Tricounty News

Varsity Lady Cubs split another conference week

Cubs over Holdingford Huskers 66-63

Last Monday, Feb. 6, Kimball hosted the Holdingford Huskers in a conference match up. We have been playing with better effort, but unfortunately the wins have not followed. Our team is a veteran group that understands how important it is to be playing our best basketball as the regular season ends moving into the playoffs. Holdingford is a young team that has been giving teams fits if they don't bring effort. On this night, the Lady Cubs used that experience to finish off the Huskers.

From that opening tap, Kimball jumped out to a 4-0 lead behind junior Breane Meierhofer's free throws and a basket from senior Brooke Merten. Then our offense caught fire, making shots at a clip we have not seen all season in a half of basketball. Juniors Allie Seth and Casie Mackereth, with seniors Emily Donnay and Samantha Stuve provided huge sparks on both ends of the floor. Merten then nailed a triple from behind the arc and senior Mandy Wittenberg was unstoppable in the post, scoring our next 10 points to lead by 14, 18-4 with 9:27 to play in the half. Senior Erin Dingmann drained a three from long range, Meierhofer scored a basket and Wittenberg knocked down another post touch. Wittenberg scored two more times on post moves, and then Dingmann and Meierhofer dropped five total, three-point baskets, putting Holdingford on tilt to end the half, 42-29 in Kimball's favor.

In the second, the Lady Cubs shooting cooled down, only making four shots from the floor. Meierhofer's three with 10:01 to play, tied the school record for three-point makes in a single game. Fortunately for Kimball, we scored

16 of 23 charity shots to close down the Husker rally. Wittenberg, Meierhofer, Stuve, Dingmann and Merten all hit big foul shots down the stretch. Unfortunately, the Lady Cub defense began to unravel, allowing the Huskers to penetrate the lane for quick scores at the rim. We were able to hold on, even though Holdingford drained a triple at the buzzer, 66-63, snapping a five-game Kimball losing streak. Our team leader in rebounds was Wittenberg with 11 boards, Merten dished out six assists and Merten, Meierhofer, Dingmann and Casie Mackereth each had two steals.

Cubs lose to Maple Lake Irish 50-40

On Thursday, Feb. 9, we traveled to Maple Lake, to take on the Irish. Our offensive woes would continue as we shot only 26-percent from the field for this game. Defensively, guarding the ball off the pass turned in our favor after struggling to stop Irish dribble penetration.

Maple Lake jumped out to a 6-0 lead and Kimball got going on baskets by Mandy Wittenberg, Allie Seth and Erin Dingmann. Dingmann then hit a charity shot and drained a three from beyond the arc. Emily Donnay's effort sparked our defense in the first half. Breane Meierhofer scored a two and Wittenberg completed our scoring for the half with three free throws, as the Lady Cubs trailed 15-29.

To start the second, the Irish went on another offensive run. Kimball tried to counter with Wittenberg hitting a shot and Meierhofer making a free throw, as we trailed by 21 at the 15:33 mark. Then the Lady Cubs found an offensive groove behind a Dingmann triple, four Wittenberg points and a Meierhofer three-pointer. Samantha Stuve rained in a three, Wittenberg scored again, and Casie Mackereth added five straight points to cut the Irish advantage to just five, 43-38, with 4:11 to play. Maple Lake was reeling on offense and the Lady Cubs had created a huge momentum swing in their favor, but it wouldn't be Kimball's night as a Wittenberg basket completed the scoring and we fell to the Irish, 50-40. Our team leaders for this game were Wittenberg with 14 boards, Stuve had five assists and Wittenberg grabbed six steals. Our overall record is now 10-10 and 5-6 in the Central Minnesota Conference.

The Lady Cubs host Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Lakers at 7:30 p.m. Friday night, Feb. 17. Then back on the road for another conference tilt with the Rockford Rockets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in Rockford. Thank you for supporting Kimball Girls' basketball.