Girls prep basketball: Finkiewicz sparks Lady Bluebirds’ victory
By Kyle Smith
Democrat Sports Editor
Cole Camp spark plug Kimmi Finkiewicz strikes again.
Finkiewicz used her hustle to score 15 points and set up baskets for others in the Lady Bluebirds’ 65-53 win over Butler on Saturday night in the W-K girls basketball Holiday Shootout.
“It could be offensively; it could be defensively. She’s a senior and absolutely a great spark plug and leader,” Cole Camp coach Rick Grunden said of Finkiewicz. “She’s not a vocal leader by any means on the floor. She’s probably not a basketball leader, but she’s that kid if I tell her to run through the wall, she’d probably try. Look up at me and think I’m crazy, and she’d try it again.”
Finkiewicz was part of a balanced offensive attack for the Lady Bluebirds. She was one of four players to score in double figures. Kaleena Logan scored 15 points, Meghan Pitts had 14, and Harper Schroeder had 10.
“Having (multiple) players in double figures, that’s important,” Grunden said. “The more people who can score the better off you’ll be. If you’re a team that relies on one person, and (she’s) sick, what’s going to happen that night? Or, you rely on that person to score, and (the opponent comes) in and plays a triangle-and-two on that girl. How do you react to that? We had four girls score in double digits. That’s great for us. It does make us a lot harder to defend.”
Alyx Gepford scored a game-high 16 points for Butler, and Jenna Bosch had 13 with nine coming in the first quarter.
The Lady Bears (2-4) sank four 3-pointers in the first quarter, including three by Bosch, to build a 17-7 lead. Gabby Blevins scored five of her eight in the first quarter with three coming on a first-quarter 3-pointer.
Cole Camp sliced that lead to 17-10 by the end of the quarter on a short jumper by Schroeder and a free throw by Finkiewicz.
“We tried to change a few things up on the fly,” Grunden said of Butler’s fast start. “We kind of went to a no-help man where we isolated some people, and said they don’t get the basketball. That helped a little bit. It was an adjustment for the plus.”
Five different Lady Bluebirds produced points in the second quarter, propelling Cole Camp to a 34-28 halftime lead. Logan scored eight points in the quarter. Finkiewicz scored the go-ahead point on a pair of free throws with 2:46 left in the quarter that gave Cole Camp a 26-25 advantage that was its first lead since 2-0.
Finkiewicz helped keep the momentum in the Lady Bluebirds’ favor in the third quarter. Her jumper opened the second-half scoring, and her traditional 3-point play put them ahead 45-31 near the midway point.
Pitts took a pass inside on a fast break and closed the third-quarter scoring with the Lady Bluebirds leading 52-40.
Gepford scored seven of her points in the third quarter that helped Butler stay close.
In the fourth quarter, Gepford’s 3-point play sliced Cole Camp’s lead to seven points (58-51) with 4:05 to play. Bailey Heimsoth’s basket pushed the lead back to nine points before both teams went scoreless over a two-minute stretch. They combined to go 0 for 7 from the free throw line during that time span.
Pitts’ two free throws snapped the drought with 40.7 seconds left, and the Lady Bluebirds scored five of the game’s final seven points to clinch the win.
The Lady Bluebirds held Butler to one shot on most trips down the floor late in the fourth quarter.
“We had some timely rebounds. I’m not going to tell you we rebounded the ball well because there were times when we gave up some defensive rebounds and should have got people boxed off, and we didn’t,” Grunden said. “It’s something we’ve been working on. We need to get better at it. Down the stretch, we did get some timely, key rebounds and got some good people to the foul line and made a few free throws down the stretch to keep it at a steady margin or maybe stretch it a little bit.”
Cole Camp (6-3 overall, 1-0 Kaysinger Conference) returns to action Thursday when they will host Tipton in a conference matchup. The varsity game is set to tip off at 7:15 p.m.
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