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WiLdKats win District 11B

Corsica/Stickney’s Jackie Dethlefsen, left, battles for a rebound with Kimball/White Lake’s Paige Munsen during the first half of the District 11B girls’ basketball championship Friday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)

Kimball/White Lake’s strong second quarter propelled the WiLdKats to a 50-46 win over Corsica/Stickney in the District 11B championship game Friday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

The Jaguars took a 12-11 lead into the second quarter, but after an opening basket from C/S’s Jackie Dethlefsen, K/WL went on a 9-0 run and took a 20-14 lead. The WiLdKats expanded the advantage to 31-19 at halftime.

“We really started helping against (Dethlefsen and Hope Menning) because they’re great players,” K/WL coach Tacey Nielsen said. “Through our film watching, we decided to help off them and it was successful.”

The Jaguars (12-10) started a comeback to open the second half with a 7-0 run. C/S managed to get within four with 1:38 left in the third quarter.

K/WL led 40-34 to start the final quarter and increased the lead to 44-36 with 3:22 left on two free throws from Jazmyn Hinker. But the Jaguars slowly mounted a final comeback and a basket from Dethlefsen got C/S to within two with 23.1 left in the contest.

But more two free throws from Kelli Steffen and missed shots from the Jaguars gave the WiLdKats the win.

“We’ve been preaching and preaching about putting in the free throws down the stretch, and we really did that tonight,” said Nielsen of her team making 6 of 8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

Hinker led the WiLdKats with 16 points, Steffen had 14 points and Ivy Haines recorded 11 rebounds, five steals and four assists.

K/WL (14-7) was 18-of-43 for 42 percent from the field and 11-of-17 for 65 percent from the free-throw line. The WiLdKats outrebounded the Jaguars 29-15 and turned the ball over 14 times.

“We weren’t aggressive and we didn’t attack and they attacked us,” Jaguars coach Lorisa Broughton said. “They’re fast and we knew it and we didn’t get people back. They pushed it at us, and we had a mental lapse for a quarter and you just can’t do that.”

C/S was led by Dethlefsen with 18 points and Micayla Bamberg with 10 points and six blocked shots. The Jaguars were 18-of-40 for 45 percent from the field, 7-of-9 for 78 percent from the line and turned the ball over 13 times.

K/WL advances to the Region 6B championship game against Avon at 7 p.m March 8 at the Corn Palace.