INMAN — Moundridge High School’s Kourtney Kaufman is having a breakout sophomore season.
With her height and athleticism, she has the ability to stretch the floor and attack the basket. But with her team down two points and just over a minute to go, Kaufman missed two free throws.
Fortunately, the Wildcats grabbed the offensive rebound. Kaufman found herself open on the perimeter and made up for her missed free throws with a 3-pointer to give Moundridge a one-point lead over second-ranked and undefeated Inman.
Ellen Durst made two free throws down the stretch and the Moundridge defense held tough as the Wildcats knocked off the Teutons, 38-33, on their home court.
The Moundridge win may appear as an upset on the surface, but anyone familiar with the Moundridge-Inman rivalry understands anything can happen.
Plus, at 7-2, Moundridge is no slouch.
“That’s a team that beat us earlier,” Moundridge head coach Brian Holloway said, referring to Inman’s 47-32 win on Dec. 7 in Moundridge. “We’ll use this win to propel us forward.”
The Teutons know they did no play their best game when they needed it most.
“We didn’t execute very well tonight, but it’s a rivalry game,” Inman head coach Bill Maurer said. “We knew it would be tough, we knew they would come out and play really hard against us.”
Inman dictated the game the entire first half, but Moundridge constantly remained at arms length. The Teutons led by three after both the first and second quarters, but led for the overwhelming majority of the first half.
The third quarter saw Moundridge take control, specifically on the defensive end. The Teutons were held without a bucket for the first seven minutes of the third quarter. In that time, Moundridge was able to take a 26-23 lead into the fourth quarter.
“The third quarter they kind of sped us up a bit,” Maurer said.
Inman’s Ashtyn Schroeder did all she could to keep Inman in the game. It was her 3-pointer late in the third quarter that snapped a scoring drought of seven minutes and 25 seconds. The junior also hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter — both of which gave Inman back the lead.
But the Wildcats spent the entire fourth quarter in the double bonus, and fouls were being called generously.
Kaufman’s 3-pointer was ultimately the dagger.
“We talk to Kourtney about being in the moment,” Holloway said. “That 3 she made was in the moment. [Inman] played great defense on her. She got loose one time, and that’s what mattered.”
Inman may fall in the next Class 2A Kansas Basketball Coaches Association rankings, but at 9-1 the Teutons should have confidence heading into the second half of the season.
“I told the girls in the locker room that sometimes you learn more from a loss than a win,” Maurer said. “We’re not going to change anything now because we lost a game.”
Moundridge had an extremely balanced attack offensively. Durst led the team with eight points, while Hailey Unruh (seven), Kaufman (six), Erin Durst (six), Kate Eichelberger (five) and Kaela Helms (four) all contributed.
Even Katie Stucky made an impact with a bucket in the second quarter.
Inman was led by the hot shooting of Schroeder; she led all scorers with 13 points. Macy DeWitt chipped in with eight.
With Inman in 2A and Moundridge in 1A, Friday night was the last meeting between the two rivals this season.