KIMBALL — A fast start powered the Kimball girls basketball team to a 63-21 rout of Perkins County in the first round of the South Platte Valley Association Tournament on Monday night in Kimball.
The Longhorns, seeded No. 2 in the seven-team event, bolted to a 28-7 advantage in the first quarter and never looked back in improving their season record to 11-2.
“We came out really hot from the start and everything just kind of went our way,” Kimball head coach Chauncey Pedersen said. “We shot well and took care of the ball. Our press worked well early on, we were shooting the ball well and we just did a good job of playing together as a team.”
The victory advances Kimball into the semifinal round on Thursday at North Platte Community College. The Longhorns will face sixth-seeded Chase County, which knocked off Bridgeport 47-44 in Monday’s first round. Kimball and Chase County will tip off at 7 p.m., following the first semifinal between top-seeded North Platte St. Patrick’s and fifth-seeded Sutherland. The semifinal winners will play for the championship on Saturday at 5 p.m. in North Platte.
Three players scored in double figures in Kimball’s first-round win. Danika Daum led the way with a game-high 15 points. Madison Biesecker and Alex Reader followed with 13 points each. The Longhorns shot 37 percent from the field overall and were 9 of 12 for 75 percent at the free-throw line.
Myriah Tyan led Kimball on the glass with eight rebounds. Daum and Alex Reader both pulled down seven boards. Tyan finished with a team-high three assists. Defensively, Arica McCloud led the Longhorns with eight steals. Alex Reader and Kate Reader both collected four steals each.
The win was Kimball’s fifth in a row after suffering back-to-back losses on the road at Sidney and Mitchell earlier this month. The Longhorns lost by five to the Class B Red Raiders and came up on the wrong end of a two-point thriller against the Tigers.
“There’s definitely some things we need to work on and get better at, but I’m pretty happy with where we’re at right now,” Pedersen said. “For the part of the season we’re in, I think we’re playing pretty well.”
Thursday’s semifinal with Chase County will mark the second meeting of the season between the Longhorn squads. Kimball won the first matchup 57-46 back on Jan. 9. While Chase County sports a record of just 4-11, Pedersen said that doesn’t reflect the type of team Chase County puts on the floor.
“Their record is deceiving,” he said. “That’s a good, scrappy team with some really good shooters and ball handlers. They play hard.”
Perkins County (0-14) 7 6 2 6 — 21
Kimball (11-2) 28 8 19 8 — 63
Points — Madison Biesecker 13, Arica McCloud 9, Kailey Dickerson 1, Alex Reader 13, Myriah Tyan 4, Danika Daum 15, Kate Reader 6, Shauntae Daily 2. Rebounds — Biesecker 4, McCloud 5, Dickerson 2, Hannah Biesecker 2, A. Reader 7, Tyan 8, Daum 7, K. Reader 6. Assists — M. Biesecker 2, Dickerson 1, H. Biesecker 1, A. Reader 1, Tyan 3, K. Reader 2. Steals — M. Biesecker 3, McCloud 8, Dickerson 1, H. Biesecker 1, A. Reader 4, Tyan 1, Daum 1, K. Reader 4. Blocks — Daum 1.
Chase County 47, Bridgeport 44
BRIDGEPORT — The Bridgeport girls basketball team couldn’t overcome a 14-point halftime deficit in dropping a 47-44 setback to Chase County in a South Platte Valley Association Tournament first-round game on Monday night at Bridgeport High School.
After Chase County moved out to a 26-12 advantage at intermission, the Bulldogs managed to outscore the Longhorns 32-21 in the second half before coming up just short.
With the win, Chase County advances to the semifinals against Kimball on Thursday at 7 p.m. at North Platte Community College. Bridgeport will play in the fifth-place game on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Ashley Weborg led the Bulldogs offensively in Monday’s contest with 13 points. Alexis Corman followed with nine points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Riley Hall netted eight points, while Lydia Cantu and Brittney Newkirk each finished with six. Bridgeport finished the game shooting 28 percent from the field overall and was 16 of 23 at the free-throw line.
Emily Baxter led the Bulldogs on the glass with three rebounds. Newkirk, Weborg and Hall each finished with two boards. Defensively for Bridgeport, Cantu tallied a team-high five steals. Hall added three and Corman finished with two. Baxter, Weborg and Hall all had one block each.
Chase County (4-11) 14 12 12 9 — 47
Bridgeport (4-10) 8 4 18 14 — 44
Points — Emily Baxter 2, Lydia Cantu 6, Brittney Newkirk 6, Alexis Corman 9, Ashley Weborg 13, Riley Hall 8. Rebounds — Baxter 3, Cantu 1, Newkirk 2, Corman 1, Weborg 2, Hall 2, Kaitlyn Nein 1. Assists — Newkirk 1. Steals — Baxter 1, Cantu 5, Newkirk 1, Corman 2, Hall 3. Blocks — Baxter 1, Weborg 1, Hall 1.