Hi-Liners, Rebels meet for district titleFew would have tabbed Litchville-Marion-Montpelier to be in the final game of this season’s District 5 Boys’ Basketball Tournament. But as the saying goes: that’s why they play the games. After falling to Ellendale 54-47 in the regular season, the No. 3-seeded Rebels picked up the win that mattered most by defeating the No. 2-seeded Cardinals 56-46 in the semifinals on Saturday at the Jamestown Civic Center.
Few would have tabbed Litchville-Marion-Montpelier to be in the final game of this season’s District 5 Boys’ Basketball Tournament. But as the saying goes: that’s why they play the games.
After falling to Ellendale 54-47 in the regular season, the No. 3-seeded Rebels picked up the win that mattered most by defeating the No. 2-seeded Cardinals 56-46 in the semifinals on Saturday at the Jamestown Civic Center.
The dark horse Rebels now must face heavy favorite Valley City in today’s championship at 8 p.m. The Hi-Liner’s used 8 three-pointers to get past LaMoure, 51-45.
Also keeping their season’s alive on Saturday were Central Prairie and Barnes County North. The Firebirds’ Nic Moser sank 19 points to help Central Prairie get by Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 72-32 in the first of two loser-out games, while the Bison held off Edgeley-Kulm in the closing minutes to walk away with a 45-43 victory.
Central Prairie will face Ellendale today in the first of two Region 3 qualifiers at 4:30 p.m., with the second region play-in game between BCN and LaMoure to follow.
L-M-M 56, Ellendale 46
A term that is used often in high school sports is senior leadership, and that’s what shined for the Rebels against the Cardinals.
Senior Dillon Carpenter scored 14 of his game-high 23 points in the second half, while fellow senior Travis Brandvold felt no pressure in sinking 8 of 8 free throws in the final minute to put the game out of Ellendale’s reach.
The last time L-M-M advanced to the District 5 title game was back in 2003, and the team’s last district championship occurred back in 2002. To be securely in the field of teams advancing to next week’s Region 3 tournament was clearly a relief to coach Chad Lueck following the game.
“We’ve been in the region qualifying game the last three years,” Lueck said. “You can tell in (the team’s) eyes, the pressure’s off.”
The Rebels first had to survive the pressure, as they went 1 of 10 from the field as a team to start the game and watched the Cards build an 11-4 lead after one period. Ellendale’s Nolan Hamar scored four points in the first and a steal and score by Tanner White put the Cardinals ahead 9-2 with 1:37 left before the second.
Carpenter came to life in period No. 2 to score 9 points for L-M-M, and a quick catch and shoot three-pointer off an out of bounds play by the Rebels’ Garrett Van Asperen with seven-tenths of a second left in the half gave the Rebels their first lead of the half at 19-16 as the two teams headed to the locker room.
Lueck said the play was actually designed for L-M-M’s Brandon Larson, but Larson was just substituted out of the game leaving the heroics in Van Asperen’s hands.
“It was just meant to be,” Lueck said. “He’s a sophomore that worked hard over the summer and good things happen when you work hard.”
Both teams struggled to shoot in the first half, each shooting under 30 percent from the floor in the first 16 minutes.
Ellendale started the third with two straight turnovers and the Rebels capitalized with a three-pointer by Dylan Thompson and two of Carpenter’s 6 points of the period. But Carpenter, who missed the Rebels’ first matchup with Ellendale due to a torn meniscus in his right knee, picked up foul No. 3 and was forced to sit until the 6-minute mark of the fourth.
Ellendale’s shooting woes continued in the third. The team converted just 1 of 7 three-point attempts in the quarter.
But the Cards weren’t done just yet, and a Kris Lauder trey from the baseline with 5 minutes left in the game gave Ellendale its first lead of the half at 36-34. Ellendale cut into the LMM advantage with a pair of three-point plays by White earlier in the period. White led Ellendale with 17 points.
Lueck and the Rebels know what’s ahead of them today, and they know it won’t be easy. Valley City defeated L-M-M by 20 points (81-61) earlier in the season.
“We’re ready and we’ve got nothing to lose. Nobody in the world thought we’d be here,” Lueck said. “We’re going to go out and give it all we’ve got.”
Valley City 51, LaMoure 45
Valley City’s Shane Ost played the hero for the second straight day.
The junior guard buried a three-pointer — his only field goal of the game — with 1:25 remaining, breaking up a 45-45 tie and propelling the Hi-Liner’s past the Loboes.
Ost poured in 5 treys and ended with 23 points during Valley City’s 92-38 first-round win over Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal Friday.
“He’s been shooting well all year and has come up big for us,” Valley City coach Scott Hurlimann said. “He’s a confident kid and knows he can knock them down.”
The three-point shot came up big for both teams during the contest. After the Hi-Liner’s sank three treys in the opening period, a fading, off-balance trey at the buzzer by LaMoure’s Tyler Thielges made the score 15-14 Hi-Liner’s to start the second.
After scoring 6 of his 10 points of the game in the first 8 minutes, LaMoure’s Gaige Dunn put his team out front with a bucket to start the second. Valley City bricked its first four shots of the quarter, and a pair of buckets by LaMoure’s Aaron Stemen gave LaMoure a 21-17 lead with 5 minutes left in the half. Stemen scored 11 of his game-high 17 points in the first two periods.
Valley City converted just 2 of 14 field goals in the second. LaMoure led 25-21 at the break.
“They are a tough team. It’s kind of grown into a little rivalry between us and both teams wanted to win this game,” Hurlimann said. “We were able to jump out to a little lead, but they battled back. We didn’t lose confidence and were there at the end.”
The game was tied twice in the third at 29-29 and 31-31, but a blown box-out by Valley City led to a 37-36 Loboe lead with three periods in the books. An unguarded Zach Stemen corralled a rebound off an Aaron Stemen missed three-point play attempt and put it right back up for two of his 11 points with 26 seconds left in the third.
Four straight points by Valley City to start the fourth, including a three-pointer by Anthony Van Dyke, helped set the Hi-Liner’s up for Ost’s backbreaker later in the frame. Valley City was led in scoring by Wayne Engelhard with 13 points.
Central Prairie 72, P-B-K 32
The Central Prairie Firebirds bounced back after their loss to LaMoure on Friday, jumping out to a 40-13 halftime lead over the Rebels and never looking back.
Nic Moser posted 19 points to lead Central Prairie, as Nathan Denning, Brock Knodel and Aaron Moser all also hit double digits in scoring. The Firebirds outrebounded P-B-K 43-17, led by Denning’s double-double of 11 rebounds and 14 points.
P-B-K converted just 10 of 50 shots from the field in the game. The Rebels were led by Nick Blaskowski with 16 points.
BCN 45, Edgeley-Kulm 43
Tanner Hovland sank three treys and scored 12 points, while Justin Magee added 10 more points, helping the Bison advance to the region qualifiers with a two-point victory over the Rebels.
Edgeley-Kulm led 19-17 at the half and 31-30 at the end of three, but couldn’t seal the deal in the fourth as they were outscored 15-12 in the final 8 minutes.
Edgeley-Kulm was paced by Alex Knudson and Beau Diegel with 12 points each.
District 5 Boys’ Basketball Tournament in Jamestown
(No. 5) Central Prairie 72, (No. 8) Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 32
P-B-K 5 13 18 32
Central Prairie 16 40 58 72
P-B-K — Nick Blaskowski 16, J.R. Perleberg 1, Scott Bennett 7, Shawn Baker 4, Shylar Harr 2. Totals: 10-50 FG, 7-9 FT, 10 turnovers, 17 fouls. Three-pointers (5-21): Blaskowski 4, Baker 1.
Central Prairie — Nic Moser 19, Eric Knodel 4, Dacotah Dockter 2, Brock Knodel 11, Aaron Moser 10, Tyler Larson 2, Nathan Denning 14, Andrew Owen 4, Chance Loock 6. Totals: 28-52 FG, 16-20 FT, 0-1 three-pointers, 9 turnovers, 13 fouls.
Records: Central Prairie 16-5; Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 1-20.
(No. 6) Barnes County North 45, (No. 7) Edgeley-Kulm 43
BCN 11 17 30 45
Edgeley-Kulm 6 19 31 43
BCN — Cody Christ 3, Kyle Heinze 5, Tanner Hovland 12, Tucker Bartlett 6, Tyler McFadgen 9, Justin Magee 10. Totals: 15-38 FG, 12-20 FT, 18 turnovers, 15 fouls (McFadgen). Three-pointers (3-5): Hovland 3.
Edgeley-Kulm — Justin Rott 4, Taylor Erickson 5, Alex Knudson 12, Travis Jones 6, Beau Diegel 12, Nathan Elhard 4. Totals: 16-50 FG, 7-10 FT, 11 turnovers, 17 fouls (Jones). Three-pointers (4-10): Diegel 2, Knudson 1, Erickson 1.
Records: Barnes County North 8-13; Edgeley-Kulm 6-15.
(No. 1) Valley City 51, (No. 4) LaMoure 45
LaMoure xx xx xx 45
Valley City xx xx xx 51
LaMoure — Aaron Stemen 17, Gaige Dunn 10, Tyler Thielges 7, Zach Stemen 11. Totals: 16-49 FG, 10-15 FT, 7 turnovers, 14 fouls. Three-pointers (3-8): A. Stemen 2, Thielges 1.
Valley City — Wayne Engelhard 13, Trenton Egan 5, Matt Jorissen 11, Derek Buchill 6, Trevor Justesen 6, Jacob Denault 2, Shane Ost 4, Anthony Van Dyke 4. Totals: 18-42 FG, 6-14 FT, 6 turnovers, 15 fouls. Three-pointers (8-16): Engelhard 3, Justesen 2, Egan 1, Ost 1, Van Dyke 1.
Records: Valley City 16-5; LaMoure 13-8.
(No. 3) Litchville-Marion-Montpelier 56, (No. 2) Ellendale 46
Ellendale 11 16 25 46
L-M-M 4 19 32 56
Ellendale — Zach Stebner 5, Tanner White 17, Ty Bommersbach 8, Nolan Hamar 8, Taylor Hack 6, Kris Lauder 2. Totals: 17-53 FG, 10-15 FT, 13 turnovers, 16 fouls. Three-pointers (2-9): Stebner 1, Bommersbach 1.
L-M-M — Travis Brandvold 15, Brandon Larson 5, Dillon Carpenter 23, Sean Opdahl 2, Dylan Thompson 1, Garrett Van Asperen 6, Andrew Thompson 4. Totals: 19-46 FG, 15-17 FT, 15 turnovers, 18 fouls. Three-pointers (3-8): Brandvold 1, Larson 1, Van Asperen 1.
Records: Litchville-Marion-Montpelier 13-8; Ellendale 13-8.
Suns sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org