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Two teams left: Skyhawks, Lions to meet in title tilt

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FARGO — Shiloh Christian guards Gabby Wilkinson and Jaye Two Bears have played together since fifth grade.

Nothing represented that bond better than the no-look bullet pass from Two Bears to Wilkinson in the final minutes of the Skyhawks’ 52-43 win over Beach in the Class B state girls basketball semifinals on Friday at the Fargodome.

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“Me and Gabby know each other very well,” said Two Bears, who finished with 15 points and eight rebounds against Beach. “We have that connection, and we just feed each other. It’s a bond we have. She knows when to go, and I know when to go for her.”

Beach (23-3) had crawled back from a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter to tie the game on a layup from Taylor Abraham with 4 minutes, 52 seconds to go. Shiloh Christian answered with a 9-0 run highlighted by Two Bears’ no-look pass from the 3-point line to Wilkinson under the basket for a wide-open layup. It was two of Wilkinson’s game-high 17 points to go along with her seven rebounds in the game.

“They make it very easy to coach,” Shiloh Christian coach Jim Petrik said of Two Bears and Wilkinson. “When they’re on the floor, I know that I can trust them. I don’t have to say too many things. They make a lot of plays.”

The two aren’t just making plays for Shiloh Christian (25-1). They are making history for a program that has never won a state championship.

“This is the first time a girls or boys basketball team has made it this far,” Petrik said. “We’ve done so much through the summer and the past couple of years. We’ve always stuck with it. (A championship) would show the girls that hard work does pay off.”

Beach scored the first two baskets of the game, but Shiloh Christian answered with an 8-0 run and never trailed the rest of the way.

It didn’t mean the Buccaneers made it easy on the Skyhawks. In the quarterfinals, the Buccaneers trailed by 19 in the third quarter, only to come back to snap Thompson’s 23-game winning streak. The Buccaneers’ eyed the Skyhawks’ 23-game winning streak, but fell short in the final five minutes.

“There seemed like there was a lid on the basket all the time,” Beach coach Bob Waldal said. “We just couldn’t find any rhythm in the game. It seemed like we were fighting everything. It’s hard to win games like that.”

Shiloh                 8   27   37   52

Beach                 8   21   31   43

B (23-3): Farstveet 4 2-4 11, Abraham 4 0-0 9, Stedman 3 1-2 7, Waldal 3 1-3 7, Nielsen 2 1-2 5, Zachmann 1 1-4 3, Lechler 0 1-2 1. Totals 17 7-17 43.

S (25-1): Wilkinson 7 1-3 17, Two Bears 5 4-4 15, Ulmer 1 7-8 9, Watson 1 4-7 6, Forness 0 3-4 3, Schindler 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 19-26 52.

3-point: Wilkinson 2, Two Bears 1, Farstveet 1, Abraham 1. Total fouls: S 18, B 19. Rebounds: S 35 (Two Bears 8), B 42 (Stedman, Waldal and Zachmann 7). Assists S 6 (Ulmer 3), B 4 (four with 1). Turnovers: S 13, B 17.

Bishop-Ryan 54,        Central Cass 34

The Minot Bishop Ryan Lions will have a shot at back-to-back state championships after defeating Central Cass by 20 points in the second semifinal of the night.

The Lions are currently on a 56-game winning streak and would tie the state record with a victory in today’s title game.

Consolation               Lakota-Edmore 58,    Watford City 41

Senior forward Shaye Ronningen scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead No. 6-ranked Lakota-Edmore to a 58-41 win over Watford City in the consolation semifinals.

The Raiders trailed 17-12 after the first quarter, but outscored the Wolves 20-7 in the second half to take the lead.

Junior forward Fallyn Freije added 15 points and 18 rebounds for Lakota-Edmore (19-7).

Sophomore guard Ricki Lindley scored 12 points to pace the Wolves (20-7).

Watford City  17 24 37 41

Lakota-Edmore  12 32 41 58

WATFORD CITY (20-7): Lindley 4 3-8 12, Am. Mogen 4 0-1 8, K. Mogen 3 1-4 7, Arndt 2 0-0 5, Langerud 1 1-2 3, Grimes 1 0-0 2, Sparby 1 0-0 2, Spruell 0 1-2 1, Al. Mogen 0 1-2 1. Totals: 16 7-23 41.

LAKOTA-EDMORE (19-7): Ronningen 8 4-4 21, Freije 5 4-6 15, Haman 3 4-7 11, Halberg 2 0-0 5, Pesek 2 0-0 4, Twedt 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 12-17 58.

3-pointers: Ronningen, Freije, Haman, Halberg, Lindley, Arndt. Total fouls: WC 16, LE 18. Rebounds: WC 29 (K. Mogen 10), LE 41 (Freije 18). Assists: WC 7 (K. Mogen, Arndt 2), LE 15 (Freije 7). Turnovers: WC 19, LE 18.

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Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy is the Minnesota preps and Fargo Force beat reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota for the last five years and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so. If reading him in the paper and online isn't enough, you can read more of him at the Forum Preps Blog: http://forumpreps.areavoices.com/  
(701) 241-5548
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