BRIDGEPORT — Still smarting from only its second loss of the season on Saturday to Class B Sidney, the Kimball girls basketball team got right back in the win column by downing Bridgeport 49-45 on Tuesday night in Bridgeport.
The win improved Kimball to 7-2 on the season.
“This was a big win to get our confidence back and get us going in the right direction,” Kimball coach Ken Smith said. “It was a good win against a good team.”
Trailing 10-6 after the opening quarter, and 23-20 at halftime, Kimball surged in front after outscoring Bridgeport 12-6 in the third quarter. After taking the lead midway through the frame, the Longhorns never trailed again.
Smith said his squad stepped up its play to another level in the second half.
“We played much better in the second half compared to the first half,” he said. “I was much happier with our defensive effort in the second half.”
Shelby Vogel and Darbi Klinkhammer led Kimball offensively in the contest. Vogel led all scorers with 16 points, while Klinkhammer added 12. Also for the Longhorns, Amber Kilgore finished with eight key points. All three players drew praise from Smith.
“Amber Kilgore really came up big for us in the first half. She made some big baskets and played well defensively for us,” Smith said. “I also thought Shelby Vogel and Darbi Klinkhammer both came up big. They did a lot of key things for us, especially in the second half.”
Despite the setback, Bridgeport coach Bryan Schluterbusch credited the effort of his team. He was especially pleased with the way the Bulldogs started the game.
“I thought we came out better than we have the last couple games,” Schluterbusch said. “We defended well and shot OK. Overall, I thought we played well. They hit some shots that gave them the lead in the second half and we just never could get it back.”
Kimball finished the game shooting 11 of 19 at the free-throw line. Klinkhammer sank 6 of 8 foul shots in the second half.
As usual, Smith said the Longhorns proved fortunate to sneak out a Western Trails Conference win on the road in Bridgeport.
“Anytime we come here to Bridgeport and play against Bryan’s girls, they’re going to play hard and they’re going to give you everything they’ve got,” Smith said. “It was a typical Kimball-Bridgeport game again. We were fortunate to come out on the right side of the scoreboard.”
Three players scored in double figures for Bridgeport. Tara Harding and Sydney Faessler led the way with 11 points each. Faessler drained three 3-pointers. Megan Dudden finished with 10 points.
Dudden led the Bulldogs on the glass with nine rebounds. Dina Cantu and Jessica Kildow both collected three steals each.
The Bulldogs, who dropped to 5-7 on the season, were 2 of 8 at the foul line.
Bridgeport will return to action on Friday when the Bulldogs host Sidney. Kimball will travel to Gordon-Rushville on Saturday.
Kimball (7-2).....................6 14 12 17 — 49
Bridgeport (5-7)...................10 13 6 16 — 45
Darbi Klinkhammer 12, Shelby Vogel 16, Brooke Hager 6, Amber Kilgore 8, Danika Daum 7.
Tara Harding 11, Jessica Kildow 3, Dina Cantu 8, Sydney Faessler 11, Olga Aguilar 2, Megan Dudden 10.