By Dave Faries

Kimball Girls Throttle Perkins County To Remain Unbeaten


Michele Daum

Shelby Vogel arches a shot over Perkins County's Shania Metcalf

Bad things usually happen when a team slips into cruise control.

But the Longhorns held such a comfortable lead Friday night that a 10-0 Perkins County run in the game’s waning minutes just scratched the surface of a 47-31 home victory.

“Perkins County is a good team,” head coach Ken Smith said. “You can’t be anything but happy with the win.”

After the opening exchange, Kimball never fell behind. Just five minutes after the opening tip, the Longhorns had jumped out to a 14-3 advantage.

The fast start was triggered by Taylor Wismer, who drained two consecutive three-pointers midway through the first period. Jessica Hanks followed with another, taking a kick out from Shelby Vogel and converting from the wing--a trio of treys in the span of 1:30.

“The first two games nothing was falling, but this time there were gaps,” Wismer explain. The visitors allowed her free range on the perimeter in the first quarter, and she made them pay.

Darbi Klinkhammer finished the run with a steal and coast to coast lay up.

Just as suddenly, however, the Longhorns succumbed to an offensive chill. Perkins County’s Carlie Waitley, Matisyn Humphrey and Courtney Ostermiller hit on successive possessions and the period ended 14-9.

Fortunately for Smith and his squad, the visitors never approached closer. Kimball’s trapping defense robbed the ball 16 times and full court pressure held the Lady Plainsmen to single digit scoring in each of the first three periods.

“We’ve done that the last four years,” Smith said of the team’s in-your-face defensive attitude. “We’re fortunate to have some real athletic girls.”

The Longhorns warmed again offensively as the second quarter began. Klinkhammer nailed a three then scored from inside the lane after an acrobatic lunge by Vogel saved a loose ball from rolling out of bounds.

“We practice pushing the ball,” Klinkhammer pointed out, explaining Kimball’s rapid fire attack.

Vogel netted two in a row from the paint, the first a turn around jumper after Danica Daum zipped the ball inside, the second concluding an alert pass from Hanks.

“Shelby’s dropping low and getting open,” Wismer observed.

Her elusiveness led to 13 points on the night.

Perkins County’s imposing 6’1 center, Shania Metcalf, tried to rally her side. She responded to the Longhorns’ 9-0 run with a pair of scores--the second with Wismer, Kimball’s tiny 5’2 guard, offering some wishful opposition. The mismatch caught everyone’s attention.

“I could hear her laughing,” Wismer reported.

Klinkhammer and Vogel teamed on a fast break to silence the Perkins County outburst. The pair would combine a few more times on break opportunities in the second half.

“They’ve developed chemistry,” Smith noted.

Apart from two more Wismer threes, a neat Vogel jumper and Kelly Green’s late charity shot, Klinkammer was involved in every Kimball second half score.

She found Hanks on a laser-sharp skip pass and Vogel twice as time ran down in the third. In the final period, the Longhorns’ point guard engineered another steal and drive, whipped a pass across the lane to Brooke Hager for another 2 points and executed a clever weave through four defenders to stamp out Perkins County’s late 10-0 run.

“She’s playing like the Darbi we know,” Smith said. “She’s making good decisions.”

Klinkhammer, Vogel and Wismer reached double digits in the romp. The senior point guard added 9 assists and 5 steals.

The Longhorns travel to Hershey on Friday before returning home for a Saturday date with Bayard.

“We’re 3-0--that’s good,” Vogel said, “but we have a lot to focus on this week.”


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