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Creston snaps five-game skid

Strong first half propels Panthers to home win

Tuesday’s first half showcased what the Creston girls basketball team can doing when it is clicking on all cylinders.

While the Panthers struggled mightily in the second half, they had enough to hold on and break back into the win column.

Creston snapped a five-game skid with a 59-49 nonconference win over Knoxville Tuesday at Panther Gym.

“We needed a win for a lot of reasons,” said Creston coach Ryan McKim. “Winning beats the alternative. It’s good to get one.”

Creston played some of its best basketball in the opening 16 minutes. Creston was effective on offensive from both the inside and outside.

“In the first half, we played really well,” McKim said. “The girls were doing what we needed them to do for us to be successful.”

Creston’s defense stymied any threats Knoxville tried to make.

Creston’s rebounding was some of the best it has had all season.

“We rebounded well. We pushed in transition,” McKim said. “For us to play well in the first half, we did what we need to do.”

Creston led 17-7 after one quarter. A 13-3 run to start the second increased the lead to 32-12.

The combination of doing everything so well had plenty of smiles on the players and coaches faces heading into the locker room with a commanding 35-19 halftime lead.

“We were doing things the way we’re trying to get us to do all the time,” McKim said. “We played pretty well when we do the things we need to do.”

The tables flipped in the second half, and it was Knoxville on fire. The Knoxville defense held Creston without a bucket until Saige Rice hit a shot with 1:03 left in the quarter. Still, Creston held a 41-33 lead after three.

Knoxville kept the momentum going in its favor in the fourth. A bucket halfway through cut the lead to four, 45-41. An animated McKim took a timeout, imploring his team to return to what they were doing earlier in the game.

While Creston didn’t quite do all that worked so well in the first half, Creston had enough to hold on. Brielle Baker and Cammy Rutherford each made two free throws in the final minute and Creston picked up a couple of key stops to hold on.

Breanna Wallace came through with one of her best offensive games ever. The sophomore tied for a game-high with 18 points.

Wallace displayed the offensive potential she has.

“We need that type of consistency from her,” McKim said. “I’m proud of her stepping up and knocking down shots and doing the things we needed her to do.”

Baker added 16 points, while Rutherford had 13 points.

Knoxville’s Katie Keitges had 18 points.

UP NEXT — Creston (4-7) is at Denison-Schleswig Friday.

“That’s going to be a dogfight Friday,” McKim said. “We need to learn from what we did well in the first half, learn from what we didn’t do well in the second half and move on.”

KNOXVILLE (49) — Hannah Swan 1 0-0 2. Shaye Nichols 4 1-2 12. Kendrea Richardson 1 3-4 8. Katie Keitges 3 3-8 18. Jada Agan 1 0-0 2. Alex Griggs 1 0-0 2. Cassidy Pearson 0 2-2 5. Totals — 11 9-16 49. 3-point goals — 6 (Shaye Nichols 1, Kendrea Richardson 1, Katie Keitges 3, Cassidy Pearson 1).

CRESTON (58) — Saige Rice 4 0-0 8. Bre Ross 0 0-0 0. Lexie Little 1 1-3 3. Brielle Baker 4 5-7 16. Bre Wallace 2 2-4 18. Kesia Stewart 0 0-0 0. Cammy Rutheford 4 5-6 13. Totals — 15 13-20 58. 3-point goals — 5 (Brielle Baker 1, Bre Wallace 4). Rebounds 39 (Cammy Rutherford 12, Lexi Little 9, Brielle Baker 6). Assists — 13 (Saige Rice 4, Lexie Little 3, Brielle Baker 3). Steals 8 (Cammy Rutherord 4). Blocks 1 (Cammy Rutherford 1). Fouls 14. Fouled out: None.

Knoxville (49) — 7 12 14 16

Creston (58) — 17 18 6 17


The Creston JV picked up a 43-24 win.

Creston led 9-0 after the first and 20-6 at halftime.

“We played well,” said JV coach Britt Roberts. “We played really well defensively. We stuck to the game plan and good results came from it.”

Kara Kinsella led the way with a game-high 18 points. Kesia Stewart added seven points

CRESTON scoring (43) — Bre Ross 2. Kara Kinsella 18, Sydney Hartsock 5. Kesia Stewart 7. Heylee Shields 4. Grace Root 3.

Knoxville (24) — 0 6 11 7

Creston (43) — 9 11 17 6


The Creston freshmen girls won 28-20.

Kinsella had nine points to lead Creston.

Creston outscored Knoxville 9-1 in the first quarter. Creston led 22-9 at halftime and 26-12 after three quarters.

“We continue to play well when we run our offense through Kara in the post,” said freshman coach Mallory Peterson. “Defensively, it’s good to see improvement.”

CRESTON scoring (28) — Kara Kinsella 9. Emma Hanson 2. Sydney Hartsock 5. Heylee Shields 6. Kylee LeMasters 1. Danika Schultes 3. Kaylyn McClellan 2.

Knoxville (20) — 1 8 7 5

Creston (28) — 9 12 5 2

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