Elkton — The Powers Cruisers have been through much more than anyone could imagine over the past month: Sophomore Kallie Krewson being involved in a serious car accident that left her severely injured and killed Myrtle Point Sophomore and close friend Makaia Gilkey. The community has been both grieving and praying simultaneously, all while their basketball program has returned to play with a 2-3 record since starting up in 2022. Sitting on their bench next to Head Coach Sirena Krantz is Krewson’s #24 jersey, a touching and meaningful honor to their injured teammate who continues to fight back to recovery. With only five players available, they faced the double-digit rostered Elkton Elks, who entered the evening looking for their first win in conference.
This game was a back-and-forth affair early, with Skylar Thompson opening up the scoring early on for Powers. Elkton would get a 4-0 run to take the lead, but a bucket and free throw by Thompson put Powers back out in front. Elkton would close the quarter with 6-0 run led by Olivia Humphries and Camille Peters, giving them a 10-5 lead after one quarter. Kendall Holcomb drilled a trey at the start of the second, extending it to a 13-5 Elkton lead. Powers would set fire on offense after that, ripping off a 15-4 run that was highlighted by Lauren Stallard’s seven points and five more from Thompson. This run to close the half propelled the Cruisers in front 19-17 at the break. Thompson led Powers with eight points, Meleka Byle had six points to lead Elkton.
Stallard opened the second half with a trey to extend it to a 22-17 game, but Humphries responded with back-to-back buckets to trim it back to a one-point game. That would be the end of the runs, as the teams traded basket for basket all the way through the quarter, and Stallard hit a trey near the end of the third to make it a 31-26 game entering the final quarter. Elkton got a pair of free throws from Avree Block that made it a 31-28 game early in the fourth, with a bucket from Block and free throw from Humphries later on cutting it to 33-31. However, Powers would close it out by shutting out Elkton until the final 30 seconds with their effective 2-3 zone, which helped them close it out 38-33 for their third conference win of the season.
Getting back to .500 in conference play is an impressive feat for Powers, especially given everything the community and program are going through on a daily basis. They are still shattered and prayer powered, but the Cruisers are getting better every single day in helping heal the community, which has inspired them to believe they can overcome anything. Even with only five players, Powers persevered past the challenge and came away victorious, all while having their wounded teammate’s jersey sitting next to them on the bench. It is a constant reminder of a young woman who is strong in her own fight, and a source of inspiration for the Cruisers for the foreseeable future. Being able to hold Krewson’s jersey after the game was an honor for me, and each of those young women dressed in a Cruisers uniform truly is Kallie Strong.