Shots weren't necessarily falling before the game, so Arlington girls basketball standout Kailynn Gubbels knew what strategy would serve her and the team best as they competed Saturday at Tekamah-Herman High School.
“If I struggle on my shots, I just have to pick it up on defense and get those steals so I can get my points,” the junior said.
The approach led to easy buckets off of steals as the Eagles earned a 52-42 road victory. Using defensive lessons learned from her assistant coach mother Leslie, Gubbels intercepted passes, converted layups and knocked down eight of her 12 chances at the foul line for a game-high 28 points.
With the win, head coach Luke Brenn's squad improved to 3-3 heading into the holiday break.
Arlington led Tekamah throughout, but pulled away with a 9-0 run during the third period. The streak started with a Kate Miller putback before a Gubbels layup pushed the Eagles' lead to 30-23.
Miller then added a first-shot free throw make before AHS secured an offensive rebound on the second. Gubbels took that second-chance opportunity and pushed her team's lead to 10.
Miller scored again and the Eagles were off, finishing off the first six games of the season 3-3 — a team goal going into Saturday's tilt with the Tigers.
“It definitely gives us confidence,” Gubbels said.
While she notched a team-high 28, Arlington senior Kylee Bruning added nine points. Miller notched seven, Keelianne Green had six and Hailey Brenn had two.
Maggie Sheets scored 17 points to lead Tekamah (2-5 overall), while Halle Olsen had 11.