Cyclones win nailbiter over Knights

In the fourth quarter of Thursday’s home game with just under a minute remaining and the Cyclones hanging on to a 3-point lead, Senior Cyclone Hannah Sonderman stepped up to the free throw line, knocked down both shots, helping the Cyclones to a 55-49 win, and their seven consecutive victory.

“I knew we needed those, so I just slowed down, took a breath and reached up,” Sonderman said.

Senior Cyclone Ava Monson scored the first basket of the night from 3-point range, giving the Cyclones an early lead. But the Knights came out of the gate aggressively turning the tables on the Cyclones scoring the next three of four baskets, including two 3-point shots from Senior Aubrey Hueton, making it 8-5.

Junior Cyclone Molly Swensen tied the game up at eight with a 3-pointer, followed by 3-point shots from Monson and Sonderman putting the Cyclones up seven points, but Hueton scored the final bucket of the quarter putting her down 15-10.

In the second quarter, Freshman Cyclone Kenzley Bruck scored the first basket, but the Knights responded with back-to-back 3-pointers from Hueton and Sophomore Kaylie Simons, cutting the Cyclone lead to 17-16.

Following Simons’ 3-pointer, the Cyclones offense took control of the game going on a 16-4 run to close out the half, giving the Cyclones a 33-20 lead.

“We needed to pick up our defense and know where the shooters were,” Sonderman said. “Once we figured that out, it was a lot better.”

In the third quarter, the Knights offense started to turn the tables on the Cyclones opening the quarter on 9-5 run capped off by a 3-pointer from Sophomore Knight Elsa Tiefenthaler, forcing Cyclone head coach Zach Klaassen to use a timeout.

“Our half court offense had to run better,” Klaassen said. “It can’t be just trying to shove it down their throats all the time, and that pace was working, but when it’s not, we have to run the half court offense. We got everybody to take a deep breath, and focus and slow down a little bit, and understand that we had the lead.”

When play resumed, the Knights offense continued to step up at one point making three consecutive shots from Tiefenthaler, Simons, and Senior Lauren Boell closing out the quarter on a 6-0 run, and cutting the Cyclones lead to 43-38.

When the fourth quarter began, Senior Cyclone Erica Rust scored the first basket up, but Senior Knight Frannie Glynn responded back with a mid-range shot keeping her team within striking distance.

Both teams continued to exchange buckets until Hueton came down court and launched a shot from 3-point range cutting the Cyclone lead to 52-49 with just over a minute remaining, forcing a timeout from Klaassen. When play resumed, Sonderman was fouled, making both baskets, leading her team to victory.

“They made us work for it tonight,” Klaassen said of Kuemper Catholic. “I thought we played a pretty good first half. Then all of a sudden, we had a couple of bad possessions where we took bad shots. They were capitalizing from 3’s. Hueton went off on us tonight, and she hit one to start the game, and apparently that opened the floodgates for her tonight.”

The Cyclones return to action Friday night on the road at 6 p.m. against the #8 ranked 12-4 Lewis Central Titans, who beat the Cyclones Jan. 2 in their house. The Titans are led by Lucy Scott, averaging 16.3 points per game, Brooke Larsen, averaging 7 rebounds, and Addison Holt, averaging 3.4 assists.

“We’re excited to go down there,” Klaassen added. “You have short turnarounds, you’ve got to be ready to go, take care of your body right now, rest up, and hydrate.”



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