Clippers hold off Kidder County
Strasburg-Zeeland scored 6 unanswered points over the final 45 seconds to pull away to a 62-53 victory over Kidder County in Steele on Jan. 24. The Clippers remained undefeated both overall (14-0) and in District 6 (8-0), while Kidder County dropped to 2-5 in District 6 and 7-7 overall.
The lead changed hands three times during the opening period, and neither team could open up more than a 4-point advantage during the frame. Kidder County used a 5-0 spurt to grab a 14-10 lead with under 2:00 left in the period, and the Pirates held an 18-15 advantage at the end of the frame.
Baskets by Zach Six and Jordan Leier gave Kidder County its biggest lead (24- 19) of the game with 4:30 left in the second period, but Strasburg-Zeeland ripped off 8 unanswered points over the next 1:30 to grab a 27-24 lead. Leier’s jumper tied the game at 27-27 with under 2:00 left in the half, but Mason Kramer answered with a jumper for Strasburg-Zeeland, and Cole Nieuwsma added a pair of free throws to put the Clippers back in front, and Strasburg-Zeeland took a 31-29 lead to the break.
Both teams shot well from the floor in the first half. Strasburg-Zeeland connected on 13 of 25 (52%) field goals and sank half (4 of 8) of its free throws, while Kidder County hit on half (11 of 22) of its field goal attempts, while sinking 7 of 11 free throws in the half. Both teams had 11 rebounds and 7 turnovers over the first two quarters. Nic Kramer led a balanced scoring attack for Strasburg-Zeeland with 8 points, while Mason Kramer and Cole Nieuwsma scored 6 points apiece. Leier netted 10 points, and Six and Cole Scherbenske netted 6 points apiece for Kidder County.
The third period remained very close until Strasburg-Zeeland used a late run to finally gain some breathing room. Scherbenske’s basket deadlocked the score at 35-35 with 3:40 left in the period, but Mason Kramer hit the back side of two free throw attempts about 10 seconds later to put Strasburg-Zeeland back on top to stay. Kidder County closed within a point two more times over the next two minutes, but Strasburg-Zeeland went on a 6-1 spurt over the final 1:20 of the period, and Brody Nieuwsma’s free throws in the waning seconds of the frame extended the lead to 46-40.
Brody Nieuwsma’s triple midway through the fourth quarter gave Strasburg-Zeeland its biggest lead (54-45), but the Clippers scored just 2 points over the next 3:15, and those came on a pair of free throws by Mason Kramer at the 3:12 mark for a 56-49 lead. Two straight baskets by Leier capped an 8-2 run that trimmed the deficit to 56-53 with 1:30 remaining, but Kidder County would not score again.
Kidder County had an opportunity to close the gap further or even tie the game after a Clipper turnover on the ensuing possession, but the Pirates misfired on a three-point attempt, and Brody Nieuwsma scored on the other end for a 58-53 lead with :45 left. After a Pirate turnover, Nieuwsma sank a pair of free throws to make it a three-possession (60-53) lead with just :29 left, and Mason Kramer closed out the scoring with another set of free throws to seal the victory with :13 remaining.
Strasburg-Zeeland shot 43 percent (10 of 23) from the field in the second half, but the Clippers sank 9 of 10 free throws over the final two quarters, including all 6 of their free shots in the final period. The Clippers finished at 47 percent (23 of 49) from the floor and 72 percent (13 of 18) from the stripe for the game. Kidder County cooled off considerably in the second half, hitting on just 10 of 31 (32%) field goals, and 4 of 9 (44%) free throws. For the game, the Pirates shot 40 percent (21 of 53) from the field, includinga0for8showing from behind the arc, and hit 11 of 20 (55%) free throws.
Mason Kramer (3 rebounds, 4assists)andBrodyNieuwsma (4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals) paced Strasburg-Zeeland with 15 points apiece, with Kramer sinking 4 of 5 field goals and 7 of 8 free throws in the game. Nic Kramer (6 rebounds, 2 assists) and Cole Nieuwsma (11 rebounds) netted 10 points each, and Kyle Nieuwsma (3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals) and Scotti Scherr chipped in 6 points apiece for the Clippers. Leier scored a game-high 18 points, while Scherbenske netted 13 points for Kidder County.
Strasburg-Zeeland: Mason Kramer 15, Brody Nieuwsma 15, Cole Nieuwsma 10, Nic Kramer 10, Kyle Nieuwsma 6, Scotti Scherr 6.
Kidder County: Jordan Leier 18, Cole Scherbenske 13, Zach Six 9, Ben Steinolfson 7, Ryan Sand 6.
3-Pointers: Strasburg-Zeeland (3- 13): Scherr 2, B. Nieuwsma 1, Kidder County (0-8). Fouled Out: None.