KALIDA — Miller City was getting close to putting Kalida in its rear-view mirror.
Enter Kalida’s Grace Klausing.
Klausing scored 11 points in the second quarter and Kalida came back to knock off Miller City 44-37 in a girls basketball game Saturday.
Klausing finished with 24 points and four 3-pointers. She also had seven rebounds.
“I think we started playing as a team more (in the second quarter),” Klausing said. “In the first quarter we threw the ball away way too much and their zone pressure killed us. In the second quarter we came out and hit shots in transition. That was the key.’’
Kalida is 9-7, 2-2 in the Putnam County League.
Miller City is 11-5, 3-3 in the PCL.
Brenna Smith added eight points and four rebounds for Kalida. Abby Wurth had five rebounds and two points.
Miller City was led by sophomore guard Abi Lammers, who had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Natalie Koenig had 15 points and six rebounds.
Miller City got its transition game going early and led 10-2.
Miller City led 13-4 after the first quarter.
Part of that was Kalida had nine first-quarter turnovers against the Miller City 1-2-2 zone.
Kalida then outscored Miller City 19-9 in the second to take a 23-22 lead at the half.
Kalida coach Adam Huber said it was a matter of his team settling down.
“We had opportunities in that first quarter, but we were so passive for some reason,” Huber said. “And we had 11 turnovers at the half. We’d make an extra pass when someone should just shoot the ball. At the end of the first quarter, we said, ‘Just let it go’ and we started making shots.’’
Klausing started the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers out of the left corner to ignite a 7-0 run.
“I knew it was going to be a good second quarter after that first one went down,” Klausing said. “It was a transition three and it started flowing from there.’’
That brought Kalida within 13-11.
“They played zone and we had good looks early, but we just didn’t knock them down,” Huber said. “We rely on Grace for a lot and she stepped up there and allowed everyone else to take a collective sigh of relief. … And our defense settled in a little more.’’
Getting Kalida back in the game were five 3-pointers in the second quarter, including three by Klausing.
Carlie Rampe and Brooke Vennekotter also sank 3-pointers in the quarter for Kalida.
This pulled Miller City out of its zone and forced it to play man.
By halftime, Klausing had 15 points.
Kalida led 36-31 after three quarters. Klausing scored seven points in the third with one 3-pointer.
After a driving basket by Kathryn Siebeneck, Kalida led 39-33 with 3:59 to go.
From there, Kalida held on, as it hit only 6 of 17 from the foul line in the final quarter.
Even though Kalida struggled at the foul line, Miller City couldn’t capitalize. Miller City hit 2 of 13 from the field in the final quarter.
In the last minute, Klausing hit 2 of 4 at the line to give Kalida a 43-37 lead with 46 seconds to go.
When Smith canned 1 of 2 on free throws with 35 seconds left, Kalida led 44-37.
Kalida won the boards, 27-25.
Kalida had 16 turnovers, but only seven in the final three quarters.
Miller City had 16 turnovers.
Kalida shot 42 percent from the field and was 6 of 18 on 3-pointers.
Miller City shot 35 percent from the field and was 2 of 11 on 3-pointers.
Huber liked it his team’s defensive effort on Lammers and Koenig.
“It was a team effort,” Huber said. “Brenna (Smith) had Lammers most of the time. Abby (Wurth) started on Koenig, then we put McKayla (Maag) on her late, but we had to have other people secure and help them because they’re good. They put their heads down and go score.’’
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.