SPENCER GIRLS BASKETBALL STORMS BACK TO DEFEAT COLUMBUS CATHOLIC
By Paul Lecker
SPENCER – A switch to a 2-3 zone defense in the second half made all the difference for the Spencer girls basketball team in its matchup with Columbus Catholic on Thursday.
Trailing by seven points at halftime, the Rockets changed their defensive approach and held Columbus Catholic to just four made baskets in the second half as they pulled out a 44-35 come-from-behind victory at the Spencer Dome.
With the victory, Spencer remains unbeaten in the Cloverbelt Conference East Division at 3-0 (3-1 overall), while Columbus Catholic falls to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
“We started with man (defense) and don’t really use man a lot, so we switched it to what we usually do, our 2-3 matchup,” Spencer senior Heavyn Kind said. “It worked pretty good and we held them in the second half.”
After a Kind 3-pointer tied the game at 12-12, Columbus Catholic ripped off 10-straight points, which included 3-pointers from Maggie Callaghan and Jenna Kibbel, to take a 22-12 lead.
The Dons led 23-17 at halftime, and another Callaghan 3-pointer and a free throw by Hailey Zimmermann gave Columbus a 27-22 lead before Kind and the Rockets took over.
Spencer held the Dons scoreless for 9:55 and scored 14-straight points to take the lead.
Kind had 10 of her game-high 21 points in the run, and Madison Knecht and Amber Becker added baskets to give the Rockets a 36-27 lead.
Callaghan, who went 5-for-5 from 3-point range and finished with a team-high 16 points, ended the run with a 3 at the 5:51 mark, but the Dons went scoreless again for another five minutes and were unable to cut into the deficit.
Kind made five free throws and Knecht converted a three-point play to finish off the win. Knecht finished with 12 points and Jorie Meyer had a team-high eight rebounds as the Rockets held a 35-20 advantage on the boards.
“We have a lot of seniors this year, which we didn’t have in the past,” Kind said. “We have that chemistry, we know each other, we play good together. We always have to keep up the energy and talking because it really elevates our play.”
Both teams return to action Tuesday with Cloverbelt East matchups. Spencer will play at Owen-Withee, and Columbus Catholic will host Granton in a game that will be live-streamed at zaleskisports.com.
Rockets 44, Dons 35
Columbus Catholic 23 12 - 35
Spencer 16 28 - 44
COLUMBUS CATHOLIC (35): Maggie Callaghan 5-8 1-2 16, Mira Torbey 0-0 0-0 0, Gracie Wilczek 0-1 0-0 0, Sam Casperson 2-5 0-0 4, Hailey Zimmermann 2-6 1-2 5, Lily Stratman 1-3 0-0 2, Courtney Sommer 1-2 0-0 2, Jenna Kibbel 2-12 1-2 6. FG: 13-37. FT: 3-6. 3-pointers: 6-13 (Callaghan 5-5, Kibbel 1-5, Wilczek 0-1, Zimmermann 0-2). Rebounds: 20 (Wilczek 5, Kibbel 5). Turnovers: 22. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: none. Record: 3-2, 1-1 Cloverbelt Conference East Division.
SPENCER (44): Madison Knecht 5-10 1-2 12, Jorie Meyer 0-6 0-0 0, Heavyn Kind 7-18 5-7 21, Claudia Krause 0-0 0-0 0, Emily Wehrman 0-1 0-0 0, Rebecca Mlsna 2-5 2-4 6, Amber Becker 2-6 1-4 5. FG: 16-46. FT: 9-17. 3-pointers: 3-10 (Kind 2-7, Knecht 1-3). Rebounds: 35 (Meyer 8, Kind 7). Turnovers: 17. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: none. Record: 3-1, 3-0 Cloverbelt Conference East Division.