KINGMAN, Kan.—The Kingman and Wellington high school girls’ basketball teams both displayed some offensive troubles that inexperienced players have in a young season.
Fortunately for the Lady Crusaders, defense was another story. Wellington downed Kingman 36-24 Friday evening in the second evening of pool play at the Eagle Classic tournament.
After jumping out to an 8-5 lead in the first quarter, Kingman was held to only four in the second to close the half at a 16-12 deficit. Darrian Pickering, who accounted for half of the first-quarter points, found herself in foul trouble and closed out the first half on the bench, while Savannah Cornejo had a superb half with 9.
Pickering picked up her fourth foul in the early stages of the third quarter, and the Eagles had a rough time, only accumulating four points in the third quarter, which ended on a Kailey Jenkins put-back at the buzzer to put the Crusaders up by 13.
Madison Bangert, who ended with double-figures for Kingman at 10, did her best to keep the Eagles in the game with a pair of free throws and a three-pointer in the fourth quarter, but the game ended up in favor of the Crusaders by a dozen.
Cornejo led all scorers with 13.
“Our point guard, Savanah Cornejo played fantastic,” said Hackerott. “She kept us in the game in the beginning when we were struggling, I thougth overall, she played about as good of a game as you could play."
Offensively, the Eagles were more efficient with shots, going 60 percent, compared to Wellington's 42 percent. However, fewer shooting opportunities were given to Kingman.
"They struggled to score, more than we struggled to score, and that really summed it up," Hackerott said. "I thought defensively we were really good. We’ve got to work on our rebounding, but we’re trying.”
For the Eagles, who now has a 1-1 record after defeating Medicine Lodge on Tuesday, it’s back to the original plan of attack, which somehow was lost Friday against Wellington.
“We were confused. We didn’t do the things we practiced,” said Kingman head coach Justin Batt. “They came out and pressured us, and all of the sudden we didn’t remember our press break that we’d been working on for 13 days.”
Batt hopes with a little more experience, his team with Bangert as the only returning starter, will become more effective.
“There are a lot of young kids out there and they haven’t been on the floor as much,” Batt said.
The Eagle Classic continues Saturday, with Wellington facing Sterling and Kingman up against Haven.