KALIDA — Find a way to win.
Tuesday’s girls’ nonconference basketball matchup between Kalida and visiting St. Marys was a prime example.
After leading by as many as 12 points, Kalida staved off a valiant comeback attempt by St. Marys and came away with a hard-fought 39-36 victory over the Roughriders.
Kalida (1-1) controlled the boards, 29-21, en route to the win.
However, Kalida committed 22 turnovers on the night.
“For us, offensively, it comes down to us turning the ball over,” Kalida coach Adam Huber said. “We turned the ball over way too much in that first quarter. Then, we slowed down there in the second quarter, and we had a nice run to go up 10 at the half.
“We came out (in the second half), and we didn’t have too many possessions. But, we did a better job of taking care of the ball.”
Despite committing eight turnovers in the first quarter, Kalida slipped out with a 12-11 lead by the first stop. The Wildcats made 4 of 10 shots from the field, while the Roughriders (1-1) connected on 5 of 13 of their field goal attempts.
The Wildcats controlled the boards in the first quarter, 11-3.
Kalida opened the second quarter with a flurry.
Back-to-back buckets by Lauren Langhals (nine points, seven rebounds) and Taylor Lucke (nine points), extended the Kalida lead to 16-11, less than a minute into the stanza.
Kalida went into the halftime break with a 24-14 lead.
In the first half, Kalida was 8-of-17 shooting from the floor, while St. Marys went ice cold in the second quarter (1-of-14 shooting), connecting on just 6 of 27 of its field goal attempts in the half.
Kara Siefker, a 5-foot-8 wing player, led the way for Kalida in the first half, scoring eight points, pulling down six rebounds and making three steals at the defensive end. Siefker ended the game with 10 points and 8 boards.
Kalida finished the first half with a 19-11 edge on the boards.
Early in the third quarter, the Roughriders cut the deficit to 26-19 on a 3-pointer by Syd Cisco from the left wing.
A 3-pointer by Lucke with a little more than three minutes left to play in the third quarter, pushed the Kalida lead to 31-19.
However, St. Marys battled back.
Makenna Mele (14 points, 7 rebounds) scored six points down low to help the Roughriders cut the deficit to 35-30 by the end of the third quarter. St. Marys found its shooting groove in the third frame, making 5 of 10 shots from the floor.
Then, just seconds into the fourth quarter, a 3-pointer deep in the right corner by Carly Caywood, pulled the Roughriders within 2, 35-33.
But down the stretch, Kalida made a couple clutch free throws to secure the victory.
For the game, Kalida shot 50 percent from the field, while St. Marys countered with 28-percent shooting.
“It’s a process and we have a long way to go,” Huber said. “We have a lot of things to clean up.”
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.