May 28, 2024

West Central boys split on the court

Photo by Kendra Stark WCA senior Cole Anderson goes up for a shot against Montevideo during last week’s boys basketball action.

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Brooke Kern
Grant County Herald

The West Central Area boys basketball team bounced back after a tough loss to Border West Tuesday, Jan. 24 to defeat Montevideo in a tightly contested West Central Conference game Thursday, Jan. 26, in Barrett.

The Knights, now 12-4, will play three games in a row, starting Thursday, Feb. 2 at Staples-Motley. On Friday, WCA hosts a boys and girls doubleheader against Morris/C-A then will open next week against Hillcrest Lutheran Monday, Feb. 6, in Barrett.

Border West 59

West Central 57

The Border West Buccaneers won a narrow victory, 59-57, over the West Central Area Knights in non-conference boys basketball action Tuesday, Jan. 24, in Barrett.

“This was a great ballgame,” said Jordon Roos, who is the coach of the Border West boys team, which is in its first season as a cooperative program.

The game featured several lead changes with no team leading by more than seven for the full 36 minutes.

“Border West is a very talented basketball team. Every possession against teams like them is important,” WCA coach Kraig Hunter said. “We didn’t capitalize when we had chances to put them away.”

The Knights took a 36-31 lead at halftime, but were edged 28-21 in the second half to fall short.

The Knights were hot from deep, hitting 11-of-26 for 42 percent, but overall shot just 20-of-51 for 39 percent. Border West was 22-of-46 for 47.8 percent in the game with 6-of-15 for 40 percent from three-point range. 

Clint Determan led the Bucs with 26 points and Dylan Bainbridge added 12.

Jacob Strunk led the Knights with 14 points. Cole Anderson also finished in double digits with 12. Mitch Dewey and Bryce Kjesbo both chipped in nine each while Nas Dotts finished with seven. Sam Hanson had three, Ben Bye finished with two points and Brett Amundson had a free throw to round out the scoring for WCA.

Bye was the rebounding leader with seven boards. Kjesbo and Anderson each had fives assists and Dotts had four assists and four steals. Dewey collected three steals.

West Central 55

Montevideo 46

The WCA Knights won a tightly contested game against the Montevideo Thunderhawks by the score of 55-46 Thursday, Jan. 26, in Barrett.

The Knights led 29-20 at the half, but in the second, the T-Hawks got within four at 44-40.

Down the stretch, the Knights used an 11-6 run to take the win thanks to two big baskets by Ben Bye and some free throws by Cole Anderson, Mitch Dewey, and Jake Strunk.

“This conference is a battle every night. Another very intense game  against a Montevideo team that just beat Morris and won three straight,” WCA coach Kraig Hunter said. “I thought our defense was as good as it’s been the last few games. We also converted and finished well inside on offense.”

The Knights made 21-of-49 shots for 43 percent and converted 12-of-17 free throws, including 5-of-6 in the last two minutes.

Montevideo was held to 16-of-46 from the field for 35 percent.

While both teams had 12 turnovers, the Knights held a 36-29 rebounding edge, which was a big factor in the win.

“We knew rebounding was going to be key,” added Hunter. “Last time they got 16 offensive boards against us. Tonight we did a good job of securing and chinning the basketball.”

Leaders for the Knights were Bryce Kjesbo, who went 8-of-11 from the field scoring 18 points with six rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

Cole Anderson finished with 14 points and Ben Bye was also in double digits with 10, adding six boards and two assists. Anderson had a stat line that included six rebounds, six assists and two steals.

Mitch Dewey finished with seven points and three steals while Jacob Strunk finished with just four points but a team-high 10 boards while dishing out three assists and picking up a team-high five steals. Damon Sanstead rounded out the scoring with two points. Sam Hanson had three rebounds and one assist.

“We were without Nas Dotts and Isaac Kreft Thursday,” Hunter said. “Mitch and Sam had extra duties taking over the point guard position and handled it well. I thought Jacob Strunk had his best rebounding night of the year and on defense he held their leading scorer to just three points.”

Ganon Reidinger led Montevideo with 17 points while Devin Ashling added 10.

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