1 vs. 2 in District 5: Cardinals, Rebels square off tonightThe Ellendale Cardinals have historically gotten off to slow starts on their first day at the Jamestown Civic Center, but once the wheels get turning the girls from south of town are difficult to stop.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
The Ellendale Cardinals have historically gotten off to slow starts on their first day at the Jamestown Civic Center, but once the wheels get turning the girls from south of town are difficult to stop.
A 10-0 run by the Cards to start the second half against the LaMoure Loboes on Saturday assured the team a shot at the three-peat, as Ellendale defeated LaMoure 46-34 in the semifinals of the District 5 Tournament.
“We talked at halftime about having a good start to the second half,” Ellendale coach Matt Herman said. “We finished the second period fairly nice and we had to continue that run into the third.”
Ellendale took command 15-11 after the first period of play against the Loboes, receiving seven of those points off its bench including a three-pointer by sophomore Rachel Herman. Ellendale sophomore Madilyn Bommersbach also hit a three and scored five in the frame.
The Loboes committed seven turnovers in the period, but hung tough by going 5 of 10 from the field with a triple and five points from senior Tyla Aberle.
LaMoure’s Erika Armitage took command early in the second, scoring the Loboes’ first five points of the period to help LaMoure lead by as many as four points in the period at 19-15. Armitage and freshman Kennedy Witt both knocked down treys.
But Mariah Gustafson answered back with a three for Ellendale, kicking off a 9-2 run by the Cards to close out the half and lead 24-19 at the break.
Turnovers were a big factor for the Loboes, who committed 14 of their 23 turnovers before the half. But where Ellendale has hurt teams all season is on the offensive glass, and Saturday’s game against the Loboes was no different.
Ellendale entered the tournament averaging just over 14 offensive boards per game (267), and pulled in 16 offensive rebounds in the opening 16 minutes. The Cards ended with 24 offensive boards and 41 total rebounds to LaMoure’s 33.
“We’re learning, and Ellendale’s good enough to do that to people,” LaMoure coach Greg Stemen said. “The thing that killed me, is we were down three at halftime and we gave them 30 extra opportunities — 16 offensive rebounds and 14 turnovers.
“But that’s a credit to them. They just pound the heck out of you on the boards and we had to rebound better than what we did to give ourselves a chance.”
Sophomore forward Shayna Mertz took things over for Ellendale in the second half, scoring five during Ellendale’s 10-0 run to start the second. Ellendale led 34-24 after three and led by as many as 14 in the fourth.
“It was the defense that turned that around, and that created some points for us,” Herman said. “We also got in there and rebounded and got some nice putbacks during that run.”
“I think a little bit of it was we’re a little bit fragile. I thought we hung our heads a little bit and you just have to have a short memory in this game because (Ellendale’s) a good team and they’re going to do good things,” Stemen said. “We needed just a quality possession to respond after maybe they scored four. Even if you don’t score with it, it’s a quality possession to demonstrate some confidence and just kind of gain some composure.”
Mertz scored 12 of her game-high 15 points of the game in the second half. Bommersbach finished with 13.
“When we played LaMoure during the season (Mertz) sprained her ankle 30 seconds into the game, so she hadn’t had a chance to play LaMoure yet,” Herman said. “She’s been steady for us all year, and it’s good to see.”
Ellendale (15-5) defeated LaMoure (7-14) 37-18 back on Jan. 20. LaMoure was led with seven points by Aberle and eight rebounds from junior Megan Good, and will face Central Prairie today at 6 p.m. in a Region 3 qualifying game.
“I’m still proud of our ladies. They battled and they competed,” Stemen said. “We have one more opportunity on Monday to see what we can do.”
Ellendale has won the past two District 5 tourney titles, and will meet up with Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal (11-10) in tonight’s championship at 7:30 p.m. Ellendale defeated P-B-K 71-46 on Jan. 6 and 44-32 a week later in the Stutsman County Tournament.
“It’s going to take a solid defensive effort again, and we need to have a consistent shooting effort,” Herman said. “We’ve got to come out and be ready to go from the tipoff.”
No. 2 P-B-K 57, No. 3 BCN 51
The Rebels of P-B-K started the first semifinal of day by targeting 5-foot-9 junior forward Amanda Beckley in the post, and they found her three times for six points to help the Rebels lead 9-7 after one period.
Beckley only got better from there, ringing up a game high 20 points and 12 rebounds, as the Rebels punched their ticket to the Region 3 tournament but will first face Ellendale in the District 5 title tilt by derailing the Barnes County North Bison by six.
“Before the game I was telling the girls, ‘This is our championship game. If we don’t win tonight we’ve got to work harder on Monday,’” P-B-K coach Cory Mack said. “Just go out, play hard and leave it all out on the court.”
Beckley scored nine in the first half and freshman guard Jenna Van Ray scored six of her 12 points of the night for the Rebels, helping P-B-K lead by as many as 12 in the second and 28-19 at the half. Senior Kelly Carlson drilled a three-pointer with three minutes left in the half that kicked off an 8-0 P-B-K run.
But the Bison warmed up in the third, cutting the Rebels’ advantage all the way to two points (37-35) with 2:23 remaining in the third following a big three-pointer by sophomore Calby Hanson. The Rebels held a five-point 41-36 lead after three.
P-B-K also defeated BCN 50-35 back on Dec. 22 in Kensal.
“We tried to play the same defense, but tonight in that third quarter they got hotter than the blazes and we really didn’t answer too many of their shots,” Mack said. “It got a little hairy, but we had to be patient. They were kind of quickening up the pace and I really didn’t want the girls to do that either and fall into that trap.”
Beckley, however, owned the fourth, scoring nine of her 20 in the frame. That was a good thing, because the Rebels shot a not-so-spectacular 8 of 17 from the free-throw line over the final eight minutes.
“(Beckley) came up huge in that fourth quarter,” Mack said. “It seemed like everything she was putting up was going in.”
The Rebels had a hand in creating 19 BCN turnovers in the game, which in turn led to 16 of the team’s 57 points.
“Turnovers absolutely killed us, especially in the first half,” BCN coach Randy Hooey said. “We can’t get any offense going, because we can’t get into an offensive set. If you can’t enter the ball, you’re not going to be able to score.”
The Bison’s Emily Albrecht lit the net up late in the game for a trio of three-pointers. She scored 16 in the game, after not scoring a single point in the first half.
“We need to get two good halves out of her, and if we can do that we’re a tough team to beat,” Hooey said. “But if we’re going to be complacent, not work the offense and turn the ball over, things are going to become difficult for us.
“We only took 21 shots in the first half. That’s not nearly enough, and that all comes down to turnovers,” Hooey added. “Out of those 21 (shots), we missed a bunch of them inside of five feet … If you don’t knock down bunnies, you’re not going to score points, and if you don’t score points, you’re not going to win.”
On the flip side, the Rebels played a very clean game with only seven turnovers.
“We’ve got to do everything right against Ellendale,” Mack said. “Our turnovers tonight, that’s an all-time season low right there, and against Ellendale we’ll definitely have to keep that to a minimum.”
The Bison will attempt to keep their season alive in Region 3 qualifying action against Litchville-Marion-Montpelier today at 4:30 p.m.
“We have to come out and play how we did the last few minutes of the game (against the Rebels),” Hooey said. “We had one point in the first five minutes, and we had 14 in the last three. That’s a ton of points in three minutes.”
Loser-out play No. 6 Central Prairie 42, No. 7 Edgeley-Kulm 37
Central Prairie junior Noelle Moser’s double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds kept the Firebirds’ season alive in loser-out play on Saturday.
Edgeley-Kulm led 33-28 at the end of three periods after the two teams were tied at 21-21 at the half. But Central Prairie locked down defensively over the final eight minutes, limiting the Rebels (1-20) to just four points in the quarter.
Junior Jordan Spitzer nailed a three-pointer and also scored 14 points for the Firebirds, to go along with four assists and a pair of steals. Edgeley-Kulm sophomore Kelsey Fiest led the Rebels offensively with 11 markers.
District 5 Girls’ Basketball Tournament
At Jamestown Civic Center
No. 6 Central Prairie 42, No. 7 Edgeley-Kulm 37
Central Prairie 9 21 28 42
Edgeley-Kulm 11 21 33 37
Central Prairie – Jordan Spitzer 14, Noelle Moser 14, Courtney Heupel 4, Shelby Larson 4, Jaycee Moldenhauer 4, Madi Moldenhauer 2. Totals: 15-48 FG, 11-18 FT, 14 Fouls, 40 Rebounds (Moser 12), 4 Assists (Spitzer 4), 23 Turnovers, 8 Steals (Heupel 3). Three-pointers: (1-7) Spitzer.
Edgeley-Kulm – Kelsey Fiest 11, Hallie Anderson 7, Dakota Hoots 6, Jenny Erickson 5, Kaitlin Ost 2, Johanna Long 2, Mikeala Long 2, Roxanne Mathern 2. Totals: 14-50 FG, 8-18 FT, 19 Fouls (Ost 5, Hoots 5), 6 Assists (Feist 3), 17 Turnovers, 2 Blocks (Feist, Anderson), 9 Steals (Miranda Brandenburg 2, Erickson 2). Three-pointers: (1-7) Erickson.
Records: Central Prairie 4-16; Edgeley-Kulm 1-20.
No. 1 Ellendale 46, No. 5 LaMoure 34
LaMoure 11 21 24 34
Ellendale 15 24 34 46
LaMoure – Tyla Aberle 7, Courtney Carlson 6, Kennedy Witt 5, Erika Armitage 5, Mackenzie Bickford 4, Megan Good 4, Abby Warcken 2, Siri Armitage 1. Totals: 14-43 FG, 3-5 FT, 18 Fouls, 33 Rebounds (Good 8), 3 Assists (3 with 1), 23 Turnovers, 1 Block (Carlson), 8 Steals (Bickford 2, Good 2). Three-pointers: (3-11) Aberle, Witt, Armitage.
Ellendale – Shayna Mertz 15, Madilyn Bommersbach 13, Dacey Fuller 4, Brianna Vance 4, Rachel Herman 3, Mariah Gustafson 3, KaLee Hack 2, Emily Wang 2. Totals: 16-53 FG, 10-22 FT, 11 Fouls, 41 Rebounds (Mertz 6, Bommersbach 6), 8 Assists (Fuller 4), 12 Turnovers, 2 Blocks (Mertz, Bommersbach), 7 Steals (Fuller 3). Three-pointers: (5-16) Bommersbach 2, Herman, Gustafson, Mertz.
Records: Ellendale 15-5; LaMoure 7-14.
No. 2 Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 57, No. 3 Barnes County North 51
Barnes County North 7 19 36 51
Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 9 28 41 57
BCN – Emily Albrecht 16, SaraLi Petersen 11, Calby Hanson 7, Lauren McMillan 7, Dacia Eberle 5, Lindsey Erker 4, Sydney Reimers 1. Totals: 16-48 FG, 12-19 FT, 20 Fouls, 44 Rebounds (Hanson 10), 4 Assists (Eberle 2), 19 Turnovers, 1 Block (Reimers), 4 Steals (Petersen 2). Three-pointers: (7-13) Albrecht 3, Petersen 3, Hanson.
P-B-K – Amanda Beckley 20, Jenna Van Ray 12, Kelly Carlson 9, Morgan Thomas 7, Shantel Albrecht 5, Shelby Backer 4. Totals: 18-56 FG, 18-31 FT, 17 Fouls (Van Ray), 39 Rebounds (Beckley 12), 7 Assists (Callie Neys 3), 8 Steals (Thomas 4). Three-pointers: (3-11) Carlson 2, Thomas.
Records: P-B-K 11-10; BCN 9-12.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org