Melinda Woods puts up a shot for the Knights vs. St. Charles.  CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Melinda Woods puts up a shot for the Knights vs. St. Charles. CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
The Kingsland girls basketball team had a busy week, playing four games in six days. The week included two contests against a talented Plainview-Elgin-Millville team as well as one each against St. Charles and Spring Grove. The Knights were handled easily by PEM in both games and lost close calls to Saints and Lions.

Kingsland 27, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 60

Kingsland (3-17, 2-15) looked to snap its 11-game losing streak against Plainview-Elgin-Millville (18-3, 13-1) as they began the week on the road. The Lady Knights struggled to put the ball in the basket in their first of two games against PEM on the week, scoring only 15 first half points.

Kingsland was again met with a full-court press defense on Monday night, and, as has been the case during their current losing streak, they had a hard time getting the ball to their offensive end. Although the Knights received scoring contributions from seven different players, none of them were able to reach double figures in points. Haley Colton led the way offensively for the Knights, scoring nine points, while Melinda Woods chipped in six points and added a pair of assists.

The Knights also had difficulty rebounding the ball against the Bulldogs. "PEM is a very athletic team and we struggled to get position under the basket and get rebounds," noted Kingsland coach Jill Thalmann of the Knights woes on the glass. Senior forward Jamie Thompson led the team in rebounds with a modest total of four.

After allowing 36 first half points and trailing by 21 at the intermission, Kingsland limited the Bulldogs to only 24 second half points. Unfortunately for the Knights, they were only able to muster 12 second half points and their 21-point halftime deficit ballooned to the final margin of 33.

Points: Colton 9, Woods 6, Hamersma 4, Link 2, Kimball 2, Thompson 2, Schmidt 2

Rebounds: Thompson 4, Kimball 3, Bornholdt 3, Hamersma 3, Schmidt 3, Colton 2, Woods 2, Link 2, Reiland 1

Assists: Woods 2, Thompson 1.

St. Charles 58, Kingsland 48

Kingsland (3-18, 2-16) looked to rebound from a disappointing loss on Monday when they faced conference foe St. Charles (9-12, 6-9). After an abysmal offensive showing the night before, the Knights responded strongly by taking a two-point advantage into halftime. The Lady Knights weren't able to sustain their success, however, getting outscored by 12 in the second half.

Senior guard Kailynn Hamersma sparked the improved play the Knights displayed on Tuesday night. Hamersma played a great all-around game, leading the team in scoring with 16 points while also grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out five assists. Fellow senior Marissa Bornholdt was second in scoring for the home team as she added 11 points. The freshman duo of Kailey Link and Gracie Schmidt had a major impact on the game as well with each scoring nine points and pulling down six boards.

Defensively the Knights turned to a 2-3 zone defense to limit the Saints to only 25 first half points. Thalmann was impressed by her team's defensive execution saying, "Our defense was great! We were talking to each other and playing as a team."

Despite leading by two at half, the Knight finished the game losing by 10, 58-48, allowing 33 second half Saint points. "We had a lull to start the second half and found ourselves in a 16 point deficit," said Thalmann.

Points: Hamersma 16, Bornholdt 11, Link 9, Schmidt 9, Woods 3

Rebounds: Woods 11, Hamersma 9, Link 6, Schmidt 6, Bornholdt 5, Thompson 3, Ramaker 1

Assists: Hamersma 5, Woods 3, Colton 1, Bornholdt 1.

Plainview-Elgin-Millville 78, Kingsland 34

Kingsland (3-19, 2-16) looked to avenge a loss earlier in the week to PEM (20-3, 15-1) as the two teams met again on Friday night in Spring Valley. Although the Knights ended up losing by 44, they played a tough P-E-M more competitively on this night, especially on the offensive end.

Senior guard Melinda Woods led the Knights in scoring this time around against the Bulldogs, chipping in 15 points. Woods, who also grabbed four rebounds, attempted 10 free throws on the night and connected on seven of them. Marissa Bornholdt was next up in the scoring column; the senior forward added eight points. In addition to scoring, Bornholdt grabbed a team-high seven rebounds as well.

Defensively, Colton continued to impress, recording six steals and frustrating the Bulldogs from her position in the 1-2-2 zone the Knights deployed. "Haley Colton had another great defensive game," said Thalmann. "She broke up a lot of plays and really frustrated their high post."

The Knights trailed by 24 at halftime, 47-23. Unfortunately the second half was the third of four halves in the week during which Kingsland couldn't surpass 20 points, finishing with 11.

Points: Woods 15, Bornholdt 8, Hamersma 4, Colton 2, Schwartz 2, Link 2, Kimball 1

Rebounds: Bornholdt 7, Woods 4, Hamersma 3, Colton 1, Schwartz 1, Link 1, Kimball 1, Ramaker 1, Thompson 1, Schmidt 1

Assists: Colton 2, Schwartz 2, Woods 1, Kimball 1, Hamersma 1, Schmidt 1.

Kingsland 49, Spring Grove 52

Kingsland (3-20, 2-16) concluded the week on Saturday with an inter-conference game against Spring Grove (18-6, 16-1 Southeast). For the second time in the week, Kingsland rebounded from a 30+ point loss the night before and performed much better.

Link, a freshman forward, led the team in points and rebounds on Saturday, recording 13 and seven, respectively. Thompson and Woods also reached double digits, scoring 10 each; the pair of seniors added five rebounds each as well. Woods also led the team in assists with five. Thalmann was complimentary of Woods's efforts on Saturday saying, "I have to applaud her for applying what we have been working on in practice. It's nice to see her hard work paying off."

Kingsland began the game in their 1-2-2 zone and continued to get positive results from it. "The girls played hard as a team," said Thalmann. "They anticipated passes and stole the ball or broke up passes on numerous occasions."

Trailing by four at half and by six later in the game, the Knights were forced to switch to a man-to-man full court press. Kingsland had success with this defensive look as well, creating some easy scoring opportunities. Unfortunately the Knights weren't able to come all the way back as they failed to convert on an opportunity to win late and went on to lose by three.

Points: Link 13, Woods 10, Thompson 10, Schmidt 6, Bornholdt 4, Colton 3, Schwartz 2, Hamersma 1

Rebounds: Link 7, Hamersma 7, Woods 5, Thompson 5, Bornholdt 5, Schmidt 3, Schwartz 2, Colton 1

Assists: Woods 5, Link 3, Hamersma 3, Colton 2, Schwartz 1, Bornholdt 1, Thompson 1.

Coming up

The Knights close out the regular season with three conference games this week. First, Kingsland will take on Rushford-Peterson at home on Tuesday night. They will then finish the week on Thursday at home against Lewiston-Altura and Friday at Southland. The section tournament begins Tuesday, Feb. 25.