Tricounty News

Lady Cubs face tough competition

The Kimball girls' basketball team had a busy week against three very tough opponents, first facing an undefeated Upsala team Monday, Jan. 17, followed by the conference standings leader in Pierz Thursday, Jan. 20, while finishing the week at Norwood/Young America (who has won seven of their last eight games) Saturday, Jan. 22. Upsala came into Kimball sporting a 12-0 record with one of the premier players in the area, Aimee Pelzer, who earlier this season scored her 1,000th point of her young career as a sophomore for the Cardinals. Kimball came into the contest looking for the upset, but Upsala showed why they had not lost this year, jumping out to an early lead on the Cubs. The Cardinals would lead by nine points, 37-28 at the half, and Kimball kept it close for a while in the second half, until Pelzer connected on four three-point shots in a three and a half minute span, pushing their lead to 19 points with just over 10 minutes to play.

Kimball lost by a final score of 79-59, despite playing a pretty solid game. Mandy Wittenberg led Kimball with 17 points and eight rebounds, followed by Megan Garding's 10 points and eight rebounds. Shannon Donnay finished with seven points and six rebounds, Rachel Arnold six points and four steals, Brooke Merten six points, Natalie Stein five points, Klarissa Eisenbraun three points, Erin Dingmann three points, and Allie Seth two points. Next, Pierz came to town sporting a 5-0 record at the top of the CMC standings, and Kimball would be looking for another chance at an upset win. The Cubs and Pioneers battled back and forth in the first half with Pierz entering halftime with a 28-24 lead. Three minutes into the second half, the Cubs would regain the lead, and with six minutes to play and Kimball leading 45-43, the Cubs would go on a 10-point scoring run sparked by a huge three-point shot by Erin Dingmann. From there, Kimball continued to shoot well from the free throw line (18-21 for the game) and close out the victory by a final score of 62-53. The win moves Kimball into a second-place tie in the conference, trailing Pierz in the CMC standings now by only one game. Wittenberg would again lead all scorers with 23 points highlighted by a seven for seven free-throw line performance. Garding finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds, Dingmann connected on four three-point shots, scoring 12 points, Stein seven points and four assists, Arnold four points, seven assists, and six steals, Stuve two points and Donnay one point. The final game of the week was at Norwood/Young America, where Kimball had a tough time handling the pressure defense of the Raiders. Despite turning the ball over 20 times in the first half, Kimball managed to stay in the game converting 11 of 13 first-half free throws and only trailed by five, 38-33 at halftime. The Cubs started the second half hot, and took the lead 40-38, but the lead would be short-lived as NYA took the lead back with 13 minutes to play. The Raiders held a 58-54 lead with just over seven minutes to play, and Kimball struggled from the field after that, scoring only two more points, resulting in a 66-56 loss. Wittenberg again led the offensive charge with 20 points and 10 rebounds with Garding adding 18 points and 10 rebounds. Dingmann chipped in five points, Merten four points and five assists, Arnold three points, while Stein, Stuve, and Donnay all had two points each. This week's results leave Kimball with a 7-6 overall record, 4-2 in the CMC with EV-W coming to town Friday, Jan. 28, and at Dassel Cokato Monday, Jan. 31. Go Big Blue!