Photo by Beau Bearden.
KINGMAN – The Kingman Academy High School girls basketball team most likely overlooked No. 50 ranked Trivium Prep Tuesday night. The Lady Knights hadn’t won a game in the 2A West Region this season, but stayed within striking distance until the fourth quarter when the 30th-ranked Lady Tigers finally pulled away for a 35-22 win.
“After the game I told them, ‘You can’t do that. Anybody can beat anybody else in this league,’” said Academy head coach Garth Steed. “‘If you come out and play like that, you’re going to get beat.’ I had the luxury of having a deep bench, which I could put in. We could have been in trouble.”
Luckily there wasn’t a junior varsity contest and Steed had 15 Lady Tigers to play against Trivium. When the dust settled, 13 of those players saw action and that was a big difference-maker.
“Our JV girls got us back in the game,” Steed said. “… They went out and hustled. It was a little bit of a wakeup call for the other girls.”
The Academy’s five starters combined for just four points in the first half, before they turned it around to tally 21 points in the second half. That motivation likely came from a spirited halftime speech where Steed told the team that the freshmen and JV Lady Tigers showed the intensity and focus that was needed on the court.
“That’s why I put them in - I was going to at least get some energy on the floor,” Steed said of the younger players. “They had a few turnovers and stuff, but they were out there flying around and playing like they were excited to be there. The other girls just didn’t. The second half they did.”
The Academy finally gave itself some breathing room to start the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run. The spark gave the Lady Tigers a 28-15 advantage with 4:57 remaining, but the Lady Knights didn’t go down without a fight.
Trivium (0-11, 0-6) responded with a 7-0 run to inch within 28-22 at the 3:12 mark. The Academy (6-6, 5-1) made sure that was as close as it would get – ending the game with its own 7-0 run.
The trio of Ashlee Steed, Canya Thompson and Chloe Elliott each tallied six points to lead the Lady Tigers, while Kassidy Campbell and Amanda Villeso finished with five points each.
“We still missed way too many shots,” Steed said. “It was just one of those ugly nights. We really can’t afford it. We need to hold our ranking and we can’t have a close game against a team that hasn’t won all year. It just isn’t good.”
The Academy returns to the floor Friday for a 5:30 p.m. road contest against No. 29 ranked Tonopah Valley (6-6, 3-2).