Rebels move on: P-B-K, top-seeded Cardinals winMissing the team’s most prolific scorer, the backs of the Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal Rebels were against the wall during the opening round of the Stutsman County Boys Basketball Tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center on Thursday night.
By: By Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Missing the team’s most prolific scorer, the backs of the Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal Rebels were against the wall during the opening round of the Stutsman County Boys Basketball Tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center on Thursday night.
But instead of folding when senior forward Nic Blaskowski went down with an apparent knee injury in the first quarter against the Ellendale Cardinals during opening night’s quarterfinals, the Rebels decided to inspire all who were present with a dominant second half of play.
P-B-K rifled off a 25-2 run that erased a 35-27 halftime deficit to the Cards, replacing it with a 17-point (58-41) P-B-K advantage with 3 minutes, 31 seconds left in the fourth period, as the Rebels cruised into tonight’s semifinals with a 62-55 victory over Ellendale.
“(Blaskowski) went to challenge a layup there and came down funny on his knee,” P-B-K first-year head coach Ross Florhaug said. “I talked to his dad there quick and it didn’t sound very good. We’ll play that by ear and hopefully we’ll get him back, but it is what it is and we’ll continue to fight on.”
Blaskowski played just 5 1/2 minutes in the first period before exiting the game. The senior standout averaged a team best 15.5 points per game in 2011 and entered the tournament just four career points shy of 1,000.
Blaskowski, however, was able to achieve the milestone prior to the injury. He hit P-B-K’s first two-point bucket of the game, and he later drilled a 3-pointer as he would leave the court with 1,001 career markers.
Senior forward Shawn Baker turned in a head-turning performance in Blaskowski’s absence. Baker poured in 28 points — 20 in the second half — to spark the team to victory.
JR Perleberg — who played nearly the entire second half with four fouls — added 16 points and 7 rebounds for the Rebels.
Baker also had a big night back on Dec. 7, dropping in 24 points to help the Rebels (3-1) to a 60-58 victory over Central Prairie in Medina.
“Without Nic on the floor there are a lot more opportunities to get some shots there and Shawn stepped up huge,” Florhaug said. “He’s capable of doing that on a nightly basis and we needed it all tonight.”
Ellendale led by as many as 9 points (28-19) in the first half, as the Cards used 12 points from 6-foot-4 sophomore center Adam White and 10 points from senior guard Shawn Hofer to forge ahead 35-27 at the half.
White finished the game with a double-double of 28 points and 15 boards, while Hofer finished the night scoring 14.
But a dreadful period for Ellendale in the third broke things open for P-B-K. The Cards went just 1 for 11 from the field, including 0 of 4 from 3-point range.
P-B-K led 43-39 after three, and a bucket by White with just over 7 minutes to play ended a four-minute scoring drought for Ellendale. It was the only points scored during the Rebels’ 25-2 run, which began with 3:05 left in the third.
“We talked a little bit at halftime about being a little more engaged. Our intensity level was a little low there in the first half,” Florhaug said. “The kids were working a whole lot harder than they were in the first half, and they just continued to do that. It’s a game of momentum and we carried it in the second half and were able to close this one out.”
Ellendale shot just 24 percent from the field in the second half. White scored 16 of Ellendale’s 20 second-half points.
P-B-K, on the other hand, shot 50 percent in the second half and 49 percent in the game.
It’s more red birds for P-B-K today, as they’ll face the Carrington Cardinals in the semifinals at 6 p.m.
“We need to get back on defense, first and foremost. I didn’t see (Carrington) take a whole lot of outside shots today, most of it was transition and just penetration and getting stuff inside,” Florhaug said. “We’ll need 110-percent effort against those guys, but if we can keep them out of the transition points I think we’ll have a chance.”
Carrington 82, Midkota 49
An enormous third period for the No. 8-ranked Carrington Cardinals sank the Midkota Mustangs in the first quarterfinal game of the day.
Already leading a young and lean squad of Mustangs by 17 points (35-18) at the half, the Cardinals erupted for 29 third-period points on 11 of 18 shooting and forced the Mustangs into 10 of their 28 turnovers to take a commanding 64-26 lead into the final period of play.
The Cardinals would cruise from there to earn their date tonight with P-B-K in the semifinals.
“It was a matter of refocusing them on our scheme, and our scheme is to create pressure and create turnovers, and use the turnovers to feed the offense,” said Carrington coach Matt Hone, as he described the discussion he had with his team in the locker room at the half.
Midkota hung with the state-ranked Cardinals in the first period, trailing just 11-7 with 1:22 left in the opening period. A 7-2 Carrington run to close out the period, however, produced an 18-9 Cardinal advantage and it was a precursor of what was to come.
Midkota would have liked to have been able to lock the Cards into the half court, but Carrington broke loose numerous times in transition in the second period with the use of a full-court press to build its 17-point lead at the break.
Carrington’s Alex Nelson recorded back-to-back steals at midcourt that went back for layups, while Austin Johnson, Taylor Skytland and Seth Abaurrea all hit buckets in transition for the Cards in the second.
“The first quarter there we were pretty lethargic. We were walking up the floor and we weren’t really in the mode of our game,” Hone said. “Once we got that transition game going — got some turnovers on defense, got some good rebounds and pushed it up the floor — then we kind of got in our regular rhythm and it all started to click a little bit more.”
Carrington’s Scott Burnham lead a very balanced scoring attack with 12 points, while Abaurrea finished with 11 and Johnson scored 10. A total of 11 Cardinals scored in all, as the team shot 49 percent in the game and outrebounded the Mustangs 42-29.
Senior Austin Monson turned in a nice night for Midkota — who dressed just eight players — with a game-high 24 points. Monson scored 13 of Midkota’s 18 first-half points.
Midkota (0-4) will face Ellendale (1-1) in consolation play today at 3 p.m. Carrington will be looking to get back to the Stutsman County Tournament title game today against P-B-K in the semifinals.
Carrington was the 2010 Stutsman County Tournament champions.
“We can’t come out flat that first quarter. We’ve got to get some better play there,” Hone said. “We’ve got to be able to get it inside and get our transition game going. If we’re able to get all that clicking early on, we’ll probably see some success again (tonight).”
Stutsman County Tournament
At Jamestown Civic Center
No. 1 Carrington 82, No. 8 Midkota 49
Midkota 9 18 26 49
Carrington 18 35 64 82
Midkota — Austin Monson 24, Tyler Walen 7, Dalton Ehlers 6, Dakota Hoyt 5, Joseph Vollmer 4, Christian Leininger 2, Brandt Ronningen 1. Totals: 24-47 FG, 4-13 FT, 29 rebounds (Hoyt 9), 19 fouls (Monson), 9 assists (Hoyt 5), 28 turnovers, 1 block (Hoyt), 3 steals (Hoyt 2). Three-pointers: (3-9) Ehlers 2, Walen 1.
Carrington — Scott Burnham 12, Seth Abaurrea 11, Austin Johnson 10, Casey Murhpy 9, Taylor Skytland 9, Alex Nelson 9, Joey Kubal 7, Tysen Rosenau 6, Cole Hendrickson 6, Brady Bickett 2, Jake Edland 1. Totals: 33-75 FG, 17-26 FT, 42 rebounds (Abaurrea 7, Kubal 7), 12 fouls, 23 assists (Abaurrea 6, Skytland 6), 13 turnovers, 7 blocks (Johnson 3), 11 steals (Murphy 4). Three-pointers: (1-10) Skytland 1.
Records: Carrington 3-0; Midkota 0-4.
No. 5 Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 62, No. 4 Ellendale 55
P-B-K 13 27 43 62
Ellendale 19 35 39 55
P-B-K — Shawn Baker 28, JR Perleberg 16, Cody Horn 7, Nicholas Blaskowski 5, Kolten Sabinash 3, Ian Snow 3. Totals: 23-50 FG, 18-28 FT, 34 rebounds (Horn 9), 17 fouls, 11 assists (Horn 4), 20 turnovers, 2 blocks (Baker 1, Horn 1), 11 steals (Baker 5). Three-pointers: (2-7) Blaskowski 1, Horn 1.
Ellendale — Adam White 28, Shawn Hofer 14, James Johnston 7, Zach Dathe 4, Chase Durheim 2. Totals: 23-75 FG, 11-15 FT, 33 rebounds (White 15), 23 fouls (Durheim), 9 assists (Johnston 4), 24 turnovers, 2 blocks (White 2), 6 steals (Durheim 2). Three-pointers: (2-17) Johnston 1, Hofer 1.
Records: P-B-K 3-1; Ellendale 1-1.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at email@example.com