Balanced Kittanning girls take down Highlands
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The second half of the section schedule started with the Kittanning girls basketball team putting on a balanced offensive display.
Emily Knepshield had a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists, and three other Wildcats scored in double figures Thursday to give Kittanning a 66-42 win over Highlands in a Section 1-AAA home game.
Taylar Wolfe led all scorers with 18 points for Kittanning (9-5, 5-2), Tiffany Montgomery scored 17 and Alaina Thomas added 10. Emily Klingensmith had nine points for the Wildcats, who moved the ball well to finish with 17 assists on 23 field goals.
“Offensively, I was pleased with what I saw today,” Kittanning coach Janelle Kotyk said. “I think Emily (Knepshield) does a great job of distributing the ball evenly, and we have a few different kids with the ability to score. I think they're all starting to find their own way on the offensive side, which is great.”
The Wildcats pulled away in the second half, but Highlands (2-11, 0-7) gave Kittanning a test as the Rams sought their first section win. Nicole Boda scored 17 points, and Ashlyn Jonczak added 15 for Highlands.
Highlands had an early 6-2 lead and stayed within six points for most of the first half, but Kittanning extended the lead to 33-24 by halftime.
The game also had 38 free throws attempted on 41 fouls, and an offensive foul late in the second quarter against the Rams had a deflating effect after a solid first half.
“We were holding the ball for the final shot, and they called a make-up call I still don't understand,” Highlands coach Ron Lang said. “(The referee) said our girl pushed (on a screen), but she was the person being picked for. She was standing still waiting for someone to set a pick.”
At the same time, Highlands was disappointed it couldn't pull closer than nine at halftime, Kittanning's coaches had their own frustrations at the number of fouls committed and points allowed by their own team.
“I wasn't pleased with the amount of fouls we were committing, and that's something we've been trying to work on each day in practice,” Kotyk said. “We definitely want to continue to improve on the defensive end of the court and play defense without fouling.”
The Wildcats did a better job on defense in the second half to hold Highlands to just 18 points.
The continued focus on defense for the Wildcats will go on as they try to improve on a strong start to the section season. Trailing only Mars and Hampton, the Wildcats have themselves in prime position to once again claim a playoff berth and possibly earn a better seed than the past two years.
“The second round of (section) games, we want to be competitive with Mars and Hampton,” Kotyk said. “We're away for both of those the second time, but we're going to keep working hard every night. You can't take a night off because there's no easy nights in our section.”
Having been the first coach to face the Wildcats twice this year, Lang said Kittanning has the ability to make a second-half push by defending well and continuing to move the ball.
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt recruit Rowan leaving Lincoln Park
- Fox Chapel girls basketball coach Meabon steps down after 5 seasons