District 11 Prevails
Two District 11 girls basketball teams remained after the dust settled from semifinal action at the Region 6 Girls Basketball Tournament in Minot Tuesday.
The Rugby Panthers, the no.1-seed out of District 11, defeated a young Our Redeemer’s Christian School Knights (no. 2-seed District 12) team, 64-51, that was fresh from a 64-45 victory over the Bottineau Stars (no. 3-seed District 11) the night before.
“We stepped up to the challenge tonight. I think we scared a pretty good team in the state,” Knights head coach Scott Peterson said.
Panthers senior guards Shea Heidlebaugh and Lauren Kraft set the terms early, with the latter hitting a deep 2 seconds after the former. The Knights responded with a deep 2 from junior guard Lauren Hendrickson.
Knights junior forward Morgan Olson, who led the Knights in scoring the night before with 27 points, attempted to keep pace with Heidlebaugh-both of whom scored 25 points Tuesday evening.
Freshman forward Karsyn Hager hit a 3-pointer as the clock ran down to give the Panthers an 11-point lead to end the first quarter.
The Knights entered the second quarter in attack mode, holding the Panthers scoreless for just over a minute and Heidlebaugh to just three points at the quarter and junior center Breanna Thompson to 2-of-2 shots at the charity stripe.
“I thought if we contained Heidlebaugh and Thompson, we’d be ok. They had some seniors that stepped up big for them,” Peterson said.
In the last minute of the quarter, Olson and Hendrickson stepped up to the foul line, each going 2-for-2 to tie the game 28-28. Kraft untied the game with another deep 2 to end the first half.
“They were taking away our method of attacking the basket,” Panthers head coach Jen Brossart said. “I thought in the second half we adjusted well.”
And adjust they did, particularly at the foul line, as the Panthers went 11-for-14 from the line in the second half for 78.6 percent, versus 50 percent in the first half. The Panthers also went 23-for-57 in field goals and 4-for-12 from the arc (two from Heidlebaugh, one from Hager and one from senior forward Ashley Schmaltz), while the Knights were 20-for-53 for field goals and made no 3-pointers.
“We gotta play tougher 4 quarters and we gotta handle the runs, and I think tonight was a good test for us,” Brossart said. “It was a good way for to get tied up, to dig our heels in and take it to the next step.”
The Panthers defeated the Des Lacs-Burlington Lakers (no.4-seed District 12) early on Monday, 56-26.
Heidlebaugh started the game by feeding the ball to Thompson, who was fouled while shooting. Thompson’s shot was good, but what could’ve been a 3-point play didn’t happen. Heidlebaugh would later score 6 points on the quarter.
The Lakers were unable to respond until the 3:15 mark, with senior center Madison Sundsbak putting up the squad’s first points. Classmate and forward Emily Albertson then put up her six points of the game, starting with a deep 2.
The Lakers were held to just single digit scoring all 32 minutes, including 5 points in the second quarter- 3 of them coming from junior guard Kayla Schafer. The Panthers then went on a 9-0 run to end the first half.
The Panthers’ lowest scoring output of the game came with 8 points in the fourth quarter- six of them coming from a pair of 3-pointers from sophomore forward Tristin Lunde.
AGGIES ADVANCE, OTHER ACTION
The District 11 no. 2-seed Velva Aggies knocked off the defending state champion and the District 12 no.1-seed Bishop Ryan Lions in a 36-29 upset Tuesday. The night before the Aggies defeated the Lewis & Clark-Berthold bombers, the no. 3-seed out of District 12, 41-28.
The Lions defeated the District 11 no.4-seed Westhope-Newburg Sioux on Monday.
The Panthers and the Aggies faced off Thursday for a spot in the state championship. The Panthers have not had a state champion title in Class B*, while the Aggies’ last title was in 1998.
“We know each other very well, we know their tendencies, we know who they’re go-to girls are,” Brossart said of Velva. “We have to be at our game, that’s a team that’s going to bring it.”
Results of Thursday night’s play will be in next week’s edition of the Tribune.
*EDITED for clarification from print edition: The Panthers are making their first appearance in the State Class B Girls Basketball tournament with a win against Velva. The Panthers made appearances at state when they were in Class A.
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