By Jeremy Kuechle, Coach
Kimball began a three-game week with a home game against B-B-E Tuesday, Jan. 26. Kimball would not match up well with the Jaguars, as their height advantage in the post gave B-B-E a few more easy offensive buckets and limited Kimball's inside offensive threat. The Cubs made up for this, however, by playing hard and turning up the heat on the opponents' guards, creating some opportunities for themselves. B-B-E made one critical run in the game, with 5:42 left to play in the first half, where they took a 19-16 lead and turned it into a 33-18 four minutes later. In the second half, Kimball got as close as 6 points but got no closer, as B-B-E pulled away in the final minutes for a 69-58 win.
The conference schedule did not get any easier, as Kimball traveled to Eden Valley Friday, Jan. 29. The game would be very intense, as both teams came ready to play in the heated rivalry. 14-14 was the halftime score. The defenses then pressured each other into forced errors and highly contested shots. In the second half, the Eagles would wear down the Cubs, eventuallly building a 40-30 lead, with 2:31 to play in the game. The Eagles closed out a 46-30 win, as Kimball struggled to score, shooting 8 for 37 from the field and 15 for 35 from the free-throw line. This was a result of EV-W's constant pressure and physical style of play, which wore down the Cubs physically and mentally as the game went on. The Cubs took a lesson, however, from this loss, as they quickly rebounded Saturday evening versus Norwood-Young America. This game would go back and forth but the free-throw shooting which failed them the night before became their strength and sealed a victory for Kimball. The Cubs outscored N-YA 38-26 in the second half and connected on 11 consecutive free throws at the end of the game, winning by a final score of 59-54. The games would have many statistical highlights for the Cubs, the first being Senior Tesslynn Callander, tying a school record by making 5 three-point field goals (5-7 in the contest) in one game against B-B-E, a record she will now share in great company with Kristi Bahn (1991-92), Heidi Schwichtenberg (1994-95), and Melanie Marquardt (2001-02). Callander scored 22 points in the contest, while adding six assists and four rebounds. She scored a combined 37 points in the three games, followed by junior Megan Garding and sophomore Mandy Wittenberg, scoring 26 points each in three games followed by (three game totals) junior Natalie Stein 20 points, sophomore Brooke Merten 14 points, sophomore Rachel Arnold 10 points, sophomore Liz Kastanek 8 points, senior Kelsey Vigoren 4 points, and junior Shannon Donnay 4 points.
Leading in rebounding three-game totals were Garding 19, Donnay 19, Wittenberg 16, Callander 16, Arnold nine, and senior Sarah Messer six. Defensively, the steals leaders (three game totals) were: Callander eight, Stein seven, Arnold seven, Vigoren six, Merten four, and Wittenberg four.
The 1-2 record for the week moves the season record to 11-6 overall (3-5 conference) as next week's schedule is at Upsala Monday (Feb.1) and home versus Holdingford Thursday (Feb. 4).