North Star defends District 8 title
As expected, No. 1 North Star (Cando) captured the District 8 boys basketball tournament.
However, no one expected the Bearcats would be tested as they were in the title game by No. 3 Munich-Starkweather.
The Magic Storm threw everything it had against North Star in the final quarter, outscoring the Bearcats 19-12, but the rally came up just short. North Star hung on for a 61-58 win in Langdon on March 1.
Tanner Komrosky scored a team-high 25 points for the top-ranked Beartcats which improved to 21-0 on the season and defended its district title.
It’s possible both teams could meet one more time at this week’s Region 4 Tournament in Devils Lake.
The Bearcats received a bye into the semifinal round where they defeated No. 4 St. John 87-55.
Munich-Starkweather defeated No. 6 Langdon 57-38 in the first round and No. 7 Minnewaukan-Leeds 64-39 in the semifinals to advance to the championship.
M-Leeds, Langdon qualify for regionals
Minnewaukan-Leeds is headed back to the Region 4 Tournament for a sixth consecutive year. The No. 7 Lions used a 18-2 fourth quarter to get past No. 5 Rolette-Wolford 52-39 in a region-qualifying game in Langdon on March 1.
“We’re playing our best basketball right now and we found a way to get to the next level (the region tournament),’ said M-L coach Mark Swanson.
Three M-L players finished in double figures led by Matt Swanson’s 16 points. Blake Darling had 13 and Darren Young 11.
“We hit a couple of big shots early in the quarter to get up by five and then we made some defensive stops,’ Swanson said.
The Lions entered the tournament with just six wins and only one over a district foe, but found a way to win two games to move on to regionals. “Looking back our free throw shooting percentage was about 70 percent (for the three tournament games) and we shot 40 percent from the field,’ Swanson said.”Both were above our senior averages.”
M-L upended No. 2 Rolla-Rock Lake 70-67 in three overtimes in the first round before falling to No. 3 Munich-Starkweather in the semifinals.
“I thought as the game wore on against Rolla-Rock Lake we had the fresher legs,’ he said. “In that third overtime we extended the lead to eight points. They hit a three-pointer at the end to make the score a little closer.”
The three overtime did take its toll on the Lions a night later against Munich-Starkweather. “We had a good first half, holding them to 21 points, but we just couldn’t buy a bucket, several shots rolled off the rim. Eventually, we just ran out of gas in the second half.”
Host and No. 6 Langdon defeated No. 4 St. John 55-40 in the other region qualifying game. The Cardinals also were fueled by a big fourth quarter, outscoring the Woodchucks 21-10.
Langdon fell to No. 3 Munich-Starkweather in the first round before knocking of No. 2 Rolla-Rock Lake in loser-out play. St. John defeated No. 5 Rolette-Wolford in the first round before falling to No. 1 North Star in the semifinals.
Rolette-Wolford ends season
Rolette-Wolford saw its season come to a disappointing end. R-W lost to No. 4 St. John in the opening round before losing to No. 7 Minnewaukan-Leeds in a region-qualifying game.
Offensive struggles were evident as the team scored well below its average. The Comets took a three point lead into the fourth quarter against the Lions, but could only score one basket in eight minutes. Nic Pfeifer, who was named to the all-district squad along with Blake Nelson, scored 17 points to lead R-W, which ended its season at 8-13.
The season began with such promise for the Comets, but inconsistent shooting and injuries took their toll.
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