FRANKLIN FURNACE — Kasey Kimbler’s long distance bill is going to cost her this month.
Green’s point guard was unconscious from beyond the 3-point arc Saturday afternoon, connecting on 11-of-14 deep tries. The freshman — you read that correctly — ended the day with a game-high and career-high 34 points in the Bobcats’ 55-33 win over Hannan (WV).
Kimbler’s 11 successful 3-point field goal tries also sets a new school record — boys or girls — as she passes both Emily Horsley and Megan Tackett with seven on the girls side and Tanner Kimbler, her own brother, with 10 on the boys side.
“The best part of this all was beating my brother,” Kimbler said, smiling. “I’ve always been compared to my brother since I was little. Now I beat him and he can’t say anything about it. “But it’s pretty awesome,” Kimbler said. “I don’t even really know what to say.”
When you know, you know. During Saturday morning’s team shootaround, Kimbler knew.
“We came into the gym this morning and shot around, and I was really feeling it,” Kimbler said. “We started getting after it, my team was looking for me and I started hitting my shots. I started thinking about it and was like, ‘Man, I wonder how many have.’ Everyone was yelling and screaming and I didn’t know what was going on. I was just hitting my 3’s.”
Kimbler hit her first 3 with 4:58 left in the first quarter to give the Bobcats (4-6) a 4-2 lead, one they’d never relinquish. Her last came with 6:12 left in the fourth quarter, making it 53-16.
That’s when Green coach Melissa Knapp took her out. Had that not have happened, Kimbler probably would’ve hit two or three more 3’s.
“That record has been there for a long time. I know the type of work ethic Kasey has and the time that she’s been in the gym,” Knapp said. “She’s the ultimate team player. That’s well-deserved as a freshman to come in here … I’ve never seen it. I’ve never seen a kid hit eleven 3’s in one game. We’re obviously very proud.”
Piggybacking off Knapp’s comments, Kimbler could’ve hit two or three more during the time she was actually on the court. Instead, she decided to pass to open teammates. If you’ve watched her play, that should come as no surprise. She’s constantly looking to get her team involved.
“I’m not a selfish player. I like to pass the ball and I like to see my teammates score,” Kimbler said. “We just work as a team to get the win. That’s what we want the most.”
Tale of the tape
While Kimbler continued to stroke from 3-point land, the combination of Green’s defense and sophomore Kame Sweeney allowed the Bobcats to build a 21-8 lead before Hannan (3-4) could blink.
“Defense was the key,” Knapp said. “Another key … Kame Sweeney only had 11 points but when the ball went inside the paint, she kicked it back out. That’s part of our offense. The ball has to go through the post for good things to happen.”
By halftime, Green’s lead was 30-14 and by the end of the third, it was 48-16.
Cruise control was enabled from that point on.
After Kimbler’s lights out performance, Sweeney added 11 points and three rebounds while four other Bobcats scored two points each. Kim Brown finished with a game-high three assists.
What’s on tap
Green, with confidence in hand, gets back into action Thursday night, traveling to Green.
“I think this win give our kids confidence, number one,” Knapp said. “For the most part, our games have been close. We’ve lost some big games and we’ve won some big games. So going into playing Clay for the second time, it gives our kids confidence going into it.”
Hannan: 6-8-2-17 — 33
Green: 10-20-18-7 — 55
Hannan: 12-39 FG, 8-10 FT, 1-6 3pt., 37 rebounds, 25 turnovers, 1 assist.
Green: 16-48 FG, 8-16 FT, 11-25 3pt. (Kimbler 11), 20 rebounds (Sweeney 4), 14 turnovers, 12 assists (Brown 3). Scoring: Kimbler 34, Sweeney 11, Jenkins 3, Baldridge 2, Brown 2, Pierson 2, Johnson 1.