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.
Jarred Merchant scored his 1,000th career point (and then some) during the Kimball game against Upsala Saturday, March 1. The game was the start of the South 5A
Subsection semifinals. Above is Jarred and his family after the game. Staff photo by Marguerite Laabs.
The 2014 MSHSL State Wrestling Individuals Tourna-ment was held last weekend at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Kimball’s Quinten Berres, in the 132-pound division, fought his way to a State Championship title last Saturday, as he earned a 6-4 decision over Hayfield’s Mason Moreno. Berres wasn’t alone in the accolades department, as a couple of his teammates shined as well. Austin Schiefelbein at 220-pounds, battled his way to the championship bout, and fell just short, grabbing runner-up honors. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City’s Lucas Damm won the match with an 8-3 decision. Capturing a very respectable third Place, 126-pound Blane Tschida claimed a major decision, 12-3, over Chris Ortman from Pierz. Way to go guys … another great year.
The Lady Cubs had a busy week, winning at home Monday, Feb. 17, against Swanville, 64-25; losing at home Tuesday, vs. Howard
Lake-Waverly-Winsted, 71-25; and winning at Paynesville Saturday, 50-45. Kimball never trailed in the Swanville contest, starting on an 8-0 run. The Cubs wrapped it up early, posting an insurmountable 37-8 halftime lead. “It was a great team effort, as everybody on the team had significant contributions to the team’s success,” said coach Jeremy Kuechle. Scoring: Madison Libbesmeier, 3; Taylor Schreiner, 10; Hannah Serbus, 9; Kristina Kastanek, 2; Victoria Denn, 6; Madison Hurrle, 6; Abbey Straley, 4; Madelyn O’Brien, 8; Nicole Vossen, 5; Caitlyn O’Brien, 8; Becky Holtz, 3.
The Kimball Area wrestlers were up for the task on Saturday, Feb. 22, as they fought for the individual right to move on to the state tournament. Coach Mike Schindler was proud of the effort. “We had a very good weekend. We had two open weight classes going into the section tournament because of sickness and injuries, and of the 12 kids that wrestled, 10 of them placed in the tournament. Four of our guys qualified for the state tournament, with two champions and two runners-up. We wrestled very well and our conditioning really showed as we had to move the section tournament from a two-day event to a one-day marathon.”