Tuesday, Dec. 2, the Kimball JV girls’ basketball team traveled to Royalton to take on the Royals in the opener of the 2013-2014 basketball season. We are a very young team with freshmen and sophomore players, and are looking forward to a very good season this year. In this non-conference game, our team struggled offensively scoring only 3 points in the first half. Freshman Emily Utecht made a basket and freshman Madison Hurrle added a free throw to complete our scoring in the first half. Our defense allowed only 13 points to Royalton, we still felt pretty good going into the halftime, that we could turn it around offensively. As the second half started, we got our offense going and our defense continued to play strong, holding Royals into only 16 total points. Utecht scored our first basket of the half, sophomore Ariel Laabs drained a three pointer, and Utecht added two more baskets on back-door cuts on passes from Hurrle. Hurrle got a put-back basket, sophomore Denzel Atherton swished a jumper, and sophomore Abbey Straley hit two charity shots to pull us within 3 of Royalton. Atherton scored a long-corner three, Laabs got another basket and Straley hit a shot that gave us our first lead, 25-24. Hurrle rang up a huge three pointer, Utecht hit another shot and Hurrle closed our scoring on a break-away steal. Sophomore Kaitlyn Truenow, freshman Alexa Ruehle and freshman Katelynn Loehrer played quality minutes off the bench as we were able to defend the Royals length of the floor shot that fell short to secure an opening night win.
Following a convincing Tuesday night victory at Royalton, the Cubs kept to the road, visiting the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Falcons Thursday, Dec. 5. The Falcons mounted a late run and overtook the Cubs in a thriller, 74-71. Cubs’ coach Jay Klein has mixed emotions. “We started out slow, behind 22-14 after about eight minutes. Then we were able to slowly work our way back, and ended up leading 38-31 at the half. In the second half, we switched defenses to zone to try and stop dribble penetration. Our defense was terrible all game long. I was very disappointed in the effort.” Kimball found themselves ahead by six, 68-62, with 3:42 to play. Poor shot selection and turnovers allowed ACGC to go on a 7-0 run to take the lead. The Cubs had a shot at the buzzer to tie the score, but it came up short.
The Kimball girls’ basketball team opened up the season on the road, calling on the Royalton Royals, Tuesday, Dec. 3, and dropped a tight one, 60-55. Kimball jumped out to a 21-9 early lead, and saw it diminish to just two by the halftime break. The Cubs couldn’t stop Royalton’s Emily Fussy and Haley Olson, who scored 52 of the team’s 60 points.
Kimball scoring: Madelyn O’Brien, 17; Madison Libbesmeier, 9; Becky Holtz, 7; Nicole Vossen, 6; Hannah Serbus, 6; Taylor Schreiner, 5; Caitlin O’Brien, 5.
Improving very quickly, the Lady Cubs played their home opener Friday, Dec. 6, against a very good ACGC squad. Kimball took the overtime thriller, 49-47, after sophomore guard Madison Libbesmeier hit the game-tying field goal at the buzzer to end regulation. The Cubs scored two field goals in the first 13 seconds of overtime to take control early in the overtime period and held on for the tough victory.
The Kimball Area boys’ basketball team cashed in their “frequent rider” miles last week, playing three road games in five days. Stopping at Royalton first, Tuesday, Dec. 3. The Cubs settled right in, scored early and often, and squashed the Royals, 64-23. Junior center Jarred Merchant led the scoring with 17 points and senior guard Mathias Hennen added 14 for the Cubs. The Kimball crew forced 27 turnovers, shot 25/52 from the field, and hit on seven of nine free-throws.
The Kimball Cubs hosted the Falcons from Foley last Friday night, Nov. 22, at the Wirth Gymnasium. This was the opening game for both clubs. Foley jumped out to an early 16-5 lead. Kimball answered with a 16-0 run to take a lead they would not give back. The Cubs entered the half leading 43-25.
The home team had a slow start to the second half as well. Foley scored the first four points before a timeout was called to refocus the Cubs. Kimball maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the game to pull away from the Falcons and win with an 82-59 score.