SAC CITY: The script seemingly had played out before. A close game that was within reach, a late deficit.
Only this time the Kuemper Catholic girls had learned from their prior heartbreaks.
In Saturday’s 60-53 victory over East Sac County, on the road, the Knights strung together one of their best quarters at the end of the game, and it showed as the Knights captured their first road win under head coach Tyler Tryon.
After leading by three points at halftime, the Knights entered the second half trailing by six, 40-34.
Despite the deficit the Knights rallied in the start of the fourth quarter, adding a quick four points to close within two.
After a steal, the ball was delivered via a bounce pass to senior Mallory Badding who took two steps around a defender and went in for a layup. That tied the game. On her way up to the basket Badding was fouled.
She didn’t hesitate to shoot the free throw, allowing the Knights to jump ahead for the first time in the second half.
The Knights grew their lead throughout the fourth quarter, twice gaining a lead of five, but East Sac, another battle-tested team, refused to give in. They brought the score within one point late, and continued to make plays to keep the score within two possessions.
Each time the Raiders were able to close the game within one shot, the Knights answered.
Then came the death knell. East Sac’s hot shots dried up over the final three minutes of the contest. With that the Knights slowly extended their lead, gained their ultimate seven point victory.
Maci Wittrock and Mallory Badding both had 13 total points in the win. Catherine Mayhall and Megan Bauer finished with nine points each. Kyndal Hilgenberg added seven points.
Sarah Steffes added six points while Sophie Badding finished with two.
East Sac was led by Josie Bontranger with 16 points. Maty Quirk added 14 points. Mary Bontrager and Kayla Kraft both added nine points each.
The Knights move to 2-8 overall on the season. East Sac stands at 3-7 this year. Friday night the East Sac team fell to Emmetsburg 62-28.