Girls Basketball: Kalida locks down Lincolnview for sectional title

Feb. 25—KALIDA — Kalida's sectional final matchup against Lincolnview on Saturday night was its first game in nine days.

That long layoff had no effect on the Wildcats. They got out to a fast start, played a sharp game on both ends of the floor, and put Lincolnview away 57-24 to earn a sectional title.

Kalida coach Adam Huber said that competitive practices were the key to staying ready during the extended break.

"We have 12 kids that we think can play, so we split them up in groups this week and went after it," he said. "Rust is always a worry, but I always think there's more bad that can happen if you don't take the bye. It seemed like the bye helped more than it hurt us."

Kalida's legs looked fresh, especially on the defensive end. The Wildcats forced five first-quarter turnovers and ended the quarter on an 11-2 run, taking a 17-8 lead in a game that was once tied at six.

Kalida (17-6) forced the ball away from Lincolnview (13-11) nine times in the first half.

"We knew we had to be solid with the basketball coming into this one," Lincolnview coach Kyle Williams said. "Even through contact, we needed to handle the ball like we're capable of doing and we didn't do that tonight. They're a really good athletic team with really good guards and they flipped the switch on us."

Saturday night's defensive showing from Kalida was a complete 180 from the regular season matchup where the Wildcats held on for a 53-49 win over Lincolnview in a shootout.

"We know our defense is going to be there. That's an effort I was really proud of," Huber said. They (Lincolnview) scored 49 points against us in the regular season and we were really worried about their ability to score. To hold them to 24, was huge for us."

Not only did Kalida hold Lincolnview to 24 points on the evening, but they also limited the Lancers to seven points in the second half, including one field goal in the fourth quarter.

"It was one of those things where they had to start picking the pressure up and it took them out of character," Huber said. "We were able to get some back-cuts and other things because they weren't able to sit and guard us, they had to force the tempo."

Andrea Burgei hit three second-quarter three-pointers and led all scorers with 16 points. Avrie Unverferth added 11 points for the Wildcats.

Lincolnview didn't have a player in double figures. Brooklyn Byrne paced the Lancers with eight points off the bench.

After taking a 31-17 lead at the break, Kalida opened the second half with the first six points. The Wildcats allowed one second-half field goal to Lincolnview, a runner from Emerson Walker with 7:13 to go in the game.

Kalida won the turnover battle 14-9, held the advantage on the boards 17-13, and shot 44 percent from the floor (18 of 41), while Lincolnview shot 28 percent (8 of 28).

Kalida 57, Lincolnview 24

Score by quarters:

Lincolnview 8 9 4 3 — 24

Kalida 17 14 13 13 — 57


Brooklyn Byrne 8, Emerson Walker 7, Keira Breese 5, Ella Elling 2, Ashlyn Price 2, Totals: 8-7-24


Andrea Burgei 16, Avrie Unverferth 11, Addilyn Huber 8, Meredith Bockrath 7, Whitney Unverferth 4, Ady Miller 4, Allie Kuhlman 2, Malia Romes 2, Claire Nartker 2, Madison Unverferth 1, Totals: 18-14-57

Three-point goals: LV — Walker 1; KL — Burgei 3

Records — Lincolnview 13-11; Kalida 17-6

Reach Chris Howell at 567-242-0468 or on Twitter @Lima_Howell