Cubs advance in playoffs, defeat Rockets
The Kimball Cubs traveled to Rockford to take on the Rockets last Thursday night, March 7, in a first-round section 5AA playoff game. Two weeks earlier the Cubs defeated the Rockets 60-43 to even their head-to-head record on the year. It was the sixth time in the past seven years that the Cubs opened the playoffs on the road. Kimball’s last playoff win was a 2011 victory over Legacy Christian Academy.
The Cubs jumped out to an early lead on the strength of their outside shooting. Rockford tied the score at 14-14 with seven minutes to play in the first half. The scoring pace picked up a bit over the last minutes of the half with each team leading, but not by more than two possessions. A late three by Rockford gave them a four-point edge at the break (32-28). Kimball shot 54 percent (7/13) from three-point range in the first half, to keep the game close.
In the second half, the Cubs started pounding the ball inside and quickly tied the score. The score remained close throughout the second half. With 5:43 to play, the teams were tied at 42 all. Consecutive free-throws by Mathias Hennen and Jarred Merchant gave the Cubs a 46-44 lead with just over a minute to play. Rockford tied the score and Cameron Hunt was fouled with 48 seconds to play. Cameron made one of two, and gave Kimball a one-point lead. The Cubs defense held on to defeat the Rockets 47-46 and advance to play St. Cloud Cathedral in the second round of playoffs.
Cameron Hunt and Jarred Merchant led the Cubs in scoring with 13 and ten points respectively. Hunt added five assists. Merchant grabbed five rebounds. Preston Peglow and Cameron Hunt each had two steals. Kimball did a great job of limiting their turnovers to 11 while Rockford had 13. The win put The Cubs’ record at 12-13 on the season.
First-half lead evaporates as Cubs fall to Crusaders
The Cubs traveled to Buffalo for a subsection 5AA semifinal game against the number-one seeded St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders. Cathedral entered the game with a 21-6 record on the season. Kimball started the game being very patient on offense against Cathedral’s zone defense. The Crusaders struggled shooting the ball, as the Cubs controlled the defensive boards in the first half. Kimball led for most of the half until Cathedral tied the score (14-14) late. With just over four seconds remaining, Preston Peglow’s length of the court drive and score counted as the buzzer sounded giving the Cubs the edge at the break.
It was a different story in the second period. Cathedral’s shooters started heating up from the perimeter and knocking down three-point shots to regain the lead. They also turned up their defensive pressure and forced the Cubs into a number of turnovers. The Cubs gave a great effort only to end up on the losing side of a 50-31 game.
Preston Peglow was the only player in double figures for the Cubs with 12 points. Austin Roerick and Cameron Hunt each pulled down six rebounds. Hunt added four assists and three steals. The Cubs ended the year with a 12-14 record.
Cubs senior Preston Peglow goes for a basket v Cathedral during 2nd half. Staff photos by Marguerite Laabs.
Cubs senior captain Austin Roerick looks to the hoop during the second halv v Cathedral.