The West Central Area lady Knights went 1-2 during a three game week that saw them open the week in Underwood on Monday night before coming home to host C-G-B and Hancock late in the week.
On Friday night the West Central Area Girls’ Basketball team hosted Hancock in a Pheasant Conference match-up. The game saw Hancock jump out to an early lead and then WCA cut the lead to two points with the score at 18-20. The Hancock Owls went on a mini run to end the half and the score was 26-20 in the Owls favor. The run continued for the Owls to start the second half and built a 38-24 lead. The lead for the Owls fluctuated slightly for the rest of the game, but ended 51-36.
The Lady Knights were led by Ella Van Kempen with 7 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, a steal and an assist. Hailey Bennett had 4 points, 2 steals and 4 assists. Morgan Sanstead scored 4 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, and assisted on 3 shots. Dawn Anderson had 4 points and a rebound. Taylin Schliecher had 4 points, 2 rebounds and a block. Brianna Kreft had 3 points, 2 rebounds and a steal. Lexi Bright had 3 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. Kaitlyn Hansen had 3 points, a rebound and a steal. Morgan Woodle 2 points, 2 rebounds, a steal and a block. Amanda Dreschel had 2 points and a rebound. Katie Merrick had a rebound and a steal. Charlette Kohman had 2 rebounds and Izzy Wittbrodt added a rebound herself.
“Tonight we had chances to regain the lead and to correct our mistakes, but credit Hancock for not allowing us to feel comfortable in making those corrections,” said Coach Eric Schoenbauer. He then went on to say, “Turnovers were equal throughout the game, as was points off of turnovers, and rebounding. The difference in the game was us starting to play NBA basketball.” Coach Schoenbauer clarified what playing NBA basketball meant later by stating, “NBA basketball is not getting on the floor for loose balls and spectating on offense. What I mean by spectating on offense is passing the ball to someone and then standing and staring at them; waiting for them to go one-on-one to the basket.”
Thursday night the Lady Knights hosted the CGB Wolverines. The beginning of the game had 3 lead changes and then the Knights went on a run leading 18-10. The Wolverines would respond and cut the lead to 24-20 at halftime. The second half began and the Knights clung to a four point lead early in the second half 28-24, but then they went on a run and lead by 18 points. The Wolverines would respond and cut the lead to 14 points. The Wolverines had to play the foul game late and the Knights hit just enough to grow the lead to twenty points. The final score was 57-34 for the Lady Knights.
The storyline of the game was the Knights’ ability to work as a team and grow the lead. They had 13 players finish in the scorers column and that is something that makes it difficult for any team to defend. The Knights were led by Ella Van Kempen with 19 points, 8 rebounds, a steal, a block and an assist. Hailey Bennett had 8 points, 2 rebounds, 4 steals and an assist. Taylin Schleicher had 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a block. Kailtyn Hansen had 5 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. Brianna Kreft scored 3 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, had 4 steals and 2 assists. Charlette Kohman, Morgan Woodle, Kailtyn Hansen, Morgan Sanstead, Dawn Anderson and Lexi Bright all added 2 points. Katie Merrick and Kaleigh Anderson each chipped in a point. Anderson added 6 rebounds, an assist and 2 steals. Bright grabbed 4 rebounds, an assist and 3 steals. Merrick had 2 assists and 3 rebounds. Sanstead and Woodle added 2 and 3 steals respectively. Amanda Dreschel added a steal.
“Tonight we played together and used our strengths to pull ahead in this game. It can be hard to find a rhythm in the game if we are subbing people as much as we did, but the girls thrived on our ability to tire the opposition out and they were ready to go when they got in tonight,” Coach Schoenbauer stated.
The Lady Knights made the trip to Underwood on Monday Night and took on the Rockets. The Lady Knights struggled early in the game to find consistency in their defensive pressure and their offensive continuity. The halftime score was 36-25 and missed free-throws plagued the Lady Knights in the first half going 4-14. The second half began and the Rockets went on a run to increase their lead to nearly 20 points; 46-28 in their favor. The Knights defensive pressure started to pay off and with 2 minutes left the lead was 56-48 Underwood. The Lady Knights needed to foul and hit some shots but in the end it was not enough, and the final score was 62-56 Underwood.
This game is a great example of the importance of the 4 first four minutes of the half and game, and it also shows how the last 4 minutes sometimes are dictated by what happened at the beginning. The Lady Knights were led by Taylin Schliecher with 14 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist. Ella Van Kempen had 11 points, 13 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 blocks and an assist. Brianna Kreft had 8 points, 4 rebounds and a steal. Morgan Woodle had 6 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. Lexi Bright had 6 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Hailey Bennett had 4 points, a rebound and an assist. Charlette Kohman had 4 points, 2 rebounds and a steal. Dawn Anderson had 3 points, 2 rebounds and a steal. Morgan Sanstead had 3 assists, 2 steals and a rebound. Katie Merrick had 2 rebounds, a steal and an assist. Kaitlyn Hansen had 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
“Tonight our team capitalized at times on the pressure they created on defense, and they never gave up and created a 20-10 run. These runs are possible for us going forward, but we need to continue to play with a sense of urgency every moment we are in the game,” Coach Schoenbauer stated. “Our urgency does not mean we need to rush, but we need to realize every minute and every second in the game is important. We need our mental focus and communication on point to win these games.”