The Wildkats basketball team played its way into the district championship game Friday night as they picked up a 74-34 victory over Ronan in the semi-finals.
The Kats’ biggest lead of the game came late in the fourth quarter on the most impactful shot of the night as Kimberly Peacock scored her first basket after being diagnosed with leukemia in July, 2017.
After several missed attempts earlier in the quarter, Peacock connected on a 10-foot jumper from the left side of the basket as the crowd erupted in support.
“It was really emotional for me. My teammates kept trying to get me the ball because they wanted it just as bad as I did,” Peacock said after the game. “I was thinking holy crap, holy crap, holy crap as it went in. Then I didn’t have much time to really think after that because I started crying and everyone was screaming. It was fun.”
For her father and Wildkat assistant coach, Jim Peacock, the shot was just one more step on what has been a long road over the last year and a half.
“It’s one more step closer to normalcy. After the last year, seeing her doing something normal, that’s pretty cool,” he said. “There was a fist pump and a little tear running down my cheek. It was just so nice to see.”
The shot came in a game that had been close through most of the first quarter before the Kats used a 20-3 run to open up a 32-14 lead midway through the second quarter. Ryley Kehr scored 19 of her game-high 25 points in the first half as the Kats took a 45-21 lead into the break. The Kats pushed their lead to 27 through three quarters before Savvy Ellis opened the fourth with six straight points to push the Wildkat lead to 60-27. The Kats used another 20-3 run to push the lead to 44, culminating in the Peacock shot with under two minutes to play.
Kehr’s 25 points led the Wildkats in the win while Trista Cowan added 17, Josie Windauer had 11 points, Hannah Schweikert scored seven, Ellis had six and Maddie Robison, LaKia Hill, Lauren Falkner and Peacock each scored two.
The Kats will now face Browning in the championship game Saturday at 8 p.m.