Pupil beats mentor
MINOT – The Rugby High School girls basketball team relinquished the lead for a 31-second span in the second quarter of a non-district game against Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood on Jan. 31 at Minot Municipal Auditorium.
Other than that short stretch, the Panthers (15-3) stayed a couple steps ahead of the Mavericks (10-8) before pulling away late for a 45-29 win.
It was not just an average win for RHS coach Jen Brossart, a Mohall native, who played for Mavericks coach Wayne Brackenbury.
“It’s always fun, but coach Brackenbury is a great coach,” Brossart said. “He does right by his girls and I’m always happy to play against him.”
Both coaches are animated on the sideline, perhaps a trait passed down from the long-time coach to his once-pupil.
“It’s fun,” Brackenbury said. “She’s competitive, I’m competitive. That’s the way it is. I wish it was a closer because the fire gets going more.”
The game opened on a 7-0 run for the Panthers with a 3-pointer and a pair of short jumpers from senior Darby Deckert. MLS didn’t score until five minutes into the contest, but went on a 12-4 run to take its only lead of the game at 12-11 with 5:47 left in the half.
RHS junior and leading scorer Shea Heidlebaugh sprang to life in the second quarter, canning three 3-pointers. She would connect on another in the fourth quarter en route to a game-high 16 points.
“I thought we did a good job,” Brossart said. “I was a little frustrated that we left a lot of shots short, but mostly satisfied with the effort knowing this is the second game (of three in five days).”
RHS led by just five at the half, but opened with a 3-pointer from junior Ashley Schmaltz. MLS scored just nine total points in the second half with Macy Feland leading the team with 13 overall.
Deckert and sophomore forward Breanna Thompson chipped in seven points apiece and senior forward Allison Foster added six. Thompson and Foster benefitted from smart penetration to open up easy high passes for the forwards.
“We go over that a lot in practice,” Thompson said. “We’re really starting to work together as a team and communicating on the court.”
The Panthers beat Velva 40-33 on Jan. 29, led by Heidlebaugh’s 26 points. The winning continued Monday, as RHS took down Des Lacs-Burlington 52-37. Heidlebaugh led all scorers with 15 points and Deckert added 14.
The Panthers closed the regular season Thursday against North Star.
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