Holiday hoops action was highlighted by SEC (MC/Houston) versus TRC (FC/Kingsland) contests. A trio of girls scorers took center stage. One girls team ran its win streak to ten. A boys team improved to 8-4.
Buchholtz and Danielson Duel
On the first night of the TRC/SEC holiday games, M-C hosted Kingsland. The Knight girls used a 15-0 run out of halftime to expand a 30-24 lead to 45-24. They led by double-digits the rest of the way to post a 59-47 win. The game within the game saw Knight 5’8” junior G Lauren Buchholtz and Cougar 5’4” sophomore G Payton Danielson go head-to-head. Buchholtz posted 10 points in the critical 15-0 run. She finished with a monster game (30 pts, 7-8 FTs, 11-16 FGs, 9 rebs, 7 assists, 5 stls). Danielson scored the Cougars first 14 second half points. She also had a career-game (27 pts, 4-6 threes, 11-21 FGs, 6 rebs, 5 stls). Knight Lindsay Welch added a double-double (15 pts, 7-10 FGs, 12 rebs). Kingsland won despite 30 turnovers. They won the glass 46-26.
Hurricane Girls at Category 10
Meanwhile, in Houston, the Hurricane girls kept up their positive spin, starting versus FC. The Falcons led for much of the first half. Houston was on top at intermission, 20-18. The ‘Canes took control early in the second and prevailed 55-41. Junior Alyssa Rostad (20 pts, 4-10 threes, 7 rebs) paced Houston. Amber Chapel (11 pts, 5 stls) and Jenny Albrecht (2 pts, 13 rebs, 4 assists, 4 stls) helped out. Grace Miller (career-high 15 pts, 7-11 FGs) and Paige Donlinger (9 pts, 7-14 FTs, 8 rebs, 4 assists, 5 stls) led the FC. Five different ‘Canes hit a three. Houston was 9-21 (43%) from deep. Shooting was an issue for FC; 13-55 FGs (23.6%), 0-10 threes, 15-29 FTs (51.7%). The Hurricanes (9-1) and Kingsland (6-4) then faced off, an intriguing girls match-up of the best FCJ-covered team (‘Canes) and best FCJ-covered scorer (Buchholtz). On two separate occasions, once in each half, Houston hit back-to-back-to-back trifectas. In the first, it turned a 7-7 tie into a 16-9 ‘Cane lead. The Knights, courtesy of a Lauren B. put-back at the buzzer, got to down one (27-26) at halftime. The teams were a combined 11-11 at the free throw line in the first stanza. In the second, Houston’s trio of threes stoked their lead to 46-39. Lauren B. set another career-high (33 pts, 5-7 FTs, 12-21 FGs, 10 rebs, 8 stls), but Houston hit 9 of 11 second half field goals and 16 of 19 free throws (11 of their final 12), annulling a 16-turnover stanza. They are Category 10 with their 10th straight win. The final was 61-52. Rostad (25 pts, season-best 6-9 threes, 8 rebs) was huge. In both triple-trifecta spurts, she hit two threes. She is 19 of her last 41 from deep (three-plus trifectas in five straight games). Chapel added 14 points (12 in the first half). Albrecht (6 pts, 9 rebs) and reserve Becca Rostad (7 pts, 4-5 FTs) helped. Houston hit 9 of 16 threes (56.3%). Dale Moga’s ‘Canes (3-1, 10-1) travel to #1 L/P (4-0, 10-1) to start 2018. The Knights are 4-3, 6-5. Houston’s girls are the first FCJ-covered basketball team to win ten in a row since their boys did so to start 2015-2016. The longest recent winning streak, 30, is by R-P’s boys (2014-2015). The longest recent girls’ winning streak, 15, is held by Chatfield (2013-2014). The Gopher girls went 24-0 to start 2012-2013 as well.
Knight Boys Move to 8-4
The boys’ headliner of the M-C/Houston versus Kingsland/FC holiday affairs were John Fenske’s Knights. Versus M-C, the Cougars jumped out 20-10 but led by a single bucket (26-24) at intermission. The second half had five ties. Knight Zach Bubany hit two second half threes, both in the push to winning time. Jackson Rindels’ driving lay-up with under two to go broke the last tie (54-52 Kingsland > 1:32). Bubany then hit two freebies (0:44). M-C then never had the ball in a single-possession game. Shooting not so good (15-29 FTs, 4-22 threes, 20-57 FGs), Kingsland got a 59-54 win. Bubany (14 pts) and Wyatt Pruter (13 pts) led the charge. Ian Meisner had 8 (pts), 6 (rebs), and 4 (blks), Matthew Woods 10 rebounds. Cougar Drew Wyffels was the game’s top scorer (20 pts, 4-8 threes, 5 rebs, 7 assists). M-C reserve Dylan Loppow had 10 (pts) and 6 (rebs). Kingsland won last year’s game, featuring most of the same players, 78-43. The Knights were then more impressive in handling Houston. After falling behind 14-6, Kingsland went on a 30-2 run (36-16). Houston pulled to within 12 (39-27) early in the second, but the Knights prevailed 74-51. Bubany (21 pts, 5-9 threes, 7 assists) led all scorers. Jordan Beck (15 pts, 8 rebs), Pruter (11 pts), and Rindels (10 pts, 10 rebs) gave Kingsland four in double figures. Meisner had 8 (pts) and 8 (rebs). James Hongerholt (15 pts, 9 rebs, 4 stls) paced Houston. Alex and Connor Van Gundy each added 11 points. Kingsland improved to 3-4, 8-4. They’ve won six of seven. Houston fell to 1-3, 2-6.