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  • Kit Carson Girls Grab Conference Win over Eads, 28-19, in Defensive 2023 Opener
Kit Carson’s junior guard Lindsey Mayhan reaches over Eads senior Samanatha Courkamp (#23) for a rebound while Courkamp boxes out during Hi-Plains Girls’ action in Eads on Friday, January 7.
Mayhan Photography

Kit Carson Girls Grab Conference Win over Eads, 28-19, in Defensive 2023 Opener

By Betsy Barnett

January 10, 2023

The Eads (5-4) and Kit Carson (5-2) girls’ teams are no strangers to each other as they have already met once in the early part of the high school basketball season. In December at the Lamar Holiday Basketball Tournament the Wildcats and Eagles met in the first round of the tournament with the Kit Carson group grabbing the win in the final period in a close 30-24 victory.

The Wildcats went on to win the third-place game and Eads won the consolation championship.

As the basketball season entered 2023 the two teams met up again with a near repeat of the December date as Kit Carson used a strong fourth quarter to win the game, 28-19, after the score was tied at the end of the third quarter, 16-16.

This was a low-scoring contest that started looking like a good game with the Cats grabbing a 10-8 lead after the first quarter behind a couple of three balls by Kenzie Waggoner. For Eads it was freshman Kara Wilson who stepped up with an early three-ball and a deuce.

But the next two quarters resulted in low scoring with both teams hitting just two field goals throughout the two quarters. After the 16-16 tie at the end of the third, the game continued to be slow. Eads took the lead, 18-16, with 5:30 left with a Tailee Weeks-Johnson field goal. But with just over 4 minutes left Cat senior Torrie Randel hit a long ball that broke Eads’ back. Just as they have in the fourth quarter in other games, the Eagles began to force the ball resulting in missed shots and more opportunity for Kit Carson to extend their lead—which they did.

Randel would hit another bucket late in the game to secure the win for Kit Carson. KVAY, who was there broadcasting the game, named Randel Player of the Game for her fourth quarter efforts.

Wilson led Eads with 9 points. Weeks-Johnson added 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 8 steals. Katie Johnson, Aless Paez and Madison McDowell each chipped in 2 points. McDowell also had a good night on the boards with 7 rebounds, and also added 2 assists and 3 steals.

Eads’ problem, particularly in the second half, came down to shooting accuracy as they shot a dismal 10% from three-point land and were only 2-for-11 (18%) from the free throw line. The Eads girls also had 23 turnovers in the contest.

Randel led the way for Kit Carson with 9 points. Waggoner had six with her two early long balls. Tess Johnson and Payge Rady added 4 and Shay Rady had 3 points.

The Cats, too, had trouble controlling the ball as the Eads defense forced 25 turnovers by Kit Carson.

Eads went on to dominate the Walsh Eagles in Eads on Saturday night, 52-9. Kit Carson then lost on the road to a strong Kiowa team on Saturday night 49-43.

In the Walsh game, the Eads girls used a strong defense, their strength thus far in the season, to hold the Walsh group to a goose egg after the first period of play. The Eads group would enjoy a successful night of shooting putting up some good points. By halftime, the Eads girls were in control, 30-4, and then continued to score fairly well through the second half. The key to the win was always the defense as the Eads girls effectively used a variety of half-court extended presses that earned them many turnovers.

Freshman Tailee Weeks-Johnson had a tremendous outing scoring 21 points including a three-ball in the third quarter. She would set the pace for Eads in the first quarter hitting four field goals, mostly off transition steals, and was 2-for-2 from the free throw line.

Paez and Wilson both had strong games putting in 9 points apiece. Freshman Lexi Shotton and McDowell each battled for four points against Walsh.

Kit Carson’s Saturday night didn’t go quite as well as they traveled to take on the 6-0 Kiowa girls who used a strong fourth quarter to get the win over the Wildcats, 49-43. This was a battle from tip to final buzzer.

The story for the Kiowa group was from the free throw line where they only missed three out of the 17 charity shots they got. Kit Carson was 5-for-9 from the line.

The Wildcats started out strong scoring 15 points in the first quarter behind some effective work down low by post Tess Johnson who poured in three buckets from the post position and was 1-for-2 from the line. Shay Rady added a bucket from the guard spot and Payge Rady had one from the opposite post side.

The Kiowa girls did not go away, however, as they roared back out-scoring the Wildcats by two points in the second and a point in the third, slowly chipping away at the lead. After three quarters the KC group had a slim 33-30 lead.

Then came the fourth quarter that saw the Wildcats drain a couple of long balls, one from Lindsey Mayhan and one from Waggoner. But it would be the strong play from Kiowa and the free throw shooting that eventually won the day.

Kit Carson had 25 turnovers in the contest.

Eads is now idle next week and won’t play until January 21 when they have a date with a good Stratton group.

The Wildcats will travel to Wiley (1-4) on Friday, January 13. Then on Saturday they will welcome Hi-Plains to the Wildcat (Trahern) “Jim.”

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