Kidder Co. responds: Pirates rally past No. 2 Thompson, to play for fifth
Kidder County girls basketball coach Dan Welder didn’t quite know what to expect out of his team during the consolation semifinals of the state Class B tournament at the Fargodome on Friday.
The Pirates fell to No. 3-ranked Shiloh Christian 55-36 in the opening round on Thursday, and they had to face the No. 2-ranked Thompson with a ticket to Saturday’s fifth-place game hanging in the balance.
But Kidder County refused to buckle under the weight of Thompson’s 23-2 record and high state ranking. The Pirates came up with a combination of big buckets and timely defense in the final period of play to upset the Tommies 56-53.
Kidder County (20-6) faces Lakota-Edmore for fifth at 2:45 this afternoon.
“I wasn’t sure how the girls were going to react … but they came out right from the get-go and their shots were falling and I thought then our offense was going to be fine,” Welder said. “We were just going to have to find a way to get some defensive stops, and we got some key ones at the end that really helped us out with the win.”
It was a back and forth contest that saw the Tommies leading 40-39 after three periods. But Kidder County’s Sadie Rohrich came through in the clutch with less than 2 minutes to play.
The senior converted a big three-point play to knot the score at 53, and shortly after, she connected again from the field to put the Pirates out front for good. Rohrich led three Pirates in double figures with 14 points.
“It’s all kind of a blur right now,” Welder admitted. “(Thompson) is a good offensive team and it’s tough to key in on one girl. We made some adjustments in the last two minutes, switching to a 1-3-1 zone, and that got us back in the game.”
Thompson’s Miss Basketball finalist Shannon Galegher was impressive in the loss, posting a double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds. The Tommies did outrebound the Pirates 36-20.
“After the win, I said we just beat the No. 2 team in the state and that’s saying something,” Welder said. “It really made the girls feel good after the win.”
Another tough opponent awaits the Pirates in No. 6-ranked Lakota-Edmore (19-7). The Raiders defeated Watford City 58-41.
Thompson plays Watford City in the seventh-place game at 1 p.m. today.
“We watched (Lakota-Edmore) after our game. They are definitely bigger than us,” Welder said. “(Fallyn) Freije is a great player and we’ve got to come up with something to try and slow her down. We have to make sure we rebound a lot better than we did today.
“But it was a good win for us today and we’ll worry about that tomorrow,” Welder added. “We’re looking forward to it.”
Kidder County 16 28 39 56
Thompson 15 24 40 53
KIDDER COUNTY (20-6): S. Rohrich 6 2-3 14, M. Rohrich 3 2-2 10, Randall 3 2-2 10, P. Schmidt 3 0-1 7, M. Nicholson 1 4-7 6, R. Schmidt 1 1-2 3, Olson 1 0-0 2, Rath 1 0-1 2, J. Nicholson 0 2-2 2. Totals: 19 13-20 56.
THOMPSON (23-3): Galegher 11 2-3 24, Ivesdal 3 0-0 8, Marx 2 -2 6, Overby 2 0-0 4, DeMoe 1 2-2 4, Wber 1 2-2 4, Hegg 1 0-0 2, Olson 0 1-2 1. Totals: 21 9-11 53.
3-pointers: Ivesdal 2, M. Rohrich 2, Randall 2, P. Schmidt . Total fouls: KC 11, T 18. Fouled out: Galegher. Rebounds: KC 20 (M. Rohrich, P. Schmidt 3), T 36 (Galegher 11). Assists: KC 8 (S. Rohrich, R. Schmidt 2), T 7 (Hegg, Overby 2). Turnovers: KC 11, T 14.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at 701-952-8461 or by email at email@example.com