Napoleon, Ellendale to meet for Stutsman titleThe Napoleon Imperials and the Ellendale Cardinals will once again meet up to decide who’ll be the champions of the Stutsman County girls’ basketball tournament today at 6:30 p.m. at the Jamestown Civic Center. Napoleon was able to get past South Border 64-36 in Friday’s semifinal action, while Ellendale defeated Midkota 42-34. The Imperials defeated the Cardinals 57-44 in last year’s title game.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
The Napoleon Imperials and the Ellendale Cardinals will once again meet up to decide who’ll be the champions of the Stutsman County girls’ basketball tournament today at 6:30 p.m. at the Jamestown Civic Center.
Napoleon was able to get past South Border 64-36 in Friday’s semifinal action, while Ellendale defeated Midkota 42-34. The Imperials defeated the Cardinals 57-44 in last year’s title game.
Midkota will take on South Border at 5 p.m. today to decide the third place game.
In the consolation bracket, Edgeley-Kulm defeated Central Prairie 53-37 and LaMoure took down Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 47-41.
Central Prairie and P-B-K will meet up in the seventh-place game at 2 p.m., while the consolation championship between LaMoure and Edgeley-Kulm is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.
Napoleon 64, South Border 36
No. 4-ranked Napoleon will have a shot at defending last year’s Stutsman County Tournament crown today against Ellendale, but the Imperials first had to survive a rough opening period against South Border in semifinal action.
Turnovers and missed buckets reigned supreme for both teams over the first eight minutes, and after an uninspiring first the Imperials led the Mustangs just 10-9 to start period No. 2.
“Basically, we just weren’t playing our game,” Napoleon coach Darcy Lehr said. “We were playing tentative and going through the motions. Nobody was looking to attack the basket.”
Napoleon got back to business as usual in second, helping to force five of South Border’s 27 turnovers during an 11-0 run to start the second. A total of eight of those points were scored in transition, while Napoleon’s Kendra Weigel capped the run with one of her two three-pointers in the game to make it 21-11 with 4:32 to go before the half.
Weigel and Napoleon’s Rikki Schmidt each scored 12 points in the game, while the Imperials were led once again by sophomore Sheridon Dewald with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Napoleon led 33-20 at the break and never looked back.
“We’re a team that tries to get runs like that,” Lehr said. “It always starts with defensive pressure and we were able to deflect some passes.”
After scoring 26 points the night before against Edgeley-Kulm, South Border’s Karly Wald was unable to get going against the Imperials. Wald didn’t score until 1:36 left in the second period and only tallied six points on the night.
Napoleon’s depth continues to impress, as freshman forward Mariah Jangula came off the bench to score 14 points.
“Maria Jangula played a good game for us off the bench,” Lehr said. “She was definitely the spark we needed when we weren’t playing our game.”
Napoleon now faces Ellendale in a repeat of last year’s championship game.
Ellendale 42, Midkota 34
The Ellendale Cardinals may not score a lot of points, but they keep managing to find ways to win basketball games.
For the second straight night the Cards scored 42 points and walked off the court with a win. The Midkota Mustangs, however, made them earn this one.
Following a low-scoring first half that produced a 21-16 Ellendale lead, the Cardinals appeared to have put the game away with a 9-0 run to start the third, highlighted by a Jamie Diemert three-pointer.
By the time Midkota finally scored the team had committed seven turnovers and were trailing 30-16 with less than three minutes to play before the fourth.
“We challenged (the team) at halftime to do what they are capable of doing and they responded. They came out and played hard,” said Ellendale coach Matt Herman. “Our half-court defense was a little better in the third. We were able to get some turnovers and score some points in transition.”
But Midkota turned the tide to begin the final eight minutes, rifling off a 10-0 run to cut the Cards’ lead to 34-31 with 3:05 left in the game. One of Callie Harding’s three three-pointers in the game cut the advantage to 36-34 with 2:02 to go, but that was as close as Midkota would get.
Ellendale went on to score the final six points of the game, which included a 3 of 5 performance at the bonus line by Kiley Fuller.
“You have to give them a lot of credit,” Herman said. “They didn’t roll over. They came after us in the fourth quarter.”
Fuller hit a pair of treys in the game and led the Cards with 13 points. Meg Martin scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Harding finished the game with 11 points for Midkota, as both teams shot under 30 percent from the floor in the game.
Ellendale is in search of its first Stutsman County girls’ tournament championship, but they’ll now have to get past the team that denied them that feat one year ago.
“Points off turnovers and free throws. Those are going to be the key,” Herman said. “If we don’t give up points off of turnovers and we’re able to keep them off the free-throw line we’ll be OK.”
E-K 53, Central Prairie 37
Central Prairie hung around for two periods, but the Edgeley-Kulm Rebels and senior center Jessa Lingren finally wore down the Firebirds in the second half of the first of two consolation games on the day.
After leading the Firebirds just 29-22 at the half, the Rebels outscored Central Prairie 18-5 in the third to put things away and lead by 20 (47-27) to start the final period of play.
Lindgren posted a game-high 18 points and nine rebounds, while Roxanne Mathern and Kaitlin Ost each tossed in nine points for the Rebels. Edgeley-Kulm’s Jennifer Erickson posted five assists.
Jordan Spitzer and Alecia Krapp each tossed in 12 points to lead the Firebirds. Krapp also grabbed seven rebounds.
LaMoure 47, P-B-K 41
LaMoure’s Courtney Klever scored 11 points and Mackenzie Bickford added nine, as the Loboes shot 50 percent from the floor in the game to take down Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal by six points in consolation game No. 2.
LaMoure led after each of the first two periods and carved out a 34-28 lead at the end of three. P-B-K got to within four points in the final period, but a big three-pointer by LaMoure’s Sarah Holen with 5:40 left to play made the score 41-32 in favor of the Loboes.
P-B-K’s Kelly Carlson scored a game-high 17 points, backing up her 23-point performance the night before against Midkota.
For boxscores, turn to Page B2 of The Sun.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org