ALLIANCE — It was a true test of skill when the Mitchell and Kimball girls basketball teams faced off in the semifinals of the Class C-1, Sub-district 12 Tournament on Tuesday night in Alliance.
While the game was close throughout, the Tigers’ ability to consistently land shots led them to a 59-47 win. It was the fourth meeting of the season between the teams. Both have now won two each.
“We really played well,” Mitchell head coach Brock Ehler said. “Every game your strategy is a little bit different and during most of the possessions we did what we needed to do.”
While Mitchell had a reasonable lead during the first half, Kimball kept clawing its way back in the second half thanks to some key outside shooting from Alex Reader. After the Longhorns closed within five in the fourth quarter, Mitchell managed to connect on enough free throws in the final two minutes to register the win.
“We got into some foul trouble and that was unfortunate,” Ehler said. “Alex Reader hit quite a few threes and that kept them in the game. Other than that, we controlled the tempo the whole time and kept ourselves comfortable.”
Keyana Wilfred led the Tigers with a game-high 17 points, while sinking three of her four free throws. Celeste Cardona followed with 14 points along with six successful free throws. Jori Peters finished with nine points and Madison Watson added six.
The Tigers were 17 of 27 overall at the foul line.
Ehler was pleased with many aspects of his team’s play, including the Tigers’ court awareness.
“We moved the ball well. Our transitions were good and we focused on who we could help on,” he said. “Our heart was there. The kids wanted to play, and even when the mistakes happened, they learned from them. We are getting better.”
Reader led Kimball in scoring with 15 points. Kate Reader followed with nine and Madison Biesecker had eight. The Longhorns played without senior Danika Daum, who suffered an injury during the Western Trails Conference Tournament.
Kimball was 12 of 23 at the free throw line.
Mitchell will take on Chadron in Thursday’s final at 7 p.m. Both teams split two meetings during the regular season.
Mitchell (17-6)...........................14 14 12 19 — 59
Kimball (17-6)...........................10 12 12 13 — 47
M: Celeste Cardona 14, Anabelle Gillen 6, Madison Watson 7, Jori Peters 9, Keyanna Wilfred 17, Kenzey Kanno
K: Madison Biesecker 8, Arica McCloud 5, Kailey Dickerson 3, Hannah Biesecker 4, Alex Reader 15, Myriah Tyan 3, Katie Reader 9