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Overmatched RHS crushed by Bishop Ryan

By Staff | Jan 10, 2014

Daniel Allar/Special to the Tribune Rugby High School junior guard McKenzie Johnson drives by Bishop Ryan junior Maddie Wald in a game Tuesday in Minot. The Lions won 91-34.

It didn’t seem to matter who shot the ball for the Bishop Ryan girls basketball team Tuesday because everything was going through the hoop.

Eight players recorded a basket and four scored in double figures for the top-ranked Lions, who tallied a season high in points during a 91-34 victory against Rugby.

Junior forward Hannah Stewart nearly outscored the Panthers herself with a season-best 30-point performance – 24 coming in the first half – and added 10 rebounds and four blocks. Stewart scored 13 of Ryan’s 21 points in the first quarter and the Lions opened up a 15-point advantage after eight minutes.

“We figured they were probably going to come out in a zone because they’re a smaller team and we have a couple plays that work really well against zone defense,” Stewart said.

The Lions (6-0) shared the wealth throughout the game as all five starters scored in the first quarter and combined for 47 points in the opening half. Rugby junior Darby Deckert scored the first points of the second quarter before Ryan responded with a 10-0 run to take a 31-8 lead. The Panthers (3-3) hit double digits with 5:10 left in the first half when junior McKenzie Johnson went 3-for-3 from the free-throw line after getting fouled behind the 3-point arc.

“They’re not the No. 1 team in the state for nothing,” Rugby coach Jen Brossart said. “They’re a great team. I don’t know any team in the state that’s going to be able to stop them. There have been teams that have been close, but by the end of the season they’re going to be tough to beat.”

Deckert led the Panthers with 13 points.

Tough defense and unselfish play in transition led to a flurry of easy baskets for the Lions. Ryan outscored Rugby 26-8 in the third quarter, doing damage in the post with Stewart and fellow 6-foot-2 junior Gabbie Bohl and from the outside with six 3-pointers. Bohl also recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

“We don’t match up with them well at all regardless of if we go zone or man,” Brossart said. “Their bigs are too much for us to handle and if we get down on them they can shoot the ball from the outside. Well-balanced team. They’ve got the goods on the inside and the outside.”

Ryan recorded 24 assists led by senior guard Anika Rovig’s seven. She added 11 points and had just one turnover.

“Our guards have great vision and we’re always relying on their vision,” Hannah Stewart said, “especially Anika Rovig and how well she can see the floor. She surprises me when she gets it to me sometimes down low. I didn’t even know I was open and she’ll get it to me.”

The Lions shot 61 percent from the field on 39 of 64 shooting. Defensively, Ryan held the Panthers to 34 percent shooting.

“We saw the court really well tonight,” senior guard Maddie Lipp said. “We had a lot of patience and it started on defense. We get our spark from defense.”

Lipp was one of three players to come off the bench and add to the score sheet. Lipp led the bench with five points and sophomore Sheyenne Schmidt and junior Lexie Kroeger added baskets.

“Our team didn’t give up and I’m happy with that,” Brossart said. “I was happy with some of the things I saw. They attacked the basket and weren’t afraid of them. I was disappointed in our rebounding. We could have boxed out a little better. We gave them a few bunnies that we can’t afford to give to that team. You lick your wounds and go back to work.”

Rugby travels to Des Lacs-Burlington on Monday for a 7:15 p.m. start.

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