Hannah Ramaker goes up strong to the basket for the Knights in a game against Lake City. CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Hannah Ramaker goes up strong to the basket for the Knights in a game against Lake City. CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
The season is young, but Kingsland already played a game that will be etched in the memories of the local girls basketball players as the Knights downed Caledonia 61-60 on the Warriors home court Friday night.

The Knights led 34-21 at the half, but in the second half Caledonia started hitting three-pointers to get back into the game, finally taking the lead with 10 seconds remaining in the game.

Haley Colton and Mindy Woods brought the ball up the court, Colton drove the lane and dished it off to freshman Gracie Schmidt, who made the game winning shot.

"It was a night few will forget," said Kingsland coach Jill Thalmann, who was proud that the girls didn't give up when Caledonia came back.

"We played tough all the way until the end," she said.

The Knights moved the ball around and had a great night offensively, said Thalmann. Not only did they hit shots from the outside, they also made 67 percent of their shots from the free throw line.

Woods led the team with 14 points and nine rebounds. Marissa Bornholdt wasn't far behind with 11 points and eight rebounds. Colton "really took control and was a great leader on the court," said Thalmann.

Colton, with eight points, made six of eight free throws as did Lacey Schwartz, who scored 10 points total. Karson Reiland was perfect from the line, making all four of her free throws for her only points. Reann Kimball added six points, Jamie Thompson four and Hannah Ramaker and Schmidt two each.

Kimball and Colton each had six rebounds, Ramaker five, Schmidt four, Thompson two and Schwartz one. Ramaker led the team in steals with three and added four assists. Colton and Woods each had four assists.

Vs. Fillmore Central

The Knights opened the season with a tough loss to Fillmore Central on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at home.

Kingsland scored first, but Fillmore Central built the lead early and never gave it up. Fillmore Central led 34-17 at the half, but the Knights did a better job containing the Falcons in the second half, allowing them only 15 points, said Thalmann.

"Had we not dug ourselves such a large hole in the first half, we could have ended up with a win, said Thalmann.

The biggest difference was three-point shooting as the Falcons made five of 11 attempts and Kingsland made just one in 12 tries. The rest of the statistics were fairly even in the game.

"We did a much better job controlling the ball, but we still couldn't come up with a win. We struggled on defense and did not work together as a team," said Thalmann. "We left girls open, didn't fight through screens, and our help side defense was shaky."

The team shot just 23 percent from the field, but Thalmann said she was pleased that the Knights went to the line 17 times, making 65 percent of their free throws.

"When we were patient on offense, we did get some great looks. We didn't hit much from the outside, but we executed nicely when we pounded it into our posts," she said.

Bornholdt led the team with 17 points and seven rebounds. Also scoring were Kimball and Schmidt with four points each, Woods with three, and Colton, Schwartz and Ramaker with two each.

Woods played very good defense, said Thalmann, with six rebounds and two steals. Kimball also had five rebounds and Thompson and Schmidt each added four. Ramaker had three assists while Colton, Woods and Schwartz each had two.

"The season is young and I have no doubts that we can turn this around and still have an outstanding season," said Thalmann.

Vs. Lake City

Saturday, the Knights fell to Lake City 51-23 in a non-conference contest at home. The team didn't play badly, said Thalmann, but the "shots just wouldn't drop." The team shot just 16 percent from the field and 36 percent from the free throw line, where the Knights had been much more accurate this season so far.

"We took care of the ball and played a great game defensively," said the coach. "Lake City has a tall lineup and we couldn't quite stop 6'2" sophomore Madi Green. If it weren't for her, the outcome would have been a little different."

Kailynn Hamersma was the scoring leader with a mere five points. "She did a nice job taking it to the hole," commented Thalmann.

However, the team had a hard time getting much else scoring as the Knights were down 28-9 at the half.

Woods and Ramaker led the team in rebounds, both with seven on the night. Colton had three steals to lead the team and Woods had a team-high three assists.

Schedule

The Knights were scheduled to take on undefeated Chatfield away on Tuesday, but the game was played after this issue went to press. Friday is a home game against Dover-Eyota.