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By Staff | Feb 16, 2018

Lori Gronvold for the Tribune The Panther bench celebrates during the championship round of the District 11 girls basketball tournament last week in Velva. The Panthers defeated the Aggies, 54-39, to win their fourth title matchup.

The Rugby Girls Panthers swept the Velva Aggies Saturday night, February 10 to take the District 11 Championship Title on the Aggies’ home court.

The game started off with Tristin Lunde coming back in after an injury the night before but who appeared to be in perfect form as the team that has played together a long time, went on to steal the night. This is the Panther’s fourth year in a row to match up with Velva Aggies for the title. The scores always seem to be quite similar, but it’s the win that counts. In 2015 it was 52-40, in 2016 it was 59-33, and in 2017, it was 53-36. The final for 2018 was 54-39.

“This feels really good,” said District 11 Coach of the Year Jen Brossart. “Three seniors have walked away with four district championships.”

“Four times in my career!” exclaimed a breathless Madison Uhlenkamp, “Not many teams do it, but our team has the right girls to do it.” Uhlenkamp was named District 11 Senior Athlete of the Year.

Rugby held Velva to eight points in each of the second and third quarters. Anni Stier, a junior, had a layup of sideline inbounds to put the Panthers up 39-26 late in the 3rd quarter. She finished with 12 points, with 10 of those coming in the second half.

It wasn’t the Panthers all the game though. Even after Stier made a free throw putting the score at 40-28, after which the Aggies fire motivated them to score 10 straight points to make it a two point game with under five minutes remaining.

Uhlenkamp had eight of Rugby’s 12 first quarter points, including the first bucket of the night. She finished the night with a game high of 22 points. Karsyn Hager made the Panthers two 3-pointers. One of those was a 3-pointer from the top of the arc. That would energize the Panthers to run 14 points in the last stretch.

Both teams will advance to the Region 6 tournament in Minot on Feb 19, 20 & 22. Rugby gets District 12 No. 4-seed Lewis & Clark-Berthold, (13-9) while Velva takes on District 12 No. 3-seed Des Lacs-Burlington (17-5). Gametime for the Panthers will be 3 p.m. Monday at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.

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