KoMets keep improving through tough schedule
The Kasson-Mantorville girls basketball team is going through a learning process. With plenty of youth on the roster and lone senior Lexie Worden out with an injury, the KoMets have had to throw plenty of younger players into the deep end as they navigate through the Hiawatha Valley League.
Because of that, there will be peaks and valleys and the KoMets saw just that as they took one out of three games last week to have their record sit at 6-11 on the season.
“Our young team is still adjusting to the physicality and game speed at the varsity level,” K-M head coach Ryan Haraldson said. “Each game gets better as they adjust on the fly through this tough, gauntlet of a schedule.”
The week started with the KoMets hitting the road to take on Rochester Lourdes on January 9. Things were a challenge defensively for K-M as Lourdes marched to the free throw line 33 times and converted on 22 of them (67%). With the KoMets only getting to the charity stripe for 10 attempts, it was an uphill battle that saw them trail 38-29 at halftime.
However, K-M put up a good fight behind Bailey Berge and Mya Suess, who both lead the KoMets with 13 points a piece with Suess also adding 10 rebounds. Avery Irish also chipped in with a pair of three pointers to fuel a 12 point performance, but in the end, Lourdes would walk away with a 68-57 victory to extend its winning streak to eight games.
“It was great to see this young team compete for 36 minutes on both ends of the floor,” Haraldson said. “We hit some big shots from the outside tonight, did a nice job of taking care of the basketball against their press and getting into the right offense against their switching defenses.”
The KoMets would get back on track when they had a home date with Cannon Falls on January 12. In what was a grinder of a game, K-M surged out for a 23-14 lead. With a gritty defensive effort, the KoMets also had a balanced attack that was led by Irish’s 10 points while Berge and Suess chipped in with nine points a piece and Meredith Wright added eight.
Suess also chipped in on the defensive side coming up with 13 rebounds and five blocks as the KoMets picked up a 43-26. However, even in victory, Haraldson believes that game served as another lesson for his young team.
“We were very pleased with out team defense tonight holding the Bombers to 18 percent from the field, but we need to cut down on our turnovers, finish shots and do a better job rebounding to stay competitive in the HVL,” Haraldson explained.
K-M wrapped up its week by heading down to the Hayfield Showcase to take on Norwood-Young America. The Raiders entered the game ranked 8th in Class AA and might be a type of team the KoMets would like their younger players to grow up to be as they had a ton of experience on the roster.
The KoMets played a great first half and was able to keep the clamps on Kali Grimm, who is committed to play basketball at New Hampshire next season. However, after the KoMets were down 27-22 at halftime, the Raiders turned on the jets and started pulling away. It would be another great outing for the KoMets as Irish and Berge each chipped in with nine points, but K-M fell 61-36.
The good news for the KoMets is that of their 11 losses, seven have come against teams that are ranked in the state. In turn, they’ll look to turn another corner beginning with a road game at Zumbrota-Mazeppa on Tuesday night. They’ll return home on Friday when they host Triton and they’ll be back on the road for a tough test on January 23 when they head to Hayfield.