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

Kimball Junior High team begins busy season with varied results


November 16, 2017

Junior High girl’s basketball is underway and the younger local club started the season off with a 14-8 win against Pine Bluffs on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Coach Danielle Reader said, “I was really proud of the way they came out and played their first game. They played hard and have great attitudes.”

Leading the girls was Alyssa Paxton with seven points, followed by Charlotte Hargreaves, Alycia Vrbas and Jaydin Paxton with two each and Halsey Clark added one to the Kimball board.

Though the seventh-grade girls won their game, the Kimball Junior High 8th graders had a tough battle against a good Pine Bluffs team and lost 12-17.

“I was really proud of their effort and how they handled themselves. They worked really hard on defense and got a lot of stops, but offensively we had a hard time finding the basket and turnovers really hurt us,” coach Michele Daum said. “We’ll keep getting better with each game. I was especially proud of the effort Katie Heeg made on the defensive end. She caused Pine Bluffs a lot of turnovers and did a lot of good things in the first game.”

Payton Wise and Chantel Malson led the scoring efforts of the older team with four points each, followed by Tianna Stierwalt with three and Heeg with one of her own.

The girls followed up two days later with a game against Gering and both teams brought in the win.

The younger team had a second successful night, winning 20-8, led by Hargreaves with ten points, Alyssa Paxton with four, Clark with four and Lily Tabor with two.

“Again, I was very proud of their effort and each night they seem to be getting better,” Reader said of the team.

The 8th graders got a much needed 27-6 win against Gering as well.

“I was really proud of the way the girls came out and played tonight. We literally cut our turnovers in half and their offense reflected taking care of the ball better,” Daum said. “It was a good win for us. I cannot believe the improvement from the first game to the second game.”

Heeg led the offense, scoring 11, with Riley Hinton and Wise following with four. Maddison Merryfield added three to the win and Malson and Caelynn Long each scored two.

On Monday, Nov. 13, the young team took on a tough Bridgeport team and ended the night with two losses.

Kimball’s 7th Grade team lost in a heart break overtime 12-14 with Jaydin Paxton putting up eight points followed by Hargreaves and Alyssa Paxton with two each.

The eighth grade girls were outsized by the tall and talented Bridgeport team and they suffered a 25-9 loss.

“Our defense was really good and we didn’t give them a lot of second shots, but we simply couldn’t find the basket ourselves and went scoreless the whole first half,” Daum said.

Scoring was led by Heeg with five points, Merryfield with two, Stierwalt and Malson each added one.


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