Eighth-grade Redbirds complete busy week The Vermillion eighth-grade girls basketball team had a busy week starting on Monday, Oct. 11, when Dakota Valley traveled to the Vermillion Middle School to take on the Redbirds. In a seesaw battle, the Redbirds fell short, losing 31-28. Kayla Mollet led the attack for the Redbirds with 11 points. Kristen Kitto scored seven points and Nicki Nelson came off the bench to score six points. Brittney Gilkyson and Winonah Wilch each hit a basket to round out the scoring column. Rebounding was evenly distributed among the Redbirds with three girls grabbing four, Kathleen Redlin, Kitto and Wilch. Gilkyson was there on defense, stealing the ball four times.
"This was a tough game to lose because we had defeated Dakota Valley earlier in the season. We played a great first half. We just need to work on playing two halves of good solid basketball," said Coach Iverson.
Three days later, the Redbirds met the Elk-Point Jefferson Huskies in another close battle. Vermillion managed to pull out a victory in overtime, winning 38-35. Mollet led the attack once again with a season high performance of 17 points. Kitto shot the ball well, too, racking up 12 points. Gilkyson had seven points, shooting five for six from the free throw line. Wilch rounded out the scoring column with a basket. Mollet dominated on the boards and on defense grabbing a season high of 10 rebounds, four blocks and three steals.
"Kayla Mollet had a good, solid, all-around game. Her teammates really did a nice job of passing the ball to her when she was open," said Coach Iverson.
On Saturday, Oct. 16, the Redbirds traveled to Canton for the Canton Tournament. In first round action, Vermillion was matched up with the West Central Trojans. The first half proved to be a defensive battle with Vermillion leading on the scoreboard 6-3. In the second half, Vermillion struggled shooting the ball and couldn't get their offense to click. The final score was 25-15. Kitto led the Redbirds with six points with Mollet close behind scoring five. Colette Joy and Ashley Hofer each contributed two points in the loss. Joy led the team with rebounds, grabbing seven, followed by Mollet and Redlin who had six a piece and Kitto and Tera Dehner who each pulled down five. Kitto also stole the ball five times from the Trojans.
"We really struggled shooting the ball. We were taking good shots, but we just couldn't get them to fall. It happens to everyone, even the pros," Coach Iverson said about the game.
In fact, Vermillion shot the ball 49 times, only hitting seven. They struggled from the free throw line as well, hitting one of 14.
The Redbirds bounced back in their second game of the tournament. They were faced with a team from the Lennox School District. It didn't take the Redbirds long to forget about their first game of the day and start playing basketball the way they knew they could. The Redbirds took control right away and never looked back, winning the ball game 56-11. This was a total team effort with everyone getting to play and 11 of the 17 players scoring. Kitto led the way with 12 points followed closely behind by Gilkyson who had a personal season high of 10. Several people came off the bench to contribute in the scoring column including Wilch with eight, Hofer with six, Heather Heine with four, and Delayna Gale and Michelle Buckanaga who each scored three.
Joy, Dehner, and Nelson each had a basket for the Redbirds and Sarah Gregg rounded out the scoring column with a free throw for one point. Kitto, Wilch, and Whitney Lawrence, three guards, hustled and led the team in rebounding, grabbing five each. Heine and Brooke Johnson were right behind with four rebounds a piece. Kitto and Gilkyson led the attack on defense with six and four steals respectively.
"This was a great game for the girls. They came out with a lot of confidence and played basketball the way they know they are capable of playing," added Iverson.
The teams both fell short on Monday, Oct. 4, when they traveled to Brandon Valley. The A team kept the game close throughout the first quarter, but Brandon Valley's size proved to be too much for the Redbirds as they handed Vermillion a 41-29 loss. Kayla Mollet led the attack with 12 points, followed by Colette Joy who scored eight. Kristen Kitto added five points while Brittney Gilkyson hit two free throws. The Lady Lynx out-rebounded the Redbirds 31-19. Mollet once again led the team with five rebounds followed closely behind by Joy who had four. Gilkyson dished out six assists and stole the ball four times.
The B team got off to a slow start giving the Lynx a good-sized lead before Brooke Johnson hit a pair of free throws. From that point, the Redbirds played even with Brandon Valley losing 44-20. Winonah Wilch led the scoring column with seven points, followed by Delayna Gale and Johnson who scored four points each. Ashley Hofer chipped in three points and Heather Heine added a bucket for two. The Redbirds were hurt in the rebounding column getting out-rebounded 24-7. Heine led the team grabbing three of the seven rebounds.
The Redbirds' next action is on Saturday, Oct. 23.