Girls' basketball: Free throws bring win for MinnewaskaThe Lakers hit their shots from the charity stripe to hold off West Central Area.
By: Lori Mork, Alexandria Echo Press
Although shaky at the line earlier in the game, the Lakers made their free throws down the stretch to hold off West Central Area in non-conference girls’ basketball Friday night 44-41.
Ariel Ostrander hit three of her four attempts and Mady Phillips hit five of six in the final two minutes of the game as the Knights fouled those two Minnewaska players in an effort to get the ball back.
“The last two minutes of the game were played with high intensity and focus on our part,” said West Central Area coach Beth Hanson, “but we fell a little short.
“The primary problem was that we didn’t have that intensity the entire game. We need to put full games together and execute our game plan.
“That being said, the final two minutes of the game were played well, and I am proud of the girls for that.”
West Central Area’s inside game stymied Minnewaska in the early going of the first half as the Lakers couldn’t find an answer for Holly VanKempen. The Knight senior used all of her 6’1” height to grab the ball in the post position and score with ease.
VanKempen finished with 10 points, nearly all of those coming in the first half.
The Lakers switched up their defense and pulled back into the game, trailing by three at the half, and taking an 11-point lead early in the second before the Knights once again took the lead.
With two minutes remaining, the Lakers went up by two and never trailed from there as Ostrander and Phillips took advantage of their free throw opportunities.
Ostrander finished the night with 12 points, while Bayley Pooler also had 12, hitting a pair of three-point shots along the way. Ostrander led the way in rebounding with eight.
West Central Area junior Kylee Fernholz led all scorers with 15, including four from long range.
Minnewaska improved to 5-12 with the win and will host Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta on Friday, while West Central Area fell to 5-11. They will be hosting Royalton on Friday.
WEST CENTRAL AREA 41
WEST CENTRAL AREA 18 23 — 41
MINNEWASKA 21 23 — 44
WEST CENTRAL AREA – Kylee Fernholz 15, Holly VanKempen 10, Abby VanKempen 7, Kelsey Hammer 6, McKenzie Hunter 2, Amber Oberg 1. Field goals 16-50, 3-pt 4-14 (Fernholz 4), Free throws 6-14, Rebounds 23, Fouls 13.
MINNEWASKA – Bayley Pooler 12, Maddy Phillips 7, Ariel Ostrander 12, Ashlyn Guggisberg 4, Veronica Weisel 2, Sydney Joos 7. Field goals 16-60, 3-pt 2-17 (Pooler 2), Free throws 10-19, Rebounds 33 (Ostrander 8, Joos 6, Weisel 6), Fouls 16, Assists (Weisel 5), Steals (Joos 3, Weisel 3).