The Kingsville girls basketball team built to an early lead on the Lady Tigers’ way to a 54-29 Homecoming win over visiting Miami on Friday, Jan. 20.
Twelve points from junior Lady Tiger guard Laci Collens, and five points from senior guard Ella Ratajczk put Kingsville ahead 17-2 at the end of the first quarter of play as eight total Lady Tiger players scored in the game.
Collens provided the first five points of the game. A three-point basket from Ratajczk put the Lady Tigers ahead 8-0 early in the first quarter.
“The girls had confidence,” said Kingsville girls basketball coach Kierston Howerton. “They worked hard. They wanted to win. The girls were on fire, and they were excited.”
The early 15-point lead proved important as Miami adjusted in the second quarter with the Lady Eagles posting 16 points against the 15 points scored by Kingsville.
Lady Tiger freshman Kiersten Murkin entered the scoring column in the second quarter as she connected on one of her two three-point baskets that found the bottom of the net on the night.
“It’s big because again, we’re young,” said coach Howerton of the early lead as underclassmen contributed throughout the game. “Our post players…we have two sophomores, and a freshman on our posts. They’ve had to play against seniors all year long. For them to gain that confidence is big.
“We’re a young team, and we’ve improved a lot. Last year, we only won one game. We’ve won two games in a row.
“We have one senior, Ella. She’s probably one of our best defenders out there. We have our junior, Laci Collens. She’s just amazing. She works hard.”
The Lady Tigers closed out the Homecoming win on six points from sophomore post player Hannah Collens with two points from Laci Collens mixed in.
“Laci is always one (who stands out), but Hannah Collens…this is only her second year ever playing basketball,” highlighted coach Howerton. “She works really hard, and our freshman as well (Kiersten Murkin), she made a couple threes tonight.
They’re starting to figure it out at the right time of the season. But yeah, Hannah Collens, stood out most to me tonight. She wanted it. She said, ‘I’m going to make a post move’, and she did it three times in a row.’”
The complete-game win on Homecoming night by the Lady Tigers stood out to the head coach.
“They’re kind of excited to get dressed up, but they were focused,” said coach Howerton. “They wanted to get it done. They wanted to win by 20 points. We won by 25. They kept the game plan. Sometimes we start out quick, and then we kind of…the fourth quarter’s always our worst quarter. But they didn’t let that happen tonight.”
For Kingsville, Laci Collens finished with a team-high 24 points in the game. Ratajczk and Murkin each scored 8 points. Hannah Collens totaled 6 points. With 2 points each were Macie Barker, Ashlyn Grissell, Payton Clark, and Sylvia Schoenberger.
At the end of last week, the Kingsville girls basketball team held an overall record of 6-11.
This Thursday, Jan. 26, the Lady Tigers play a road game at Northwest (Hughesville). Game time is 5:30 p.m. The Kingsville boys basketball team also plays at Northwest on Thursday. The boys game follows the girls game.