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Knights get defensive in rugged 27-22 win

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

TABOR - Who said victories have to look pretty?

After going nearly 11 minutes without a point and recording more turnovers (11) than points (eight) in the first half, Fremont-Mills scraped together a 11-2 over the final four minutes to down Essex 27-22 in an admitted not so pretty Corner Conference title Friday in Tabor.

Fremont-Mills coach Brett Weldon admitted after the game this one looked and felt exactly like the first game after a two-week Christmas break

“Just looking at the basketball that was being played, seems not a lot got done over the break with people being gone,” Weldon said. “It’s hard to practice and get everyone back. I told the girls its important that first game back to get your legs under you.

“I think that was part of it and we just didn’t play very well. But at the end, when we needed to execute, they did. What I drew on the board, they did and it worked. I’m proud of that.”

Scoring was a chore for much of the first half as the two teams combined for just two points in a rugged second quarter.

The Knights (6-3 overall, 6-2 in the conference) would find themselves down 20-16 when Helen Nicholas banged in a layup with just under four minutes to go to give the Trojanns their largest lead of the game.

But with just under three minutes to go and the Knights still trailing 20-17, Weldon signaled for a timeout and called Courtney Goodman’s number. The set worked perfectly and the junior guard knocked down a wide-open 18 footer to cut the lead to 20-19. Twenty second and an F-M steal later, Malea Moore sunk a three pointer from the left wing to give the Knights their first lead since early in the third quarter at 22-20.

“Its what I drew up in the huddle and told her, ‘If it’s not open, your next look is the post,’” Weldon said of Goodman. “She didn’t shoot real well tonight but she shot that with confidence and hit it. Then Malea hit the next one with confidence too. They didn’t show any fear.”

The Knights out-scored the Trojanns 11-2 over the final four minutes.

Weldon didn’t have a lot of good things to say about his offense after they shot just 18 percent from the field (8-of-44) and scored a season-low in points for a game and a quarter but he liked what he saw from his defense.

“We tried to switch up our defense a little from what we did against them last time,” Weldon said. “The second half we came back out in straight man. We wanted to make them work for everything. It seemed to work out. But on the offensive end we didn’t play as well.”

The coach definitely sees areas for improvement for the offensive end, something he plans to address this week in practice.

“We’ll watch the film,” he said. “We got a lot of good looks and they weren’t falling. At the same time, we have to make them. We have to find a way to get better and manufacture easier baskets, not just jumpshots. We need layups.”

Kaylee Wright paced the Knights with eight points and nine rebounds. Goodman added seven points and three assists.