L-M-M wins district titleChalk up a third straight District 5 girls’ basketball tournament championship for the Litchville-Marion-Montpelier Rebels. In the title game on Saturday at the Civic Center, the Rebels rode on 66.7 percent shooting in the first half to go up by 15 at the break over the Rebels of Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
Chalk up a third straight District 5 girls’ basketball tournament championship for the Litchville-Marion-Montpelier Rebels.
In the title game on Saturday at the Civic Center, the Rebels rode on 66.7 percent shooting in the first half to go up by 15 at the break over the Rebels of Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal.
The 33-18 deficit was too much for No. 2-seeded P-B-K to overcome, as top-seeded L-M-M improved to 18-3 overall with a 57-46 victory.
L-M-M 57, P-B-K 46
Heading into the championship game, everyone knew the Rebels were going to be crowned the champs. The only question was which color the eventual winners would be wearing.
L-M-M’s Heather Brown racked up 14 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks, while teammate Sophie Miller shot a perfect 10 of 10 at the free throw line, helping the L-M-M Rebels in their home whites defeat the P-B-K Rebels in their road blacks by 11.
“This is a different group of kids than last year and it’s a good accomplishment for them,” said L-M-M coach Dave Handt, referring to the team’s third straight district title. “We also need to compliment P-B-K. They’re a good quality team and they’re well-coached.
“It was fun, and that’s why we coach the game of basketball.”
In a mirror image of the type of first-period intensity flashed by Barnes County North in Friday’s semifinal against L-M-M, the P-B-K Rebels hit the floor ready to give the tourney’s No. 1 seed all they had.
But, again — just like on Friday — L-M-M’s offense set the net ablaze.
P-B-K’s Chantil Guthmiller and Kelly Carlson both hit treys to help put the visitors up 8-6 with 3:24 to go in the first period. But a 9-2 run by L-M-M to close out the period got the ball rolling for the home team’s offense.
L-M-M outscored P-B-K 18-6 in the second period, converting an unstoppable 14 of 21 shots from the floor. Brown, who was named the District 5 Senior Athlete of the Year, scored 10 of her 14 points in the half, while Miller tossed up seven of her 14 points in the game.
“With the size we have, we’ve been able to get some nice entry passes down low,” Handt said. “We also have some nice outside shooting. It’s tough for teams to cover both.”
As L-M-M was firing an all cylinders in the second, P-B-K’s offense was struggling. P-B-K was only able to manage 8 of 28 field goals in the half, and went the last four minutes before the break without scoring a point as L-M-M took a commanding 33-18 lead into the locker room.
“We had a bad second quarter. We went cold,” said P-B-K coach Cory Mack, who was named District 5 Coach of the Year. “That long scoring drought really hurt us. But I told the girls to leave it all out on the floor and they did.
“In the second half, I couldn’t have asked them for anything more.”
In a lighting-quick third period, P-B-K outscored L-M-M 8-7 behind Chelsea Van Ray’s only four points of the game. The clock hardly stopped, as just one foul was committed in a period that saw a lot of up and down dribbling.
L-M-M led 40-29 at the end of three, but P-B-K was not finished fighting. A pair of treys by Kelly Carlson helped cut L-M-M’s lead to just eight points (42-34) with 6:23 to go.
P-B-K drilled five three-pointers in the period, led by Carlson with three.
As P-B-K was trying to play catch-up, however, Miller was calmly sinking shots at the free throw line to keep L-M-M in the lead. The 5-10 junior hit 7 of 7 shots at the line in the period to help the home team seal up its 14th win in a row.
“(Miller) struggled on the offense end tonight, but she stepped up big at the free throw line,” Handt said. “I’m very happy with the outcome.”
Guthmiller and Kelly Carlson led P-B-K with 12 points each, while Carly Snow ended the night with 10 points. Carlson’s 12 points all came from behind the three-point arc.
L-M-M’s height controlled the glass, as they outrebounded P-B-K 37-26. L-M-M ended the game shooting 45.8 percent (22 of 48) from the floor, while P-B-K converted 18 of 56 shots for 32.1 percent.
District 5 Girls’ Basketball Tournament
Jamestown Civic Center
Litchville-Marion-Montpelier 57, Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 46
P-B-K 12 18 26 46
L-M-M 15 33 40 57
P-B-K: Chantil Guthmiller 12, Kelly Carlson 12, Carly Snow 10, Chelsea Van Ray 4, Carly Carlson 4, Tara Uehran 4. Totals: 18-56 FG, 3-5 FT, 16 fouls (Van Ray). Three-pointers: K. Carlson 4, Guthmiller 2, Snow 1.
L-M-M: Sophie Miller 14, Heather Brown 14, Kayla Rodin 9, Amanda Valenta 9, Carly Van Bruggen 6, Abbey Fick 3, Tracy Nelson 2. Totals: 22-48 FG, 11-16 FT, 11 fouls. Three-pointers: K. Rodin 1, Fick 1.
Records: Litchville-Marion-Montpelier 18-3; Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal 12-9.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org