LaMoure, P-B-K sail into semisEvery coach talks about having his or her team peak at the right time of the season, which very well appears to be the case for the LaMoure Loboes as they entered the District 5 Girls’ Basketball tournament in Jamestown on Friday.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
Every coach talks about having his or her team peak at the right time of the season, which very well appears to be the case for the LaMoure Loboes as they entered the District 5 Girls’ Basketball tournament in Jamestown on Friday.
LaMoure senior guard Mackenzie Bickford torched the net for five three-pointers and a game-high 21 points, helping LaMoure scoot past Litchville-Marion-Montpelier 57-36 during the quarterfinals in the final time the two teams will meet up on the basketball court as foes.
The LaMoure and Litchville-Marion public school districts plan to co-op their basketball teams next season.
“When you make shots life’s a lot easier, and we don’t always do that,” said LaMoure coach Greg Stemen. “I thought the girls did a good job of moving the ball and getting some easy shot opportunities.”
Bickford had a monster first period against the Rebels, drilling three triples and scoring 13 to lead the Loboes to a commanding 20-5 advantage after the opening eight minutes of play.
“We just passed the ball around really well and did a good job of looking for the open shot,” Bickford said.
The Loboes kept the hammer down in the second to take a 21-point (36-15) lead into the half. Following a 6-0 spurt by the Rebels halfway through the second — making it 36-15 Loboes — Bickford buried her fourth trey of the game, and another three and eight of senior Erika Armitage’s 12 points in the game carried LaMoure into the break.
Other than their brief run, the Rebels struggled in the half to get their offense to come together. The team converted 8 of 18 shots from the floor for 33 percent and turned the ball over 11 times.
LaMoure scored 12 if its 36 points of the half off L-M-M turnovers. Bickford posted 16 points in the half.
“I thought we were pretty good defensively and created some opportunities by defending well,” Stemen said. “We didn’t rebound nearly as well as we have to, but the girls did a good job and I was proud of them.”
Bickford hit her fifth and final trey in the third, helping the Loboes maintain their 21-point lead (48-27) after three periods. LaMoure limited L-M-M to just a pair of field goals in the fourth as they coasted to the victory.
L-M-M senior guard Brenna Rodin scored nine of her team-high 14 points after the half. LaMoure outrebounded the Rebels 40-29 and sank eight three-pointers in the game.
It was a much different outcome than what happened back in Marion on Jan. 23. It was the Rebels (3-17) beating a cold LaMoure team 38-35, as the Loboes (7-13) went 12 of 61 from the field, to earn a higher seed in the tournament (No. 4) than LaMoure (No. 5).
“But at the same time, it was a credit to (L-M-M),” Stemen said. “They were better than us that night.”
LaMoure will now face No. 1-seeded and two-time defending champion Ellendale (14-5) today in the semifinals at 6 p.m. In their last meeting, Ellendale defeated LaMoure 37-18 back on Jan. 20.
LaMoure last advanced to the district title game back in 2007, finishing second to L-M-M. The Loboes won back-to-back District 5 crowns from 2003-04.
“You go out and you go after it, and that’s what I told the girls,” Stemen said. “Go take advantage of the opportunities. Seize the moment, shoot the ball with confidence and expect good, hard-nosed half-court defense from Ellendale.
“But handle it and attack them. Be the aggressors on the defensive end. Be the aggressors rebounding the basketball and be the aggressors offensively. It’s just a matter of, ‘Go out and get after it.’”
No. 2 P-B-K 63, No. 7 E-K 27
Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal senior guard Kelly Carlson came out of the locker room at the half, immediately buried a three-pointer and the rout was on.
The P-B-K Rebels dismantled the Edgeley-Kulm Rebels in the second half of the second quarterfinal game of the day, shooting a scorching 71 percent (17 of 24) after the break, and four P-B-K athletes hit double figures in scoring to help the red-and-black Rebels roll by 36.
“It was a good job in the second half,” P-B-K coach Cory Mack said. “We got a lot of good shots and looks at the bucket. That makes a big difference.”
The score was 12-8 P-B-K with five minutes left to play in the second period, when P-B-K went on a 13-1 run to separate themselves 27-12 at halftime. P-B-K got contributions from all over the court as they increased their lead over the final 16 minutes, led by 10 of junior forward Amanda Beckley’s 12 points of the game.
“We were getting a lot of transition buckets compared to the first half, but Amanda is just so strong inside,” P-B-K coach Cory Mack said. “And that’s her. The way she goes about it, if someone is holding her down a little bit she gets it inside and is going to score at some point.”
Edgeley-Kulm struggled mightily with the basketball, racking up 22 turnovers and converting a total of nine field goals on 48 attempts in the game (19 percent). The team was paced by a pair of treys and 12 points from senior Jenny Erickson.
P-B-K finished shooting a blistering 52 percent from the floor. The team was led by Morgan Thomas with three triples and 16 points. Carlson (11 points) and Jenna Van Ray (12) also hit double figures for P-B-K.
Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal (10-10) will face Barnes County North (9-11) in the semifinals today at 7:30 p.m. P-B-K defeated BCN 50-35 back on Dec. 22 in Kensal.
“We’ve just got to keep up with the aggressive defense,” Mack said. “We were able to beat Barnes County before Christmas and that’s how we did it, good solid man-to-man defense.”
District 5 Girls’ Basketball Tournament
At Jamestown Civic Center
No. 5 LaMoure 57, No. 4 Litchville-Marion-Montpelier 36
LaMoure 20 36 48 57
L-M-M 5 15 27 36
LaMoure — Mackenzie Bickford 21, Erika Armitage 12, Courtney Carlson 7, Talitha Hirschkorn 7, Megan Good 4, Abby Warcken 3, Tyla Aberle 2, Siri Armitage 1. Totals: 19-57 FG, 10-13 FT, 17 Fouls, 40 Rebounds (Armitage 6), 9 Assists (Good 3), 14 Turnovers, 14 Steals (Bickford 3, Good 3). Three-pointers: (8-19) Bickford 5, Carlson, Armitage, Abby Warcken.
L-M-M — Brenna Rodin 14, Tasha Piehl 7, Sydney Headland 6, Jacey Alber 6, Kelly Susa 2, Tanys Ulmer 1. Totals: 12-37 FG, 12-20 FT, 12 Fouls (Headland 5), 29 Rebounds (Susa 6), 2 Assists (Piehl 2), 20 Turnovers, 2 Blocks (Ulmer 2), 4 Steals (Rodin 2). Three-pointers: (0-5).
Records: LaMoure 7-13; L-M-M 3-17.
No. 2 Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 63, No. 7 Edgeley-Kulm 27
Edgeley-Kulm 4 12 21 27
Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 10 27 45 63
E-K — Jenny Erickson 12, Mikeala Long 4, Hallie Anderson 4, Codie Whitney 2, Kelsey Feist 2, Roxanne Mathern 2, Megan Rott 1. Totals: 9-48 FG, 7-13 FT, 15 Fouls, 36 Rebounds (Long 7), 7 Assists (Brandenburg 3), 22 Turnovers, 8 Steals (Feist 3). Three-pointers: (2-15) Erickson 2.
P-B-K — Morgan Thomas 16, Amanda Beckley 12, Jenna Van Ray 12, Kelly Carlson 11, Shantel Albrecht 6, Shelby Backer 2, Callie Neys 2, Taylor Uehran 2. Totals: 28-54 FG, 5-10 FT, 17 Fouls, 38 Rebounds (Uehran 6), 11 Assists (Kelly Carlson 4), 16 Turnovers, 1 Block (Uehran), 10 Steals (Thomas 4). Three-pointers: (2-4) Carlson, Thomas.
Records: P-B-K 10-10; E-K 1-19.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org