Kim Mosack owns a sweet jump shot, but showcased a powerful drive Monday in the first round of the Brainerd Holiday Girls' Basketball Classic.
Mosack's driving and free throw shooting helped the Staples-Motley Cardinals to a 50-44 victory over the Eden Prairie Eagles. It was the eighth straight victory for the 8-1 Cardinals.
S-M's tenacious defense ignited an 11-4 first quarter. The Eagles didn't score until 1:58 remained in the opening frame. S-M created nine turnovers and received seven of Michelle Honek's game-high 19 points in that time. But it was Mosack who kept the offense rolling.
The junior guard twice was fouled while making a forceful layup in the second quarter. Both times she completed the 3-point play. She finished 3-for-3 from the field, scoring eight of her 14 points before halftime.
"She has a little tendency just to pick her shots from outside," said Cardinals coach Ron Beachy. "I kept telling her she had to get powerful and take it to the basket and get some things going. She can use her free throw shooting to her advantage and she did that."
Mosack's offense and Eden Prairie's 7-of-20 shooting in the first half presented S-M with a 29-22 halftime lead.
"I thought psychologically for our girls, if we could get an early lead, it would be good," said Beachy. "Energy wise things started happening for us. I'm afraid if they would have gotten a lead we would have ended up a little down."
Staples-Motley 50, Eden Prairie 44
The stats: Michelle Honek scored 19 and Kim Mosack added 14.
Next: at Brainerd, 5:30 p.m. today
The Eagles came back in the third quarter, outscoring the Cardinals 10-7 and pulling within four. Eden Prairie used its post to create scoring opportunities. It outscrapped S-M, resulting in six second-chance points.
"Starting the year we had so many things we needed to get done and rebounding was one of the things we kind of looked over," said Beachy. "We knew we were going to hustle and get to the boards, but I knew it was something we were going to have to work on."
S-M kept its composure and Mosack scored five more in the fourth quarter. She was 3-of-4 from the line, while Honek added six more points to seal the first-round decision.
"We have a problem where we have to come out and we just have to kill a team," said Mosack. "Our instinct is to kill a team. We just needed that in the second half. The first half we did that.
"We just decided to take it. We went out and hustled and tried to rebound."
S-M advanced to play Brainerd 5:30 p.m. today for the title.
"We're confident right now," said Mosack. "We hope to keep it going for the next few games."
Staples-Motley 11 18 7 14 -- 50
Eden Prairie 4 18 10 12 -- 44
Jacque Peterson 2, Kendell Spar 6, Melissa Roberts 6, Kim Mosack 14, Michelle Honek 19, Steph Jares 3. Team totals: FG 20-54 (37 percent), FT 10-18 (56 percent), 3-point baskets: 0. Overall -- 8-1. Next game: Championship vs. Brainerd 5:30 p.m. today
Kelsey Ferkinhoff 5, Kelsey Maynard 2, Kayla Friend 12, Ashley Pierce 2, Brittany Nanzig 3, Ashley Jilek 8, Kiersten Hansen 8, Molly McCann 4. Team totals: FG 16-47 (34 percent), FT 12-15 (80 percent), 3-point baskets: 0. Overall -- 1-6. Next game: Third place vs. Fergus Falls 4 p.m. today.
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