BY DENNIS CHASE
KALKASKA — Kingsley took advantage of its size and strength Tuesday night.
Down two at the half, the Stags took control over the final 16 minutes to put away Kalkaska 55-41 in a key non-conference basketball game.
Andrea Lee, a 5-foot-11 senior, scored 11 of her 15 points in the second half to help fuel the victory.
"Our plan was to push the ball inside because of our height and strength advantage," Lee said.
"We knew we could win. We just had to push ourselves a little more, and cut down on some of our mistakes."
Lee, playing perhaps her best game of the season, also had seven rebounds.
"She's been coming on," Kingsley coach Matt Schelich said. "She's been playing better lately. I'm sure she'll remember this one."
Guard Autumn Goggin also had 15 points for the 9-2 Stags to go along with six assists and four steals.
Amanda Youker, a 6-foot senior, pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds. Kingsley held a commanding 35-19 advantage on the boards. Youker also had seven points.
Kalkaska, which fell to 5-3, led 29-27 at half after Ellie Barber scored twice in the closing seconds.
"We're 5-8, 5-6, 5-5, 5-4 and 5-3," Blazers coach Dave Dalton said, listing the height of his starters. "And when we sub in we don't get any bigger. They (Stags) did a great job moving the ball and getting it down low in the second half."
It was Kingsley's perimeter game that kept it close in the first half. The Stags hit four 3-pointers.
"That's the thing that killed us in the first half or we could have had a bigger lead," Dalton said. "We were in a zone, trying to pack it in, and they had some girls nail (3-pointers) from the outside. And those girls weren't even looking to shoot the 3 in the second half."
Kingsley, using a trapping defense to set the tempo, also clamped down on the Blazers in the second half, holding Kalkaska to four field goals. Kelli Guy, who led the Blazers with 16 points, was limited to one 3-pointer over the final 16 minutes."
"Our defensive effort was real solid," Schelich said.
"They did a good job on Kelli in the second half," Dalton said. "They had two players going wherever she went. Kelli's a phenomenal player.
"I thought our kids a played great the first half. We played hard. But the thing about Kingsley is that they're very well coached. They've got huge players down low, and they've got good guards — Goggin's a great player. They've got the total thing."
Schelich was not surprised by his team's comeback win.
"We've been a slow starting, second half team," he said. "Our kids just seem to get better as they go — and that was the case tonight."