By Pat Garry, Staff Writer
The Cubs lost to Eden Valley-Watkins, 70-29 Tuesday, Dec. 18. On Thursday, the girls picked up a nice win over Maple Lake, 51-43, and Friday, Kimball fell to Litchfield, 59-52.
(EV-W Game) Kimball traveled to EV-W Tuesday, and the undefeated Eagles took control right from the start, posting a 19-9 lead in the game’s first eight minutes. They pushed their lead to 43-19 by halftime. The Cubs had no answers as the Eagles soared to the decisive victory. Stat Line: Ashley Schindele, 8 points, 5 rebounds; Cailyn Kuechle, 7 points; Erin O’Brien, points; Rachel Utecht, 3 points; Bailee Schiefelbein, 2 points; Kristin Hilbert, 2 points; Ellie Kuechle, 2 points; Madelyn Hunt, 2 steals;
(Maple Lake Game) Kimball broke a 5-5 tie with field goals by Ashley Schindele, Rachel Utecht, and Erin O’Brien, to take a 12-5 lead with 11:45 remaining in the first half. In the second half the Cubs pushed their lead 45-35, on back-to-back baskets from O’Brien. Cailyn Kuechle, Rachel Utecht, and Erin, collectively iced the game, hitting 6 of 8 free throws in the game’s final three minutes. Too, Kimball endured some foul trouble, as Schreiner and O’Brien both played much of the second half with four fouls apiece. However, both managed to play smart, disciplined defense and avoided fouling out. As a team the Cubs forced 23 turnovers and 13 steals, gaining the possession advantage. Kimball also got to the free throw line 10 more times than Maple Lake and out-rebounded the Irish, 26-21. The Cubs’ record moves to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in the Central Minnesota Conference. Stat Line: Erin O’Brien, 15 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists; Ashley Schindele, 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals; Rachel Utecht, 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals; Cailyn Kuechle, 5 points; Sidney Schreiner, 2 points, 4 steals; Made-lyn Hunt, 1 point; Kristin Hilbert, 1 point; Ellie Kuechle, 2 steals.
(Litchfield Game) Kimball faced another very good team as the Cubs welcomed in the Litchfield Dragons for a non-conference matchup. Kimball jumped out fast on the strength of seniors Ashley Schindele and Erin O’Brien’s offensive prowess, who pumped in 12 and 11 points respectively, in the first half. Schindele’s buzzer beater gave Kimball a 28-26 halftime lead. Second-half scoring remained close, as Litchfield broke a 44-44 tie with six minutes remaining to take a 46-44 lead. Rachel Utecht connected on a clutch trey with 2:57 left, to make it 51-49, Dragons. A waning-seconds O’Brien free throw kept the game at one possession, 52-55. But the Cubs were forced to foul late, and the Dragons converted their free throws to seal the victory. “What an exciting game from start to finish, with so many great plays from both teams – and some pressure-packed moments down the stretch. As a player these are the situations you dream of, and as a coach these are the moments you want for your players,” Coach Jeremy Kuechle remarked. Stat Line: Erin O’Brien, 24 points, 12 rebounds; Ashley Schindele, 17 points, 5 rebounds; Rachel Utecht, 9 points; Bailee Schiefelbein, 2 points.