Melinda Woods looks for an open Kingsland teammate.  CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Melinda Woods looks for an open Kingsland teammate. CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
The Kingsland girls basketball team only played two of their four scheduled games the past week due to inclement weather. Those two games pitted the Knights against two tough opponents in Byron and undefeated Chatfield. Fighting injuries and illness, Kingsland fought hard in both games but ultimately ended the week with two losses.

Kingsland 51, Byron 73

Kingsland (3-12, 2-8) began the week on Thursday in Byron (7-10, 5-6) against an HVL-tested Bears team that proved to be too much for the Lady Knights.

Kingsland's Marissa Bornholdt was unable to participate in the game due to illness. Kingsland coach Jill Thalmann noticed the senior forward's absence, saying, "We definitely missed her leadership out on the court. However, we had other girls who stepped up to the plate."

Haley Colton was among those who stepped up, as the senior guard nabbed two steals while playing aggressive defensive that frustrated the Byron guards. She also made an impact on the game offensively, tallying nine points and five assists. Center Gracie Schmidt chipped in nine points, cashing in on five of seven attempts from the free throw line. Schmidt, a freshman, also grabbed 10 rebounds, leaving her one point shy of a double-double. Melinda Woods scored eight of her team-high 10 points in the second half for the Knights. The senior guard also contributed four rebounds, three steals, and two assists.

The Knights also got six points and three rebounds from sophomore forward Reann Kimball. Coach Thalmann liked the effort Kimball brought to the team, saying she "worked hard under the basket."

The Knights were in the game throughout the first half, but Byron closed the period with a seven-point lead. The Bears were able to pull away in the second half, scoring 40 points in the closing period en route to the 22-point victory.

Points: Woods 10, Colton 9, Schmidt 9, Kimball 6, Hamersma 5, Thompson 5, Ramaker 4, Link 3

Rebounds: Schmidt 10, Thompson 8, Woods 4, Kimball 3, Ramaker 1, Hamersma 1, Link 1

Assists: Colton 5, Woods 2, Ramaker 2, Link 1

Chatfield 73, Kingsland 40

Coming off a tough loss the night before, the road didn't get any easier for the Knights as they faced conference rival and undefeated Chatfield. Kingsland (3-13, 2-9) fell behind big in the first half to a Gopher squad that has won all 14 of the games they have played this year.

"There is a reason they are still undefeated," said Thalmann. "They move the ball up the court and when they shoot, they don't miss."

The Knights were able to break the defensive press applied by the Gophers, but weren't able to execute their half-court offense efficiently enough to keep up with visiting team.

Kingsland was led in scoring by Melinda Woods and Jamie Thompson who both contributed seven points. Thompson, who Thalmann said, "has really stepped up over the last couple games," also grabbed seven rebounds. Thompson was tied for the team lead in rebounds with freshman Kailey Link. Link has been seeing more varsity minutes recently due to injuries and according to Thalmann is "starting to get into the groove of things."

The Knights were able to spread the ball around effectively, getting buckets from nine different players including five points from Colton and four each from Link, Kimball, Hannah Ramaker and Kailynn Hamermsa. Although the scoring was evenly distributed for the Knights, there wasn't enough of it in the first half as the Gophers led 46-15 at the break. Kingsland was able to stop the lead from growing, but couldn't climb back into it as they were outscored by two in the second half, 27-25.

Points: Woods 7, Thompson 7, Colton 5, Link 4, Kimball 4, Ramaker 4, Hamersma 4, Bornholdt 3, Schmidt 2

Rebounds: Link 7, Thompson 7, Bornholdt 5, Woods 3, Hamersma 3, Colton 1, Schmidt 1

Assists: Colton 2, Woods 2, Link 1, Ramaker 1

Coming up

The Knights have a stretch of 10 games in three weeks on the horizon, which was scheduled to begin Monday at Dover-Eyota against an Eagles team that is 16-1 on the season. Tonight (Wednesday), they take on Caledonia at home. The Knights will also take on Winona Cotter Friday. They start next week with two games - at Plainview-Elgin-Millville Monday and at home against St. Charles on Tuesday.

"We need to get everybody healthy and finish this last stretch of basketball on a high note," said Thalmann. "It's not about how you start the season, it's about how you finish."