Lady Lions outlast Kidder County in defensive battle
Linton-HMB never lost the lead in the final period, but the Lady Lions had to hold on for dear life to preserve a 27-24 victory over Kidder County in Steele on Jan. 18. With the victory, Linton-HMB improved to 2-1 in District 6 and 6-2 overall, while Kidder County lost for the first time in district play (2-1) and dropped to 5-4 overall.
Linton-HMB got off to a good start and scored almost half (12) of its point total in the opening five minutes of the game, but things would go down hill offensively for the Lady Lions from there. fortunately for Linton-HMB, Kidder County suffered just as much on the offensive end throughout the game. Thanks to three-pointers by Amber Umber and Mckenna Flyberg and a pair of baskets by Kaidra Larson, Linton-HMB raced out to a 12-2 advantage with just over 3:00 left in the first quarter, but the Lady Lions wouldn’t score again in the period. Kidder County, however, could not make up much ground, even though Sadie Rohrich’s free throws near the end of the period cut the lead to 12-4.
Linton-HMB scored just 2 points in the second period while missing 15 of their final 16 field goal attempts of the first half, but somehow, the Lady Lions never lost their lead the rest of the half. Baskets by Rebecca Schmidt and Paige Schmidt cut the lead in half (12-8) before Flyberg put back an offensive rebound at the 4:43 mark to end a Lady Lion scoring drought that lasted nearly six and a half minutes. Those would be the only points of the quarter for Linton-HMB, but the Lady Lions were still in front, 14- 13, at the half.
Linton-HMB shot just 25 percent (6 of 24) from the field and did not attempt a single free throw in the first half. The Lady Lions also committed 10 turnovers in the half, but held an 18-13 advantage on the boards. Kidder County hit on just 5 of 19 (26%) field goals, while sinking 3 of 5 free throws and turning the ball over 8 times in the half.
Amber Umber’s basket on the opening possession of the third quarter, followed by a free throw from Larson extended the lead to 17-13 with 5:33 left in the period, but Linton-HMB again hit a scoring drought that lasted over 4:30, and Kidder County would finally take advantage. Kidder County couldn’t get on the board until Morgan Rohrich knocked down a three-pointer at the 4:45 mark, but Mattie Olson followed a Linton-HMB turnover with a basket to give the Lady Pirates their first lead (18-17) with 3:50 remaining.
That turned out to be the only lead of the game for Kidder County, as the Lady Pirates went scoreless for nearly 7:00 after that. Neither team scored again until Rachal Umber put in a jumper with less than a minute left in the period to put Linton-HMB back on top for good, and Flyberg added a three-pointer before the end of the period to increase the lead to 22-18 with one quarter left.
Neither team scored over the first 3:00 of the fourth quarter, but Kidder County drew first blood when Sadie Rohrich turned a steal into a lay-up at the 5:00 mark. Linton-HMB went scoreless until Larson put in a jumper at the 3:04 mark, but Rebecca Schmidt sank a free throw on the ensuing trip, and then Sadie Rohrich dropped in a jumper from just inside the three-point line to cut the margin to a point (24-23) with 2:13 left.
Kidder County squandered a couple of opportunities to regain the lead, and the Lady Pirates couldn’t take advantage of the fact that Linton-HMB misfired on all five of its free throw attempts in the final period, which all occurred over the final 1:10 of the game. Kidder County’s final chance to take the lead came with under a minute left, but the chance was thwarted when Tiffaney Gerving stole a pass near the top of key, and Linton-HMB ran down the clock until Flyberg drained a three-pointer to give the Lady Lions a two-possession lead (27-23) with :32 left.
After another Lady Pirate turnover, Flyberg was sent to the line for a bonus attempt with :16 left, but she missed the front end, and Sadie Rohrich was fouled on the rebound. Rohrich went to the line on the other end and sank one free throw, but Alex Umber was sent to the line with a chance to seal up the victory for Linton-HMB with :13.7 remaining. Umber also misfired on the front end, and Kidder County came away with the rebound with a chance to tie the game with a three-pointer.
Linton-HMB played terrific perimeter defense on the final possession, and Sadie Rohrich had to force up a deep three-point attempt as time was running out. Flyberg blocked the shot, but Rohrich was able to save the ball to teammate Mary Nicholson, who put up a desperation, one-handed attempt that hit off the front of the rim as time expired.
Linton-HMB hit on just 11 of 42 (26%) field goals and 1 of 7 (14%) free throws in the game, but the Lady Lions hit 4 three-pointers, and held a 33-27 advantage in rebounds. Kidder County shot just 24 percent (9 of 38) from the field with one three-pointer, while sinking 5 of 9 free throw attempts. Both teams committed 20 turnovers in the game.
Flyberg connected on three 3-pointers and finished with game-highs in points (11) and rebounds (10), while Larson tallied 7 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists, and Amber Umber chipped in 5 points, 2 assists and 2 steals for Linton-HMB. Alex Umber grabbed 4 rebounds, and Gerving netted 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals for the Lady Lions. Sadie Rohrich led Kidder County with 10 points, and Rebecca Schmidt and Morgan Rohrich scored 5 points apiece for the Lady Pirates.
Linton-HMB: McKenna Flyberg 11, Kaidra Larson 7, Amber Umber 5, Alex Umber 2, Rachal Umber 2.
Kidder County: Sadie Rohrich 10, Morgan Rohrich 5, Rebecca Schmidt 5, Mattie Olson 2, Paige Schmidt 2.
3-Pointers: Linton-HMB (4-11): Flyberg 3, Amber Umber 1, Kidder County (1-7): M. Rohrich 1. Fouled Out: None.