Title tilt reduxA third time wasn’t the charm for Carrington in 2009, but the Cardinals will get a fourth crack at the Stutsman County boys’ tournament title today at 6:30 p.m. inside the Jamestown Civic Center.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
A third time wasn’t the charm for Carrington in 2009, but the Cardinals will get a fourth crack at the Stutsman County boys’ tournament title today at 6:30 p.m. inside the Jamestown Civic Center.
To make the pot even more sweet, Carrington has also earned the opportunity to avenge last year’s championship loss against the defending champion Central Prairie Firebirds.
The No. 5-ranked Cards flashed their versatility against the LaMoure Loboes during Friday’s semifinals. Carrington struck from around the arc in the first half before pounding the ball at the basket through the lane after two to take down the Loboes 69-49.
Central Prairie, on the other hand, was able to get past an Adam Randall-less No. 9-ranked Kidder County team 53-37, utilizing three three-pointers and 15 of Nic Moser’s game-high 21 points in the first half.
In consolation play, Ellendale and Edgeley-Kulm will go head-to-head this afternoon for fifth place. Ellendale upended Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 81-44, while Edgeley-Kulm turned away a determined group of Midkota Mustangs 54-38.
The final day begins at 2 p.m. with Midkota facing P-B-K for seventh place.
Carrington 69, LaMoure 49
After Friday night’s 20-point semifinal win over the Loboes, there’s no doubt that Carrington has cemented itself as an elite team in Class B basketball this season.
Regardless of how much talent a team has, it all has to formulate into chemistry on the court, which is why the Cardinals are currently posing such a threat.
Not only do they have a vast amount of scorers and defenders, but the team is getting hot and it appears as if it’s all about to come together for veteran coach Nate Monson.
Carrington’s Kaleb Klein rang up three three-pointers in the first period, scoring 12 of his 14 points in the first two quarters, before the Cards handed it over to 6-foot-6 Devin Barton in the third.
Leading the Loboes 35-27 to start the second half, Barton exploded in the paint for 20 of his game-high 26 points after the break to put the game away.
“The big thing is that we are so balanced. We’ve got size and speed,” coach Monson said. “In year’s past our bread and butter was in the lane, but this year we have the ability to balance it out. We have seven kids who can shoot.”
The Cardinals tossed up 11 treys in the first 16 minutes of basketball, with three-pointers from Erik Collins and Chase Monson also finding the net to go along with Klein’s trio. Leading 11-9 with 2:16 left before the second, the Cardinals took advantage while LaMoure’s Aaron Stemen rode out the remainder of the quarter on the bench with two fouls.
Collins converted a three-point play, while Klein tossed in five straight points as part of an 8-0 Carrington run to close out the quarter. Carrington lead 19-9 to start the second and were really able to manage the game from there.
Carrington’s Jackson Unruh stuck on Stemen throughout the rest of the game, but Stemen still came back to lead the Loboes with 16 points and nine rebounds.
“Unruh stuck with him,” Monson said. “(Stemen) got to us a few times, but overall (Unruh) stayed right in his shorts. He did a great job on him.”
Barton not only had a big second half for the Cards, but he also ended up snatching a total of 19 rebounds in the game.
“He’s always been a good scorer and rebounder,” Monson said. “But at 6-6, 260 (pounds), his biggest improvement is his hustle on the court. He’s getting after each loose ball.”
Carrington (8-0) will need another solid outing today against the Firebirds if they plan to get the Stutsman County tourney title-game monkey of its back.
“We just have to come ready to play,” Monson said. “Every game this year we’ve played hard and I haven’t been able to say that in year’s past.”
Central Prairie 53, Kidder Co. 37
It didn’t take long for just about everyone in the Civic Center to notice Kidder County standout Randall sitting in the stands with crutches by his side and a boot on his left foot.
According to Kidder County coach Paul Olson, Randall is currently suffering from broken blisters that developed under thick calluses on the sole of his foot. The coach side Randall is expected to be out of the lineup for at least a week.
“It’s very, very painful,” Olson said of Randall’s injury. “He won’t play tonight or tomorrow. But it’s better to have that happen here than in the district tournament.”
Randall scored 27 points on Thursday against Midkota, and the Pirates could have used half of those points against Central Prairie.
Central Prairie cousins Nic Moser and Aaron Moser helped the Firebirds build a 32-16 halftime lead in Randall’s absence. Nic hit three three-pointers in the half and scored 15 of his game-high 21 points, while Aaron worked around the bucket to pick up eight of his 10.
But not having Randall in the lineup was not something Central Prairie coach Paul Erbele wanted to see.
“Hearing that Randall wasn’t going to play was something you don’t want to hear,” Erbele said. “You want to see someone like him get the opportunity to play in this tournament during his senior year.
“I was also concerned about how our team would respond to that, knowing that their team was going to step up and play hard in his absence.”
Kidder County got the better of the Firebirds in the third, outscoring Central Prairie 14-6 behind eight of Norman Nicholson’s team-high 14 points. Nicholson also grabbed 12 rebounds.
Nic Moser and Eric Knodel missed a couple of three-pointers early in the period that could have swung the momentum, but Kidder County was attacking the basketball and at times out-hustling the Firebirds.
The Pirates outrebounded the Firebirds 14-11 on the offensive glass in the game, and chipped the lead to just eight points (38-30) to start the third.
“We were hoping we could put it away in the third, but Kidder County has a good team and we knew they weren’t going to go away,” Erbele said. “They have a lot of good players and they’re known for playing physical, aggressive defense.”
The Firebirds were able to hold Kidder County at bay, as Brock Knodel and Nic Moser combined to convert 7 of 7 shots at the free-throw line in the fourth. Brock Knodel ended the game with 11 points.
Central Prairie got the win, but Erbele knows the Firebirds will have to play better to win back-to-back tournament championships.
“Carrington’s a very complete team, inside and out,” Erbele said. “We know they’re ready for us, but we’re happy to be in the championship game. You have to work hard to get here and it’s something we don’t take for granted.
“We have to come out and make sure we’re playing at our best.”
Ellendale 81, P-B-K 44
Ellendale’s Tanner White scored 16 of his game-high 26 points in the first half, lifting the Cardinals to a 37-points victory over the Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal Rebels in consolation play.
P-B-K hung tough in the first period, trailing the Cards just 18-10 to start the second, but numerous missed bunnies and second chance shots in the first eight minutes came back to sting the 0-7 Rebels.
P-B-K found themselves behind just 24-17 with 4 minutes left before the break, when Ellendale went on a 10-0 run that ate up all but 5 seconds remaining in the half. P-B-K’s JR Perleberg ended the Ellendale run with a pair of free throws, but by then the damage was done and the Cards took a 34-19 lead into the locker room.
Ty Bommersbach finished the game with 10 points for Ellendale, while Tanner White tossed in nine.
The Rebels were led by Scott Bennett with 20 points and Nicholas Blaskowski with 13. Ellendale outrebounded the Rebels 45-19, and grabbed 12 more offensive boards (17-5) in the contest. Both teams finished with 13 turnovers.
Edgeley-Kulm 54, Midkota 38
A total of 16 points from Justin Rott and 11 more from Alex Knudson helped Edgeley-Kulm get past Midkota.
Both teams got off to a slow start, as the E-K Rebels edged out an 18-13 lead after two periods were in the books. Rott hit a pair of treys in the second half and scored 12 of his 16 to help the Rebels put it away.
Midkota was led by Logan Harding with 19 points and Tanner Overby with 12.
Midkota and Edgeley-Kulm struggled at times to find the bucket during the game, as each team shot around the 30-percent mark. Midkota outrebounded E-K 42-23, lead by Alex Miller with seven boards.
Midkota, however, turned the ball over 15 more times (23-8) than their counterpart.
Stutsman County Tournament at Jamestown
Ellendale 81, Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 44
Ellendale 18 34 60 81
P-B-K 10 19 30 44
Ellendale — Nolan Hamar 26, Ty Bommersbach 10, Tanner White 9, Kris Lauder 7, Jordan Morrissey 7, Kyle Laabs 6, Taylor Hack 5, Pat Swift 5, Donovon Flaherty 4, Zach Stebner 2. Totals: 35-62 FG, 9-14 FT, 21 fouls. Three-pointers: Swift 1, Bommersbach 1.
P-B-K — Scott Bennett 20, Nicholas Blaskowski 13, Josh Falck 5, JR Perleberg 4, Shylar Harr 2. Totals: 16-48 FG, 9-14 FT, 16 fouls. Three-pointers: Blaskowski 3.
Records: Ellendale 6-3; Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 0-7.
Edgeley-Kulm 54, Midkota 38
Edgeley-Kulm 8 18 32 54
Midkota 8 13 23 38
Edgeley-Kulm — Justin Rott 16, Alex Knudson 11, Travis Jones 9, Taylor Erickson 6, Nathan Elhard 3, Dalton Toay 3, Dan Kietzman 2, Beau Diegel 2, Dustin Heidinger 2. Totals: 14-46 FG, 20-26 FT, 13 fouls. Three-pointers: Rott 2, Elhard 1, Erickson 1, Knudson 1, Toay 1.
Midkota — Logan Harding 19, Tanner Overby 12, Brennan Ehlers 2, Austin Monson 2, Zac Gilbertson 2, Dalton Ehlers 1. Totals: 16-51 FG, 4-8 FT, 19 fouls. Three-pointers: Harding 2.
Records: Edgeley-Kulm 3-7; Midkota 1-5.
Carrington 69, LaMoure 49
LaMoure 9 27 38 49
Carrington 19 35 50 69
LaMoure — Aaron Stemen 16, Gaige Dunn 11, Wade Aberle 6, Tyler Thielges 5, Brett Hample 5, Zach Stemen 4, Josh Czajkowski 2. Totals: 20-47 FG, 6-12 FT, 13 fouls. Three-pointers: Hample 1, A. Stemen 1, Thielges 1.
Carrington — Devin Barton 26, Kaleb Klein 14, Jackson Unruh 10, Chase Monson 10, Erik Collins 6, Easton Page 2, Schott Burnham 1. Totals: 27-55 FG, 9-14 FT, 14 fouls. Three-pointers: Klein 3, Monson 2, Collins 1.
Records: Carrington 8-0; LaMoure 5-3.
Central Prairie 53, Kidder County 37
Central Prairie 12 32 38 53
Kidder County 6 16 30 37
Central Prairie — Nic Moser 21, Brock Knodel 11, Aaron Moser 10, Chance Loock 6, Dacotah Dockter 5. Totals: 20-43 FG, 9-11 FT, 18 fouls. Three-pointers: N. Moser 3, Dockter 1.
Kidder County — Norman Nicholson 14, Wes Nicholson 9, Jake Miller 8, Mike Kalianoff 4, Matthew Aichele 2. Totals: 15-53 FG, 5-8 FT, 17 fouls. Three-pointers: W. Nicholson 1, N. Nicholson 1.
Records: Central Prairie 5-1; Kidder County 6-2.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or be email at firstname.lastname@example.org