The Lady Cubs ended their season last Saturday night at Pierz High School, losing to Isle, 47-25 in the Section 5A playoffs. On Thursday, March 6, Kimball upset No. 4-seeded East Central, 54-48, earning the right to take on the Huskies. Kimball’s Hannah Serbus scored first off the opening tip to give the Cubs early confidence. Kimball held a narrow lead early on until East Central took a 13-17 lead with just over seven minutes left in the half. By halftime Kimball held a slim 27-25 lead. At the 13-minute mark of the second frame, East Central connected on consecutive 3-point field goals to take back a 36-35 lead. From this point Kimball would make a game-changing scoring run. It would be a 16-2 flurry, that would give the Cubs a commanding 49-38 lead with just over six minutes to play. Kimball’s lead would stand as they made just enough free throws down the stretch to keep it a two-possession game and close out the victory. It was a great performance by Kimball, gaining valuable playoff experience and winning on the road. “For a team with no seniors made up of all underclassman, traveling over two hours to play in enemy territory, and play well enough to beat a higher seeded team on their home court, was encouraging to see, and great to see our players step up as a team,” said Coach Jeremy Kuechle.
Tuesday night’s 70-43 loss to number-one ranked Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa was not unexpected, but it was a closer game than the score indicated. The South
Sub-Section 5A championship game in Little Falls actually had the third-seeded Cubs leading by a point just before half. But the top-rated Jaguars would have none of it, stringing together a 10-0 run to close out the first session and post a 34-25 advantage. BBE went on a 10-0 run to end the half because of a few turnovers and a quick shot. In the second half, BBE scored the first four points to gain a double-digit lead. With just more than 12 minutes to play, BBE led by 14 when they decided to pull the ball out and stall, forcing the Cubs out of their defense.
The KAHS girls won at Ogilvie, 72-40 Tuesday, Feb. 25; they lost at Rockford, 67-50 Thursday; and they lost at home Friday, Feb. 28, to Pierz, 56-45. At Ogilvie,
Kimball jumped out to an 11-0 lead and never trailed. The Cubs took advantage of 19 steals and forced 19 turnovers to create more offensive opportunities. Kimball out-rebounded the Lions, 45-28, to control the boards. Kimball leaders were: Taylor Schreiner 15 points, Madelyn O’Brien 12 rebounds and 3 blocks, Caitlyn O’Brien also had 3 blocks. Taylor Schreiner had 5 steals, Madison Libbesmeier and Hannah Serbus each had 5 assists. Scoring: Madison Libbesmeier, 6; Taylor Schreiner, 15; Hannah Serbus, 8; Kristina Kastanek, 8; Victoria Denn, 2; Madison Hurrle, 1; Abbey Straley, 2; Madelyn O’Brien, 11; Nicole Vossen, 6; Caitlyn O’Brien, 3; Becky Holtz, 10.
The third-seeded Cubs knocked off second-seeded Upsala Saturday, March 1, in the South Sub-Section 5A semifinals, 88-67. Kimball’s Jarred Merchant eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau, as he went an amazing 14-14 from the field en route to a 34-point night. Kimball jumped out to an early lead, hitting its first 8 shots from the field. Merchant had 20 points in the first half and VonWahlde added 15, as the Cubs took a 44-29 advantage into the locker room. Kimball finished the game on a 16-4 run to win by 21. “I don’t know that I have ever been so proud of a team after a game before. We executed the game plan to perfection. The players played their hearts out and left it all on the floor. I don’t know if I could have scripted a better game. Now we face an even tougher test against the number one team in the state – B-B-E. It is going to be fun!” said a very excited coach Jay Klein. Cubs’ scoring summary: Hennen, 8; VonWahlde, 23; Hunt, 15; Serbus, 4; Spaulding, 4; Merchant, 34.
With the convincing victory over the Cardinals, the Cubs earned the right to play in the championship game Tuesday, March 4, against one-seeded BBE. At press time, the game’s outcome was yet to be determined, so … GO GET ’EM, CUBS!
Senior Ben Serbus puts up a jumper during the second half vs Upsala. Staff photo by Marguerite Laabs.
Entering the South Sub-Section 5A playoffs as the No. 3 seed, the Kimball Area Cubs came out firing on all cylinders Thursday, Feb. 27. Jarred Merchant scored 25 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to lift the Cubs past No. 6 seed Onamia, 86-47, in the first round of the tournament. Joey VonWahlde poured in 22 points for Kimball and Cameron Hunt recorded all 21 of his points in the first half for the Cubs, who improved to 15-10. Kimball advances on to face Upsala on Saturday at 7:45 p.m. in Little Falls. The Cubs jumped out to a 19-9 lead five minutes into the game and ended the half, up 53-27. Keeping it rolling in the second half, Kimball increased its lead to 30 points at 67-37 and then went on a 15-3 run to build the margin to 42.
Kimball coach Jay Klein was more than satisfied with the effort. “I thought we came out aggressive on both ends of the floor. I was happy with our first-half defense because we really challenged shots and forced them into poor shots. Offensively we did a great job of executing. In the second half, it seemed like everybody chipped in with points, rebounds and other statistics. We had four different players hit threes in the second half. Overall, we did what the number 3-seeded team was supposed to do in the first round of the playoffs.” Cubs’ scoring summary: Schreifels, 3; Mason Hennen, 2; Mathias Hennen, 6; VonWahlde, 22; Hunt, 21; Serbus, 5; Ehlinger, 2; Merchant, 25. The Cubs committed just two turnovers and pulled down an impressive 43 boards.