Kingsland’s JJ Fenske drives to the basket against Fillmore Central.  CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Kingsland’s JJ Fenske drives to the basket against Fillmore Central. CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Kingsland started the week with a tightly contested game and ended with a big win over rival Fillmore Central in boys basketball action.

Kingsland 57, Southland 66

The Knights began the week on Tuesday with a tightly contested game in Adams that saw nine lead changes. The Southland Rebels were ultimately able to pull away as they closed the game on a 14-5 run during which they were four for six from the field and six for seven from the free throw line.

Kingsland (4-13, 2-8) started the game strong from behind the three point line, converting on five of their first 10 shots from long distance. Junior guard Jacob Rindels led the early three point barrage with a trio of treys to account for the Knights first nine points. Quinn Larson and Isiah Bubany each contributed a three of their own shortly thereafter to cap off the team's early success from beyond the arc. Kingsland cooled off from deep after their initial run, failing to make all 11 of their subsequent three point attempts in the first half. When the threes stopped falling, the Knights went to work from inside the arc. Rindels added a trio of two point field goals as well, giving him 15 of his game-high 20 points in the period. Southland (4-13, 2-9) used an efficient attack from two point range, 13-25 FG, to stem the Knights early success from three and continued it throughout the first half, which included seven lead changes and concluded with the Rebels leading by one.

Contrary to the rapid back-and-forth action in the first half, the second half consisted of three alternating runs, beginning with Southland's 15-6 surge to open play. The Rebel lead grew to as many as 10 before the Knights stormed back to take the lead 52-50 on the heels of a 14-2 run. Rindels ignited the Knights comeback by hitting his fourth and final three point basket of the game. Sophomore guard Eaen O'Byrne was a big part of the resurgence, coming off the bench to knock down two three-pointers and dish out a pair of assists, the second of which was to Bubany for a go-ahead three. The Knights lead was short-lived, however, as Southland scored on two of their next three possessions to retake the lead. Mired in a shooting slump for the balance of the game, Kingsland was only able to manage five points compared to their opponent's 14. That span saw Southland reach its largest lead of the game (11) and the final margin of nine points.

Points: Bubany 11, Rindels 20, Larson 6, Meskill 4, Moore 3, O'Byrne 6, Niemeyer 2, Wolf 5

Rebounds: Bubany 3, Rindels 5, Larson 3, Meskill 4, Plaehn 7, Moore 3, Niemeyer 7, O'Connor 2, Wolf 7

Assists: Bubany 1, Rindels 1, Larson 1, Plaehn 2, Moore 5, O'Byrne 2, O'Connor 1

Byron 71, Kingsland 45

In the first of two games at home to end the week, the Knights faced a formidable foe in the class AA sixth-ranked Byron Bears. The Bears were able to capitalize on their own efficient shooting and Kingsland turnovers to win comfortably.

Kingsland (4-14, 2-8) was able to stay with Byron (14-4, 10-1 HVL) in the early portion of the game, getting baskets from 6'3" sophomore forward Julius Wolf and senior guard Lenny Moore. After scoring six early points of his own, Jacob Rindels converted on a pair of free throws to pull the Knights to within four. Unfortunately, this would be as close as the Knights would get on this night, as Byron slowly pulled away, capitalizing on 11 first half Kingsland turnovers and shooting 68 percent from the field. The Knights scored 23 first half points, getting scoring contributions from seven different players including four from sophomore guard Quinn Larson. Also scoring in the half for the Knights were Moore, Rindels, Wolf, Trevor Schwarz, Nick Niemeyer and Dane Gillespie.

The Knights started the second half exchanging baskets with the Bears, as the lead fluttered around the halftime margin of 16 initially. Isiah Bubany and Marcus Plaehn triggered the early offense as the junior duo scored the first nine points, five and four respectively, of the half for the Knights. The Knights offense was unable to sustain success, however, as Byron pulled away with an 8-0 run that stretched the lead to 22 and never looked back. Rindels added two free throws to give him a team-high 10 points and Larson hit a three to give him seven, but the Knights weren't able to muster much more as Byron extended its lead to 34, which proved to be the final margin.

Points: Schwarz 2, Bubany 5, Rindels 10, Larson 7, Gillespie 2, Plaehn 6, Moore 5, Niemeyer 2, Wolf 2

Rebounds: Schwarz 1, Bubany 2, Rindels 2, Gillespie 1, Friemuth 3, Bradley 3, Plaehn 7, Niemeyer 3

Assists: Rindels 4, Larson 1, Plaehn 1, Moore 1.

Fillmore Central 53, Kingsland 57

The Knights were able to rebound from a tough loss on Thursday night with a victory over conference rival Fillmore Central in which the Knights led for most of the game. Fillmore Central didn't go down without a fight, however, as Kingsland fended off a late run by the Falcons to get the conference win.

Kingsland (5-14, 3-8) used early execution on offense to get easy buckets inside against Fillmore Central (7-10, 4-9). This execution led to a number of easy looks for the Knights, led by forwards Julius Wolf and Marcus Plaehn who totaled 10 and eight first half points, respectively. After trading baskets initially, Kingsland was able to build a lead of as many 14 with 9 minutes to go in the first, propelled by a 13-0 run. During that run, Quinn Larson was a catalyst off the bench for the Knights, first assisting Plaehn on consecutive buckets, then adding a pair of baskets of his own, the second of which was a three to cap off the rally. Defensively, coach John Fenske had his Knights playing a man-to-man defense to begin the game, but switched to a diamond-and-one zone in an effort to slow down Fillmore Central's Nick Powell. The zone was effective as the Falcons weren't able to consistently get open looks with Kingsland guard Lenny Moore shadowing Powell while the four other Knights patrolled their respective areas. Despite not attempting a free throw in the first half, the Knights were able to take a 35-26 lead into halftime. They were able to overcome the lack of free throws with 68 percent (17/25) shooting from the field and by forcing 10 Falcon turnovers. Moore was an active participant in the game's first period. The 5'8" guard tallied eight points, four assists, and three steals in addition to chasing Powell, who managed only five points in the half, around the court.

The second half began with the Knights picking apart the zone defense applied by the Falcons. On offense, however, Fillmore Central was able to string together some baskets to cut the deficit to six. The Knights responded with a 9-0 run to push the lead to 15, capped off by a three pointer from the corner by Jacob Rindels, who scored seven of his 10 points in the second half. That three pointer from Rindels prompted Fillmore Central coach Aaron Mensink to use a time out. The adjustments made during that time out appeared to have worked as the Falcons closed the game on a 17-6 run. During that final run, Fillmore Central switched to a pressure man-to-man defense that coaxed several Kingsland turnovers. Fillmore Central capitalized on these turnovers, turning them into fast break baskets and free throw attempts. Kingsland's foul trouble only fueled the Falcons' furious comeback, as both Moore and Plaehn sat for extended periods of time in the second half and eventually fouled out with under three minutes to go. The Knights had a number of opportunities to put the game away from the free throw line but were unable to convert. In the end, however, Nick Niemeyer knocked down one of two free throws to make it a two possession game and ultimately give the Knights the 57-53 victory.

Points: Bubany 8, Rindels 11, Larson 5, Plaehn 8, Moore 12, Niemeyer 1, Wolf 12

Rebounds: Bubany 4, Rindels 6, Larson 4, Plaehn 3, Fenske 1, Moore 2, Niemeyer 1, O'Connor 1, Wolf 3

Assists: Bubany 2, Larson 2, Plaehn 1, Moore 5.

Coming up

A game at Caledonia was scheduled for Tuesday and then the Knights travel to Chatfield Thursday. Monday, they return home to take on Dover-Eyota.