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MCDONALD'S GAME OF THE WEEK (Girls Basketball): Boscobel 55, Kickapoo 54
Bulldogs rally from 15-point first-half deficit to knock off 9–0 Kickapoo
Boscobel trap
Boscobel's Katie Kinney (15) and Gretta Grassel (5) apply a trap with teammate Sarah Knowles (22) closing in to help during the Bulldogs' 55–54 non-conference victory over Kickapoo last Tuesday night.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Boscobel 55, Kickapoo 54

By Jason Nihles, Boscobel Dial

Undefeated Kickapoo built a 15-point first half lead at Boscobel last Tuesday night and appeared well on their way to a 10th straight win to open the season.

Lily Clements’ 3-pointer from the left wing — her only basket of the game —gave the visiting Panthers a 28–13 lead with six minutes left in the first half.

But the Bulldogs closed the half on a 16–6 run and outscored Kickapoo 26–19 in the second half to hand the Panthers their first loss of the season, 55–54.

Boscobel (7–3) tied the game early in the second half at 35 on a driving left-handing layup by senior Abri Brown.

Boscobel took its first lead of the second half at 39–38 on a driving layup by sophomore Erin Knowles at the 11:30 mark.

Senior Sarah Knowles scored on an offensive rebound on the next possession, then scored on a post feed from Erin Knowles  the next trip down court to make it 43–38 with 9:21 left.

Kickapoo went on a 9–2 run and regained a 47–46 lead on a layup by Jayla Nagel and a basket by Alayna Culver with 4:46.

The team’s traded baskets on the next three possessions, with Boscobel regaining a 50–49 lead on another Sarah Knowles offensive putback with 3:30 left.

The Panthers regained a 51–50 lead on a Nagel drive with 2:44 remaining, then Nagel split a pair of free throws with 2:22 left to make it a two-point game.

Brown sliced through the Kickapoo defense to tie the game at 52 on a layup with just over two minutes to play, then gave the Bulldogs a two-point advantage on a breakaway layup against the Panthers’ full-court press with 1:45 left.

Kickapoo’s Anelise Egge tied the game again, this time at 54, with a wild layup from the right side and was fouled on the play with 1:39. But Egge missed the free throw and the game remained tied.

Boscobel committed a turnover on the ensuing possession, but the defense held, as Nagel missed a point-blank layup with 54 seconds left.

After two Boscobel misses in the paint, Kinney was fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound and made 1 of 2 from the line with 31 seconds left to provide the final margin of victory.

There was still work to be done on the defensive end as Kickapoo had one last chance to take the lead, but Egge’s 3-pointer from the left corner fell short with sevens seconds left and Gretta Grassel grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 3.7 seconds left in the game.

Grassel missed the front end of the bonus, but Kickapoo was unable to get off a final shot before time expired.

“We played good team defense to and made some clutch shots to get back in the game,” said Boscobel head coach Erik Kinney. “We were down 15 early and we just did a good job on the defensive end to get back into the game. Sarah really controlled the glass with 26 boards, with Katie and Gretta grabbing nine each. And Erin and Abri sharing the ball with assists got us back in the game.”

Brown answered Clements’ 3-pointer with a driving layup on the other end to begin the Bulldogs’ comeback late in the first half and Erin Knowles added a layup on the next Boscobel possession.

“Erin had a big first half and made some key shots with a timely 3-pointer from Katie. Sarah hit some shots and controlled the glass to get us back in the game to make it close it at halftime to give us a chance.”

Sarah Knowles scored 14 points, grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds, to go along with four steals and three blocks to lead the Bulldogs. Knowles is averaging 17 points and 14.1 rebounds per game.

Erin Knowles finished with 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Brown added 12 points and eight rebounds, and Grassel finished with 10 points and nine rebounds. Kinney chipped in four points and nine rebounds.

Nagel scored a team-high 12 points to lead Kickapoo (9–1) in the loss.

The Bulldogs (7–2, 2–2 SWAL) will return to action Tuesday at River Ridge (4–5) before returning to SWAL conference play Thursday, Jan. 6 at Fennimore (2–5, 1–2 SWAL).

Kickapoo....35  19   – 54
Boscobel.....29  26  – 55
Kickapoo (9–1) – Adisynne Wiegel 3, Jayla Nagel 12, Carrie Neefe 9, Lily Clements 3, Anelise Egge 10, Hailey Gander 5, Lilly Geary 6, Alayna Culver 6. Totals — 21 6-18 54. 
Boscobel (7–3) – Gretta Grassel 10, Katie Kinney 4, Abri Brown 12, Sarah Knowles 14, Erin Knowles 15. Totals — 21 10-25 55.
3-point goals – K: 6 (Wiegel 1, Neefe 2, Clements 1, Egge 1, Gander 1), B: 1 (Kinney). Total fouls – K: 19, B: 14. Fouled out – K: Neefe, B: E. Knowles.