ST. JOSEPH – The Kimball area women’s basketball team avenged their regular season loss to the Osakis Silverstreaks by winning 48-43 in the Division 6AA playoffs Saturday at St. John’s University. Osakis beat Kimball 74-51 on Feb. 8.
Kimball Area took a 22-4 lead late in the first half on Saturday.
“We really struggled early in the game to knock down shots and take care of the ball,” Osakis head coach Pat Kalpin said. “Kimball did a good job defensively anticipating our next pass. It was all contested and we struggled to move the ball quickly. We were down 22-4 at the end of the first half, but with a small late run we were able to reduce the lead to 22-12 at half time.
Osakis beat Kimball 31-16 in the second half, but it turned out to be too little too late. Osakis was without senior guard Mara VanNyhuis who suffered an ankle injury in last Thursday’s playoff game against Rush City.
“In the second half, the girls fought hard and were able to get back into the game,” Kalpin said. “Defensively we did a good job getting saves to keep us in the game. We reduced our lead throughout the second half and equalized with less than a minute to play. This late run was led by two three-pointers from Hayleigh Niehoff and two free throws from Alexis Johanson. On Kimball’s next possession, we fouled and put them on the free throw line, but they only made one free throw. On our next offensive possession, we peeked the basket to take the lead, but unfortunately the shots didn’t fall. Kimball hit some late free throws to seal the win.
Kimball beat Osakis 20-6 in points on turnovers.
Lead guard Tessa Stanek led the Silverstreaks with 11 points.
“I was really proud of how the girls fought back to give themselves a chance to win the match in the end,” Kalpin said. “They could have easily gone down by 18 in the first half, but this team has struggled all year; they fought until the end again today. It’s always hard to watch seasons end, but this team had a great season finishing the year at 21-7 and winning the Prairie Conference. From the beginning to the end of the season, the growth of this team has been incredible. »
Saturday’s game is the last game for a good group of Osakis seniors.
“We had a great group of seniors whose high school basketball careers ended – Mara VanNyhuis, Alexis Johanson, Lexi Klimek, Lexi Spychalla, Tessa Stanek, Hayleigh Niehoff and manager Makenzie Lien,” Kalpin said. “Saying goodbye to a wonderful group like this is not easy. As a coach, I have truly enjoyed working with this group not just this year but throughout their career. Their commitment to our program has been a huge success factor for our teams this year. Their leadership, work ethic and attitudes are what have made this season so enjoyable to experience. We coaches are the lucky ones who have had the chance to having such a great group of girls to work with this year. We will miss them.”
OSAKIS – 12 31 – 43
KIMBALL AREA – 22 26 – 48
OSAKIS TOTALS: FG – 15-50; 3PT-5-25; FT-8-10; Rebounds – 35; Assists – 12; Deviations – 3; Turnovers – 20, Fouls – 11
KIMBALL ZONE TOTALS: FG – 17-47; 3PT-4-15; FT-10-18; Rebounds – 27; Assists – 6; Deviations – 8; Steals – 14; Turnover – 11; Fouls – 12
OSAKIS – Tessa Stanek, 11 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 deflection, 1 interception; Lexi Spychalla – 3 points, 1 rebound; Alexis Johanson – 6 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals; Hayliegh Niehoff – 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals; Carlee Muenzhuber – 2 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists; Taylor Dirkes – 5 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist; Madi Collins- 2 points; Kiley Kranz – 6 points, 10 rebounds, 2 deflections