Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
By Gary Riess, coach
Kimball JV finished its 2010-11 season with a thrilling 36-32 win over B-B-E to finish 16-8. The Cubs had defeated B-B-E by one point in their first encounter and this game was equally as close. The final margin of victory, four points, was the biggest lead either team had during the game. The score was tied at 30, but the Cubs outscored the Jaguars 6-2 down the stretch while playing stifling defense to hold B-B-E at bay. Breane Meierhofer had a season-high 22 points, while Kaylee Petty added eight points. Kenadi Mackereth hit a big free throw to give the Cubs a three-point lead, while Raelynn Callander pulled down some four big rebounds battling against the B-B-E front line.
The Cubs won five games during the February stretch run. Starting with back to back wins over Holdingford and Swanville where the Cubs defense, their strong point all season, held the Huskers to six second-half points, and the Bulldogs to four first-half points. Seven of 10 players scored against Holdingford and nine players scored versus Swanville in 31-16 and 32-21 wins. The Cubs next faced Maple Lake who had defeated the Cubs in their first meeting. Kimball played one of its best games of the season, shooting 50 percent from the field in a 46-38 win. Eight Cubs scored with Breane Meierhofer 13 pts., and Kenadi Mackereth, Paiten Schreiner, and Kaylee Petty each chipped in eight points.
The Cubs next took on HL-W-W who lost only one game this season, a 39-36 loss to the Cubs back in January. The Lakers got revenge by scorching the Cubs for a 10-point first-half lead. The Cubs staged a furious comeback in the second half, coming within three points, but in the end it wasn't enough. A disappointing nine for 20 night from the free-throw line doomed the Cubs. The Cubs rebounded in the next game defeating St. Johns' Prep by a 39-20 score. Kaylee Petty had a season-high 14 points with Breane Meierhofer adding 12.
Rockford was up next, and they had defeated the Cubs by a whopping 20 points in their first meeting. This game was very different as the Cubs controlled the pace and didn't try to get into a running game with the Rockets. The Cubs were down by four at the half, but stayed composed and kept the game close, and eventually took a one-point lead with a minute to play. The Rockets then hit a three pointer to go up by two. Paiten Schreiner hit a bucket to tie the game with 25 seconds remaining, but the Rockets hit the game-winning basket from the top of the key, with 10 seconds to play. Kimball's last shot clanked off the rim and the Rockets prevailed 37-35. Paiten Schreiner had a season-best 13 points and Sam Stuve added 10 points for the Cubs. Again, a nine for 20 night from the free-throw line hurt the Kimball effort. The Cubs had another poor shooting effort in their next game versus Pierz, and fell to the Pioneers for a second time this season. Kenadi Mackereth led the Kimball effort with nine points.
The season then ended with the thrilling win over B-B-E to make the final Kimball record 16 wins and eight losses for the season. All 10 players made important contributions down the stretch, either in games or practice to make the team successful. One player who missed the final 10 games was Allie Seth who went out with a fractured foot in the first B-B-E game. Allie finished her season, the first 14 games, as the leading scorer with a 9.7 average and was the leading rebounder at the time of her injury. With Allie gone, the rest of the team had to step up and some players had to adjust to new positions and different roles. For the most part, these changes worked to varying degrees over the final 10 games. Casie Mackereth moved to post and Raelynn Callander played inside more and both did good work on the boards. Kaylee Petty took over the center position and became the leading rebounder, while scoring 109 points for the season. Paiten Schreiner played wing, post, and guard, scoring 103 points. Kenadi Mackereth and Sam Stuve took over the point position, and were the main ballhandlers. Breane Meierhofer moved to wing and post and ended with 221 points and 87 rebounds for the season. Hannah Zipoy, Alyssa Jones, and Kayla Overland all spelled the post positions and rotated in to give the starters rest when needed.
The strength of this team was its defense. When clicking together they held their opponents to 32.1 points per game. Another example of this defense was that Kimball's opponents took 200 fewer shots than the Cubs for the season, and came up with 273 steals. Weaknesses for the Cubs were three-point shooting, only 20 percent, and free-throw shooting at 46 percent. Off-season practice with the basketball will improve those skills. Overall, the competitive resolve of this group of young ladies was tremendous. They competed tenaciously and worked hard to improve, and it showed with 16 wins and a.667 winning percentage for the 2010-2011 season. They also learned to warmup to music from the Beatles and Buddy Holly much to the delight of their coach and parents, not so much to the players.