• Val T.

Winamac forces 34 turnovers, tops North Miami

Kroft scores 18, Smith adds 12


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

WINAMAC –- Kingsley Kroft hit four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 18 points, and Maggie Smith added 12 for the Winamac girls basketball team in a wire-to-wire 44-32 win over North Miami Saturday.

Playing a harassing fullcourt press, Winamac forced 13 turnovers in the first quarter in jumping out to a 10-0 lead. They forced 34 turnovers for the game.

Smith made all six of her free throw attempts, grabbed nine rebounds and pilfered seven steals on a night in which she, fellow senior Aubrey Gearhart and managers Emily Rausch and Megan Wentz were honored.

“I think they were amped up for senior night,” Winamac coach Kole Kroft said. “Aubrey and Maggie, they’re just good leaders right now. I thought the press gave them a little trouble. It should have been probably about 18-0 there. We just missed some easy shots and some free throws.”

Due to coronavirus-related issues, Winamac was playing their first game in two weeks. They had practiced only twice during that time.

Allison Bowman led North Miami (1-3) with 10 points. Freshman Kaiden Hanley had seven rebounds before she fouled out with 7:40 left.

North Miami trailed 38-19 after a Smith putback in the third quarter, but North Miami would cut the deficit to 40-31 on two Molly Freeman free throws with 4:40 left.

But Kroft would find Ella Gearhart on a post feed for a bucket, and Smith would finish the scoring with two free throws with 1:25 left.

“We’ve had two practices in two weeks, and Thanksgiving was in between those two practices,” coach Kroft said. “So for them to do that and press most of the game, kudos to them.”

After the initial 10-0 deficit, North Miami would climb back within 15-13 in the second quarter on a Joey Witmeyer putback.

Winamac then responded with a 12-1 run. Kingsley Kroft hit a free throw, Alyssa Villanueva would score in transition after a steal, Kingsley Kroft would hit a 3-pointer and then two free throws to make it 23-13.

Kingsley Kroft would hit another trey from the right wing to cap the run. The lead was 27-16 at halftime.

Kingsley Kroft hit two more 3-pointers as Winamac started the second half on a 12-3 burst. She scored as many points in the second and third quarters (18) as the entire North Miami team.

Ellie Musselman added eight points and Taylor Tinney, the team’s lone senior starter, had seven for North Miami.

After graduating guards Bailey Keim, now playing at Manchester University, and Hannah Hall from last year’s team, North Miami was vulnerable to pressure, according to coach Lori Working.

“We went from last year with people not pressing us, and I told the kids we’re very young,” Working said. “Taylor is my only senior. She didn’t handle a lot of the responsibilities. … So being young, I keep telling the girls to fight through things, and they just get upset. I’ve got to have leadership.”

The JV game was canceled.

Winamac 44, North Miami 32

NORTH MIAMI (32) (1-3)

Taylor Tinney 3 1-2 7, Allison Bowman 4 0-0 10, Molly Freeman 0 3-4 3, Ellie Musselman 3 2-3 8, Kaiden Hanley 1 0-0 2, Macey Stockdale 0 0-1 0, Joey Witmeyer 1 0-0 2, DeLaney Siders 0 0-0 0, Emily Smith 0 0-0 0, Alison Smith 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 12 6-10 32

WINAMAC (44) (2-2)

Aubrey Gearhart 2 1-4 5, Kingsley Kroft 5 4-9 18, Alyssa Villanueva 3 0-0 6, Ella Gearhart 1 1-2 3, Maggie Smith (No. 5) 3 6-6 12, Piper Link 0 0-0 0, Maggie Smith (No. 24) 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 14 12-21 44

Three-point field goals:

North Miami 2 (Bowman 2),

Winamac 4 (Kroft 4)

Total fouls: North Miami 18, Winamac 15

Fouled out: Hanley (NM), 7:40, fourth

Turnovers: North Miami 34, Winamac 20

Score by quarters

North Miami 6 10 8 8 32

Winamac 12 15 11 6 44


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