Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Lady Longhorns suffer pair of close losses in SPVA Tournament


Still hurting from the loss of Alex Reader, as they will be the balance of the season, the Kimball High Lady Longhorns suffered a pair of 4 point losses during SPVA Conference Tournament play this past week.

In first round play they hosted Bridgeport and lost 39-35, and then lost 46-42 to Sutherland in the battle for 5th place on Saturday at North Platte Community College, leaving them now with a record of 4-7 after a 3-1 start. Reader, a junior and returning all conference player, along with being Kimball’s top scorer with a 15 point average, was injured at the end of the win at Morrill that got the Horns to 3-1. She is scheduled to undergo surgery for the knee injury this week.

Kimball had picked up their 4th win of the season at Bridgeport just 5 days before suffering a loss to the Lady Bulldogs on Kimball’s home court in SPVA play. Senior Jannel Fiehtner got Kimball off to a good start with a rebound bucket and a drive for a score to go up 4-0. A short time later she nailed a 15 footer to maintain an 8-6 lead, and her 6 points and 6 by Kate Reader gave the Lady Horns a 12-10 lead at the quarter break.

Kimball played solid defense and rebounded strong as they out scored the Lady Bulldogs 8-3 in the second period thanks to a couple of on target long shots by freshman Carli Wurdeman, and a pair of baskets inside on an in-bounds play and a hard drive to the basket by Kate Reader. The Horns looked in control with their 20-13 half time margin.

Bridgeport went on an 11-0 scoring run to close out the third period and take a 28-25 lead into the fourth quarter after out scoring Kimball 15-5 in the third period. Kate Reader had picked up her 4th foul and coach Chauncey Pedersen had to give her some bench time which didn’t help the cause. The Lady Bulldogs started the fourth period with a 7-0 run to go up 35-25 and were on top 38-29 before Hannah Biesecker and Alexis Lulf hit back-to-back treys to close to 38-35 with :20 seconds remaining but that was as close as they could get.

Kate Reader lead Kimball with 12 points, 16 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists. Fiehtner ended with 8 points and 5 boards. Lulf had 5 points with 1 trey and 9 rebounds. Wurdeman had 4. Biesecker 4 with 1 trey, and Justine Heeg 2.

In team stats Kimball was 15/45 from the field and only 2/2 on 3 point attempts, along with 3/6 at the foul line. They pulled 37 rebounds, 7 steals, 6 assists, 19 turnovers, and had 16 fouls. Bridgeport won the game at the foul line where they shot 29 gifters and made 13. They were led in scoring by Emily Baxter and Riley Hall with 9 each, Brittany Nelson 7, Ashley Weborg 5, Alexis Corman and Brittney Newkirk 4 each, and Kaitlyn Nein 1.

Kimball 12 8 5 10---35

Bridgeport 10 3 15 11---39

Kimball got a good start against Sutherland with Kate Reader getting the first 2 baskets of the game on rebound put-backs but the Lady Sailors scored the next 11 points including 3 consecutive treys and led 11-8 at the quarter. Kimball was playing hard and giving good effort and trailed just 22-18 at half time with Reader already in double figures with 10. The Lady Horns out scored Sutherland 13-8 to take over the lead and we’re on top 31-30 entering the final 8 minutes.

Sutherland regained the lead by scoring the first 6 pints of the final period and went on to out score the Horns 16-11 in the final stanza to secure the win. Despite good effort, Kimball just couldn’t get over the hump and lost another close one.

Great night for Kate Reader as the sophomore led all scorers with 22 going 9/16 from the field and 4/6 at the line. She also charged 15 rebounds, had 3 blocks, 3 steals, and 3 assists in an all around night of good play. Hannah Biesecker had 7 points, Jannel Fiehtner 6, Alexis Lulf 5 with 1 trey, and Madison Wynne 2.

In team stats Kimball shot 15/47 from the field but a dismal 1/18 on 3 point tries and were 11/20 at the line. They had 27 rebounds, 4 blocks, 7 steals, 5 assists, 9 turnovers, and 14 fouls.

The winners, coached by former Kimball High student/athlete, Jason Gunderson, was led in scoring by Haeven Schuster with 18 including 3 treys, and Erica Hopping with 12.

Coach Pedersen is doing his best to put together the right lineup to get the job done but is hiring bad with the loss of hit top scorer and team leader in Alex Reader. It is bought to get so close but not get the win but Pedersen commented, “I thought the girls played hard and gave good effort. Tonight we couldn’t get the 3-ball to fall as we were only 1 of 18. Just a couple more and we win. We will keep giving our best but we have some tough games coming up.”

After traveling to Mitchell this past Tuesday to face state ranked Lady Tigers with only 1 loss, they go up against this same Sutherland team tomorrow night (Friday) with a road trip east, and then face a very tough North Platte St. Pats flub Saturday night at home. Monday night (January 30) they will host Bayard in a storm post pond make-up game, then move into Western Trails Conference Tournament play next week.

Sutherland 11 11 8 16---46

Kimball 8 10 13 11---42


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