough and did not let KCC put together one of their runs. It was, however, the Bearcats who got a critical basket in the waning seconds of the first half to take a 33-29 lead at the break.
The Bearcats slowly but surely took control of the game in the second half and steadily built a safe lead. The Bearcat defense made baskets difficult to come by for the Ponies, while the offense kept producing opportunities and points to hold a 57-43 lead with 2:40 to play in the game. WAO did not surrender and in the final 20 seconds of play hit 2 baskets, the last being a heave from well behind the three-point line to trim the margin to 60-56.
We did a solid job defensively for most of the game. We put them on the free throw line too many times and gave them 16 points over the course of the game, but were able to offset that with good possessions on the offensive end.

Scoring leaders: Kaydence White 23, Morgan Turn 14, Greta Kuznia 10, Aliyah Vig 7, Berlyn Strege 4, Hanna Warnke 1, Lily Peterson 1
Rebound leaders: Kaydence White 11, Berlyn Strege 8, Morgan Turn 5
Assist leaders: Lily Peterson 7, Berlyn Strege 4, Greta Kuznia 3

KCC 83 – Roseau 54
Game two of the week brought the Roseau Rams to Kittson Central for a North Border Conference matchup Tuesday, Jan. 30. KCC won the first meeting of the year 76-62 in Roseau before Christmas.
The Bearcats came out ready to play and got off to a strong start. KCC built a 22-13 lead midway through the first half of play and were well in control of the pace and style. The Bearcats continued to roll through the first half and went on a 19-4 run over the final minutes to post a 41-17 lead at the break.
KCC maintained and incrementally grew their lead in the second half of play and left no doubt in the outcome of the game. The lead never dipped below the 20-point margin and the Bearcats cruised to the 83-54 win, moving their overall season record to 14-3.
We played a pretty complete game. The girls controlled the game on both ends of the floor and dictated how the game was going to be played. It was important to be able to come back after a tough game the night before and show the toughness and metal that we have.

Scoring leaders: Morgan Turn 16, Greta Kuznia 14, Kaydence White 12, Aliyah Vig 10, Lily Peterson 7, Hanna Warnke 6, Afton Lindgren 6, Ellen Hilman 3, Kasey Waling 3, Berlyn Strege 2, Hadley Nordin 2
Rebound leaders: Kaydence White 12
Assist leaders: Lily Peterson 4, Hanna Warnke 3, Morgan Turn 3

KCC 87 – RLCC 47
The Bearcats got a one-day rest before game three put them back on the road Thursday, Feb. 1 for a trip to Plummer to face the RLCC Mustangs in a Northern Galaxy Confer-ence game. It is the only time the two teams play each other during the season despite being in the same conference.
It took a few minutes for KCC to get their legs under them. The Bearcats held a slim 4-3 lead when the floodgates opened and KCC went on a 29-5 run to blow the game wide open at 33-8. Foul trouble and a little bit of complacency built in the final minutes of the first half and the Mustangs trimmed that KCC lead to 42-29 by halftime on the backs of free throws and turnovers.
KCC rebounded in the second half and clamped down on the defensive end of the floor. After 20 first-half free throw attempts for RLCC, the Bearcats only allowed them 5 in the second half and sprinted to the 87-47 win to capture another important conference victory.
It was fun to watch the unselfish play. The girls kept advancing the ball to the open player and we kept building our lead. It was another good win.

Scoring leaders: Greta Kuznia 21, Kaydence White 19, Morgan Turn 18, Lily Peterson 8, Berlyn Strege 7, McKinley Folland 5, Afton Lindgren 3, Hanna Warnke 2, Aliyah Vig 2, Ellen Hilman 2
Rebound leaders: Kaydence White 10, Greta Kuznia 5, Aliyah Vig 5
Assist leaders: Lily Peteson 5, Berlyn Strege 5

KCC 75 – GG 43
The fourth and final test of the week came in Grygla against the G-G Chargers on Friday, Feb. 2. KCC had won the previous meeting 75-60 in Lancaster. The matchup is a unique and important game because both teams belong to the North Border and the Northern Galaxy conferences.
The Bearcats slogged through the opening minutes of the contest and trailed the Chargers 10-6 when the first half hit the 9-minute mark. Turnovers and missed shots plagued the Bearcats. The slogging ended abruptly and KCC went on a 29-7 run to close out the first half and post a 35-17 lead at the break.
KCC came back out for the second half with a similar focus and intensity, and picked up where they left off. They steadily built their lead and rolled to the 75-43 conference win. This was the Bearcats’ fourth win of the week, moving their season record to 16-3.
Sometimes we get impatient as coaches and players, as well as fans. The way the game started we were all ringing our hands a bit wondering what was going on. But as they say, patience if a virtue. The girls took care of business under tough circumstances. It is taxing to physically play four games in five days, but it may be just as taxing to stay in it mentally.

Scoring leaders: Kaydence White 13, McKinley Folland 13, Greta Kuznia 13, Lily Peterson 11, Morgan Turn 10, Hanna Warnke 7, Berlyn Strege 4, Aliyah Vig 3, Ellen Hilman 1
Rebound leaders: Kaydence White 7, McKinley Folland 6, Hanna Warnke 5, Ellen Hilman 5
Assist leaders: Morgan Turn 7, Hanna Warnke 3


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