KoMets hang on to beat Tigers
With 13:29 left in the game, the Kasson-Mantorville girls’ basketball team led Stewartville 48-29, but what looked like a blowout became a much closer contest when the Tigers went on a 22-7 run over the next six minutes to climb within four points.
However, the KoMets responded with five straight points to stop the Tigers’ momentum and held on for a 76-65 win on Friday, Dec. 20.
The win is even more impressive considering Stewartville had been the only team in the HVL Gold to be undefeated in conference play.
Head Coach Ryan Haraldson said the KoMets were able to build a first half lead with the help of makinb nearly 50 percent of their three-point attempts.
“K-M was 5/12 from three-point range and Stewartville was 1/18 in the first half, which allowed KM to pull away before halftime,” he said.
He added that the KoMets used a balanced scoring attack to build a 39-27 halftime lead.
During halftime, he encouraged his team to be aggressive in the second half.
“We needed to continue to attack the basket, get to the free throw line, and take high percentage shots,” Haraldson said.
K-M increased their lead to as many as 19 points in the second half, but then the tide started to turn.
“Stewartville turned up their full court pressure and K-M turned the ball over a few too many times in that stretch. Stewartville was 20 of 25 from the free throw line, which allowed them to keep it close throughout,” he said.
Even though Stewartville made that late run, the KoMets never trailed in the second half.
One reason, he said, K-M maintained the lead was because they got to the free-throw line more frequently.
“K-M made more free throws than Stewartville attempted which allowed K-M to hang on to the double-digit win,” Haraldson said.
In fact, the KoMets were 26 of 36 from the free throw line for 72 percent, while Stewartville had just 25 attempts.
In addition to more free throw attempts, K-M also shot better from the field
(K-M was 22/49, while Stewartville was 20/75) and from beyond the three-point arch (K-M was 6/18, while Stewartville was 5/38).
He was also happy with the intensity and composure that the KoMets played with.
“K-M showed great energy from start to finish and never got rattled -- showing poise even through Stewartville’s late run to get back into the game,” he said.
Haraldson hopes the poise that the KoMets demonstrated shows his team that they “Can play with anyone on any given night. Stewartville was the only undefeated team in the HVL Gold coming into the contest,” he said.
The KoMets enter Christmas break with a 7-3 record (4-1 in the HVL).
K-M will look to improve its record when they compete against Rochester Mayo in the Rochester Hoops Challenge on court one of the Mayo Civic Center on Saturday, Jan. 4. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.
K-M stats: Shubert led the team with 24 points. Irish added 18 including four three-pointers.
“Ellie Bigelow added a huge double-double with a career-high in points and rebounds 16 points and 15 rebounds,” he said.
Rounding out the KoMets’ scoring were: Olivia Matuska who chipped in 9 points, Mackenzie Tozier 4, Nicole Kress 3 and Ashlyn Bigelow 2.
K-M won the battle of the boards 44-37 even though Stewartville had a 19-14 edge on the offensive glass.
Ellie Bigelow led the KoMets with 15 rebounds; Irish grabbed 9, Ashlyn Bigelow 6, Matuska 5, Kress 4 and Shubert 4.
Ashlyn Bigelow 2, Matuska 2, Shubert 2, and Irish each dished out 2 assists to lead the team.