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Tough defense propels KWL past Lyman

Kimball/White Lake’s Paige Munsen (20) looks to shoot as Lyman’s Brooklyn Halverson (12), Haley Halverson (30) and Anna Flitner, right, attempt to defend during a consolation semifinal game at the Class B state girls’ basketball tournament Friday in Huron. (Brooke Cersosimo/Republic)

HURON — Defense wins games for Kimball/White Lake.

The No. 6 seed WiLdKats’ zone defense stalled No. 7 seed Lyman and KWL secured its spot in the fifth-place game, winning 42-28 Friday in the consolation semifinal at the Class B state girls’ basketball tournament at Huron Arena.

“We had an amazing defensive effort,” Kimball/White lake head coach Tacey Nielsen said.

This was KWL’s first game win at the state tournament as a co-op.

The Raiders (15-10) were held to under 10 points in three of four quarters, scoring 12 total points in the second half. KWL (15-8) held Lyman scoreless in the fourth quarter until there were 37 seconds left on the clock.

“That has a lot to say about the hard work the girls have put in and sticking to the plan,” Nielsen said. “Defense wins us games and we need to buckle down on that. It helped us a lot today.”

The KWL defense tightened in the second quarter, forcing Lyman turnovers. Each team finished the game with 12 turnovers.

After trailing 22-16 at halftime, Lyman’s offense surged to begin the third quarter to come within four points. From there, the Raiders struggled getting the ball through the hoop against the WiLdKat defense.

“I thought we could’ve been sharper and a little more focused, and that’s what you have to do in the state tournament,” Lyman head coach Cooper Garnos said. “You have that two- or three-minute lapse where the other team plays with more effort or emotion and that can be the turning point.”

There were only two players who scored in double figures in the contest. KWL’s Jazmyn Hinker had a game-high 17 points and Ivy Haines scored 10 in the win. Haines grabbed a game-high six rebounds for the WiLdKats, who were 13-of-27 from the field, 12-of-20 from the line and had 26 rebounds.

Lyman was led by Chesney Garnos with eight points, including two 3-pointers. Cedar Jandreau followed with seven points for Lyman, which was 9-of-42 from the field, 8-of-10 from the line and had 23 rebounds.

The WiLdKats face No. 5 seed Lemmon in the fifth-place game at 1:45 p.m. today and know their defense must perform just as well to get another win.

“Lemmon really pushes the ball, and we know we need to hustle back,” said KWL’s Kelli Steffen, who had eight points and five assists. “We can’t force anything and need to take it one possession at a time.”

The Raiders face No. 8 Gayville-Volin, which made a state tournament appearance for the first time in school history, at noon today for seventh place.

“Of the 88 (Class) B teams, only four get to finish the year on a winning note,” Garnos said. “We’ll have that chance.”



K-WL (16-8): Kroupa 2-6 0-2 6, Haines 4-4 2-6 10, J.Hinker 5-10 7-8 17, Munsen 0-2 1-2 1, Steffen 2-5 2-4 8. Totals: 13-27 12-20 42.

LYMAN (15-10): Jandreau 2-3 3-4 7, B.Halverson 3-8 0-0 6, Flitner 0-6 0-0 0, Garnos 3-12 0-0 8, Almond 0-10 4-4 4, H.Halverson 1-3 1-2 3. Totals: 98-42 8-10 28.

KWL 11 22 30 42

L 10 16 23 28

3-pointers: KWL (4-11 (Kroupa 2-5, J.Hinker 0-2, Steffen 2-4), Lyman 2-15 (Flitner 0-1, Garnos 2-7, Almond 0-7). Rebounds: KWL 26 (Haines 6), Lyman 23 (Almond 4, H.Halverson 4). Assists: KWL 9 (Steffen 5), Lyman 3 (Almond 2). Total fouls: KWL 12, Lyman 18.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.