|Lady Plainsmen come up short in holiday tourney after first round win over Chase County Longhorns|
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Swing forward Kayli Rageth’s resolve battled Kimball back from a 13-0 drubbing from the opening tip to a 46-41 Lady Longhorns victory over the Lady Plainsmen to win the Perkins County Booster Club’s Holiday Tournament Tuesday night Dec. 29 in Grant.
Rageth (18 points), who stands to graduate as Kimball’s all-time girls leading scorer, grabbed two consecutive offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, drew a foul, and knocked down two free throws to give the Lady Longhorns the lead it would keep at 41-39.
Rageth’s steal at the wheel and layup off a give-and-go sealed the deal at 43-39 for 7-2 Kimball, making its abysmal start a distant memory.
“Kimball switched defenses to a half court trap that bothered us the rest of the game. Rageth on the top of that defense caused the most problems for our guards,” Lady Plainsmen Head Coach Chris Mestl said after the game.
The tournament looked as if it would crown a different champion after Lady Plainsmen guard Mackenzie Hite and junior forward Jessica Day bombed in consecutive three pointers, and Hite (eight points) connected with Day (seven points) in transition after intercepting a pass. The home team build a 13-0 lead before guard Whitney Lockwood stopped the bleeding with a shot off the backboard.
Kimball missed its first five shots but settled into a more disciplined half-court offense after some transition attempts did not succeed.
Forward Hannah Stull did not hit every long shot she took, but did strike for a three pointer in every quarter to climb her Lady Longhorns back into the game.
Both forward Cierra Pederson and Rageth grabbed multiple steals and ran them to the hole. Pederson (11 points) protected the ball well in the closing minutes, and put the game out of the Lady Plainsmen’s reach with three free throws in three trips to the line.
Every Perkins County starter scored, and the balanced attack merited them a 41-41 fourth quarter tie.
Jenni Sis and Brooke Poppe got to the rim for points, and reserve guard Kristin Beck made Kimball pay three points for a hoop-and-harm put-back. Hite’s interception and foul shots erased a six-point, 36-30 third quarter deficit and set the stage for a photo finish.
Poppe (eight points) shot four of five from the foul line and built a 23-12 Perkins County lead after taking contact in the middle of the lane.
Kimball made up for lost time with a 10-0 run just before halftime. Pederson spotted up in the wheel, Rageth and Stull downed “threes,” and Rageth stashed stolen property to overtake the Lady Plainsmen 24-23 at the half.
“Kimball’s ability to get second and third shots was what changed the game in the second half,” Coach Mestl said.
Perkins County vs
The Lady Plainsmen shot and dribbled with confidence, sending Chase County to the loser’s bracket with a 55-31 win Dec. 28 in Grant.
Senior guard Brooke Poppe dribbled the ball three-fourths of the court and past three Lady Longhorns defenders to put an exclamation point on Perkins County’s holiday tournament win.
Poppe led all scorers with 12, and her wide-open three pointer led her to seven points in the third quarter alone. The shooting guard also popped in three of four free throws.
“We [coaches] were pleased with our team and the execution that they showed throughout this game especially since it was the first game back from the holiday break,” Perkins County Head Coach Chris Mestl said.
Chase County engaged the Lady Plainsmen in a fight early in the game, taking a 7-5 lead on the strength of a three pointer and driving basket from forward Karlee Palmer.
But a 21-3 second quarter outburst drove the idea of a Lady Longhorns victory far from everyone’s mind.
Forward Jenni Sis struck quickly and hard for Perkins County, bumping in two open layups and two free throws to give her girls a 15-9 lead. Sis scored nine points.
Jessica Day liked the third quarter the best, hitting a long-distance two pointer and a “three” from even farther for five of her nine.
Tanya Metcalf’s right-wing jumper from 10 feet away crested the Lady Plainsmen’s lead to 24 at 49-25.
Palmer scored just another three pointer and led Chase County with eight points.
The Lady Plainsmen forced the Lady Longhorns to take contested shots and did a good job making sure they controlled the defensive backboard.
The 3-5 Perkins County girls host 5-2 Dundy County-Stratton on Thursday and 0-7 Sutherland on Saturday. Dundy County beat common opponent Southwest 50-35 earlier in the year; Sutherland suffered a miserable 59-18 defeat at the hands of North Platte St. Pat’s.