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 KIS 7th Grade Girls Win County Basketball Title

February 28, 2007 - With two weeks of down time due to weather, Knightstown seventh grade girls’ basketball Coach Lisa Roberts worried that her team would not be prepared for the challenge of the Henry County Tournament.

It didn’t take the young Lady Panthers long to make their coach stop worrying.

Kaelee Kuhn and Shay Pope each scored double figures in both games to lead the Knightstown seventh grade girls basketball team to that coveted Henry County Tournament title last Saturday.

Knightstown cruised in both games against county competition, whipping Blue River in the championship 38-25. The girls stomped Shenandoah in the first round 43-27. The county title raised the girls’ record to 9-4 on the season.

Against the Lady Vikings, Knightstown led most of the way. The girls were up 8-6 after one stop, and pulled ahead 19-14 at halftime. After a slow third quarter it was 23-19.

Foul trouble for Knightstown kept the game close in the early going, but the team got a good lift from the bench players.

“The non-starters came to play,” Coach Lisa Roberts said. “They allowed us to get through some early tough minutes and got into the scoring. They kept the turnovers low.”

The Lady Panthers pulled away in the fourth period, outscoring Blue River 15-6 and cruising to the easy victory.

Kaelee Kuhn had an outstanding game with 18 points and four assists. Shay Pope was a terror inside, finishing with a double-double. She scored 10 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, including six on the offensive end.

“Kaelee had a great scoring game and has grown into a true leader this season,” Roberts said. “Shay has become a great low post player and crashes the boards as well as some high school players.

“I could not have been more pleased with this group of girls. They executed our game plan and they worked hard all season. They really came together as a team. Michelle (Hochstedler) became more confident in herself and really helped keep the team on track. Ariel (Sturgill) is the work horse on the team and leads by example. Mahaley (Hagey) was able to step into positions that she previously was not comfortable with.

“Ashley (Darling) is the scrappy one and really works hard on the defensive end to keep our opponents honest. Our non-starters really improved over the season, being able to step in a fill in wherever needed. They worked our girls really hard at practice, and that allowed them to (succeed) against presses and various defenses.”

Michelle Hochstedler had five points, pulled down six rebounds, and had three steals and two assists. Ariel Sturgill also had three steals, along with two points and nine rebounds. Emma Shepherd had two points and two rebounds, and Kelsie Robinson capped the Lady Panther scoring with one point. Mahaley Hagey didn’t score but had three rebounds and two steals, while Ashley Darling had two boards and two assists.

Knightstown used a 14-5 second quarter run to build a 22-11 halftime lead against Shenandoah, coasting in the preliminary round game 43-27.

“The girls played a great game,” Roberts said. “Everyone contributed to get us into the championship. We rounded out our scoring and really played like a team."

Shay Pope posted another double-double, finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds. That gave her 22 points and 24 rebounds in the two tournament games.

Kaelee Kuhn scored 12 points and passed out six assists. Michelle Hochstedler also had six points and six assists, as the Lady Panthers recorded an assist on a phenomenal 13 of their 19 baskets in the game.

Aerial Sturgill also played a superb game, knocking down 12 points, grabbing eight rebounds and coming up with two steals. Mahaley Hagey had two points, three rebounds and one steal, while Ashley Darling had two rebounds and two steals and Emma Shepherd had two rebounds and an assist.


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