Velva tops Titans for District 11 title
It was no surprise to see No. 1 Velva reach the District 11 boys basketball tournament title game.
It’s opponent, however, was a different story.
No. 6 Towner-Granville-Upham made its way to the title game following wins over No. 3 Bottineau and No. 7 Westhope-Newburg.
The bottom half of the bracket featured two tournament upsets in the opening round – the Titans over Bottineau; and W-N over No. 2 Drake-Anamoose.
In the championship, the Aggies, however, proved too much for T-G-U, building an early lead on their way to a 64-50 win.
Both teams will move on to the Region 6 Tournament, which begins this Monday, March 9, in Minot.
Despite the loss in the championship game for a second straight season, coach Shane Walker was pleased with how his team played in the tournament.
Dunseith, Drake-Anamoose advance
Drake-Anamoose and Dunseith lost opening round games, but the two teams kept their seasons alive, winning back-to-back tournament games, including a region qualifier on March 2.
No. 2 D-A defeated No. 4 Rugby 55-47. The loss snapped the Panthers’ streak of five straight years of advancing to regionals. D-A, meanwhile, earned its second straight trip.
Rugby started well, jumping out to a 14-6 first quarter lead. The Raiders went on an 8-0 run to begin the second quarter and crept to within a basket of the Panthers at halftime. The game turned in the third quarter when Rugby struggled against the Raiders’ press. D-A built a sizable lead en route to the win.
Another telltale stat was the Panthers made just one free throw in two attempts while D-A was 24 of 36. Many of those free throws came, however, in the final minutes when Rugby was forced to foul.
The Raiders were stunned by No. 7 Westhope-Newburg in the opening round but defeated No. 3 Bottineau in loser-out play to reach the qualifier.
Rugby arguably had the most challenging opening round game, facing tournament host Dunseith. However, the Panthers started strong and advanced to the semifinals for the sixth consecutive season.
However, it would be the final victory of the season for the orange and black. Rugby would fall to No. 1 Velva in the semifinals and then lose to the Raiders.
Rugby ended its season with an 11-11 record.
No. 5 Dunseith advanced to regionals with a 65-39 victory over No. 7 Westhope-Newburg.
The Dragons dropped their tournament opener to No. 4 Rugby but defeated No. 8 Sawyer in loser-out play to advance to the qualifier. W-N knocked off D-A in the opening round but lost to T-G-U in the semifinals.
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