By Todd Fertig

A clash of top ranked girls teams from the 3A classification wasn’t as close as expected Friday night as visiting Silver Lake ran away from host Rossville early, winning 68-39.

MaKenzieMcDanielRoss 1Senior MaKenzie McDaniel led Silver Lake with 17 points in Friday's 68-39 win over Rossville. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN[

KailynHanniRoss 2Sophomore Kailyn Hanni, who scored 14 points, drives to the basket in Friday's 68-39 Silver Lake win over Rossville. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

The decisive win over No. 3-ranked Rossville validated Silver Lake’s top ranking according to Kailyn Hanni, sophomore point guard of the Lady Eagles.  

“I think this says that our ranking matters. It says who we are,” Hanni said. “We’re the No. 1 team in the state for a reason.”

Despite missing much of the first half with foul trouble, post MaKenzie McDaniel hit eight of nine shots from the field and scored 17 points for the Lady Eagles, tying McKinley Kruger for leading scorer.

Hanni added 14 points and was the tip of the spear for Silver Lake.

“She has a great basketball IQ,” Silver Lake coach Kyle Porter said of Hanni. “She’s really bouncy – for being 5-foot-6 she plays a lot bigger than she is with her athleticism. She really helps us set the tone defensively. And on the offensive end, (she is) able to get players involved and find her own shot as well.”

After establishing a small first-quarter lead, the Lady Eagles ran off 11 straight points to start the second quarter. Rossville never recovered.

“I thought our defense set the tone for the entire night,” Porter said. “In the first quarter, offensively, it took us a little bit to settle in. I thought we took some rushed shots. But as the game we went on, we settled in and got the shots we wanted on our end.

“But the game really was about our defensive intensity and ability to impact the game on that end of the floor.”

Porter praised assistant coach Mark Johnson for his work coordinating Silver Lake’s defense.

“(He) does a lot of our defensive work and our prep in practice,'' Porter said. "He’s been doing that for the last two years and you see the fruits of that in a game like this tonight. Credit to him. All of his hard work has shown through.”

“We focused a lot this week in practices on not letting them shoot open 3s, really getting out and closing out and also boxing out so they couldn’t get second shots,” Hanni said.

The plan worked. Rossville was limited to 30 fewer shot attempts than were taken by Silver Lake.

Sophomore Rylee Dick tossed in 14 points, but typically high-scoring freshman Nora Burdiek was limited to just nine.

Silver Lake extended its unbeaten record to 17-0 on the season. Rossville fell to 14-3.


Silver Lake     14 16 27 11 -- 68

Rossville           9 5 14 11 -- 39

Silver Lake (17-0 8-0) – Hanni 7-14 0-1 14, Deiter 2-7 0-0 4, McDaniel 8-9 1-4 17, K. Kruger 2-9 3-4 8, M. Kruger 7-14 0-1 17, Bolan 0-2 1-4 1, Wehrli 1-4 0-0 3 Heiman 0-1 0-0 0, Brewster 0-0 0-0 0, Zordel 1-1 0-0 2, Whitehead 1-1 0-0 2, Wende 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 29-62 5-11 68.

Rossville (14-3 5-2) – Perine 0-4 2-4 2, Mitchell 2-5 0-2 5, Porter 2-4 0-0 5, Dick 3-9 7-8 14, Burdiek 2-7 5-6 9, Spielman 0-0 1-2 1, Haehn 1-3 0-0 2, Horgan 0-0 1-2 1, Sanders 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 10-32 16-24 39.

3-point goals – Silver Lake 5 (M. Kruger 3, K. Kruger 1, Wehrli 1), Rossville 3 (Mitchell 1, Porter 1, Dick 1). Total fouls – Silver Lake 18, Rossville 12. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None. 

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