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Girls basketball: KV ends losing streak at Griffith

Updated: February 6, 2013 6:14AM



GRIFFITH — It’s been a good season for Kankakee Valley so far.

During Friday night’s Northwest Crossroads Conference game against Griffith, things became even a little brighter for the Kougars.

Coach Ryan Myers took KV (11-3, 2-2) into the Panthers’ den, saw his team build a 15-point lead and then withstand a furious fourth-quarter Griffith rally and escape with a 41-35 victory.

Junior center Danielle Ruesken led KV with 11 points and seven rebounds, while Ashley Norberg added nine points and 10 boards.

It was KV’s first win over the Panthers (8-6, 2-2) since the 2004-05 season — and snapped ended a string of nine straight losses to Griffith.

“Griffith’s one of the better defensive teams we’ve seen all year,” Myers said. “Their switching defenses in the second half gave us fits. I thought our kids did a pretty good job of responding to that. We played pretty good defense ourselves for the most part tonight, too. “I’m proud of our kids. We were able to hold on for a gutty win there.”

The Kougars held the Panthers to two first-quarter points and only nine in the first half. By the time the third period ended, Griffith had only 17 points, but scored 18 in the game’s final four minutes to make things interesting.

A steal and running jumper by Griffith’s Emma Blackard with 3.1 seconds left pulled Griffith within five points (40-35), but coach Tom Golumbeck’s team never really had a chance after falling behind 17-2 in the second quarter.

The Kougars’ Bethany Jansma swished four free throws in a span of 27.5 seconds in the final minute to ice the win for KV.

“That game was pretty much lost in the first quarter,” Golumbeck said. “We couldn’t execute at all on offense.”

“They (Kougars) were switching on screens and we didn’t do a good job of adjusting to it. Our kids battled back, but we ran out of time and came up a little short.”

Sophomore guard Courtney Bell (10 points) was the only Griffith player in double figures. Blackard had nine and Sammi Adams added eight for the Panthers, who lost their third straight game.

“We have to go back to practice and work harder at getting better on offense,” Golumbeck said.



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