Kimball/White Lake falls to JVCJames Valley Christian held off a furious fourth-quarter Kimball/White Lake rally for a 72-63 win and the Region 5B championship Tuesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
By: Owen Reitzel, The Daily Republic
James Valley Christian held off a furious fourth-quarter Kimball/White Lake rally for a 72-63 win and the Region 5B championship Tuesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
The Vikings move on to the Class B state boys’ basketball tournament, which is March 14-16 in Aberdeen.
With 6:52 left to play in the game, JVC held a 56-41 lead and looked to put the contest away.
The WiLdKats refused to die.
Over the next two minutes, K/WL went on a furious 13-0 run that brought the WiLdKats to within 56-54 and had the Corn Palace rocking.
The Vikings brought an abrupt end to the run with a three-point play from Nathan Wedel and a basket from Andrew Ulvestad to give JVC a 61-54 lead.
K/WL battled back, and a basket from Jacob Kirsch pulled the WiLdKats to within 63-60. But the Vikings finally put the game away, closing with a 9-3 run.
“There’s no quit in us,” K/WL coach Kamden Miller said. “It took just one possession to get on a roll. In the timeout before the run, I just gave them the green light. ‘Let’s see if we can make one final push,’ and they did, but it takes so much energy to get back into it.”
It was JVC controlling the play to open the game, using its team speed to break to a 9-2 lead halfway through the opening quarter and expanding that to an 18-8 lead at the end of the period.
The Vikings went on a 5-2 run and to open the second period with a 23-10 lead. But a 7-2 run by the WiLdKats closed the deficit to 25-17 and the teams battled evenly with JVC taking a 31-23 lead into halftime.
The third quarter was a carbon copy of the second with the Vikings holding leads of 10 to 12 points and the WiLdKats not getting closer than seven points.
JVC went into the final stanza with a 49-36 lead on a layup at the buzzer by Wedel.
The Vikings broke to their biggest lead of the contest at 52-36, setting up the exciting last seven minutes.
“That’s what’s great about (JVC),” Miller said. “They can really spurt. Right off the bat they started pretty hot. They are so good at finishing around the basket.”
Jesse Taylor led K/WL with 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, followed by Kirsch with 16 points — 11 of those were in the fourth quarter — and seven assists and Eathen Gaulke with 11 points.
The WiLdKats were 20-of-57 for 35 percent from the field and 5-of-8 for 62 percent from the free-throw line. K/WL pulled down 26 rebounds and committed 12 turnovers.
“(K/WL) made their shots and went on a run,” JVC coach Darwin Hofer said of the fourth quarter. “Basketball is a game of runs and they put it together in the fourth quarter. I don’t know if we really let up. They made shots that they didn’t make earlier in the game.”
Wedel scored 24 points to lead the Vikings with Adam Hofer adding 23 points and five assists and Ulvestad scoring 13 points and having four steals.
JVC (22-2) was 29-of-67 for 43 percent and 12-of-18 for 67 percent from the free-throw line. The Vikings had 36 rebounds and 11 turnovers.
The WiLdKats end their season with a 16-7 record.
KWL 8 23 36 63
JVC 18 31 49 72