Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Kimball began a busy three-game week, opening with St. John's Prep at home on Monday, Jan. 19. Seven minutes into the game, Kimball made a crucial 15-2 run, pushing a narrow lead into a 22-7 lead and the Cubs never looked back. Kimball's post play really stepped up to the challenge as Senior Center Emily Straley scored 23 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, had six steals and three blocked shots. Sophomore Megan Garding shared in the interior success with 15 points, shooting 7-8 from the field and 1-1 from the free-throw line. Junior Tesslynn Callander played well scoring six points, adding four steals, and four assists, while Junior Kelsey Vigoren had five assists, three steals, and six rebounds. Senior Sarah Powell had five steals and six points, Freshman Amanda Wittenberg had six points and two steals, Senior Paige Peglow had three points and two steals, Junior Sarah Messer scored five points, Freshman Brooke Merten two points and three steals, and Shannon Donnay had two points and two rebounds. Tuesday, Jan. 20, Royalton traveled to Kimball, and for the Cubs it was a chance to start a winning streak and see how well they could play on back to back nights. The Cubs came out fired up as they jumped out to an early lead and extended it to 17-6 with just six minutes to play in the first half. Kimball's solid post play continued as Straley and Garding dominated inside, combining for 14 first-half points. In the second half, Kimball maintained their lead throughout, but Royalton wouldn't give up and knocked down four three-point shots in the final few minutes to keep things interesting. The Cubs took care of the ball, handled the Royals full court pressure and hit some key free throws in those final minutes to secure a 44-35 Kimball win. Garding led in scoring with 11 points while Straley followed with 10. Powell finished with eight points and hit three of four on big free throws in the second half. Callander also hit three of four on pressure free throws in the final minutes and finished with five points. Peglow and Merten each had three points, while Vigoren and Wittenberg each had two. Kimball was led in rebounding by Straley with 10 and Garding with six. Straley also had six steals, followed by Merten's four steals and Callander and Vigoren each had four assists. Thursday, Jan. 22, the Cubs played the last of three home games for the week, excited for the chance to grab a win and a perfect three-win week. Maple Lake came in having beaten the Cubs earlier in the season, but the Cubs brought a lot of energy and jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, while the teams fought back and forth with Kimball holding a slight 27-24 halftime lead. In the second half, Kimball built on its lead with an aggressive defense and posted a 51-38 lead with 7:19 to play looking to finish off the Irish. But poor free-throw shooting and some unfortunate bounces allowed Maple Lake to creep back in the game and make it close as Kimball held on for a 54-51 victory. Kimball's 13 for 37 shooting from the line gave the Irish a chance, but the Cubs showed they wanted it more with some big plays towards the end of the game. Garding scored a personal best 17 points and grabbed 4 rebounds and three steals while Straley scored 14 points and dominated the boards all night with 16 rebounds. Merten connected on three of four from the three-point arc and had five steals with her season best 11 points. Powell had two points but finished with seven assists to help finish offensive possessions, while Callander had five assists, three steals, and seven points. Messer had two points and Vigoren one point to round out the offensive stats. The conference win was the first conference win since Feb. 13, 2004, and is one more goal that this season's team can cross off their list of accomplishments. The Cubs improved their record to 5-7 on the season and look to keep improving in next week's action. A three-game road trip starts Tuesday, Jan. 27, at Rockford, then goes to Pierz on Friday, Jan. 30, finishing at Norwood-Young America on Saturday, Jan. 31. On a side note, Kimball's C-Squad, B-Squad, and Varsity all combined for a perfect 8-0 record for the week, which is a testament to all the young athletes and their hard work as they reach the half-way mark this season. Great accomplishments Lady Cubs!