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Carrington, E-K-M to meet for title: Speedy Cardinals pull away

John M. Steiner / The Sun Carrington’s Brady Smith (14) races the ball up the floor as Ellendale’s Brennen Vance defends during the Stutsman County Tournament.

If teams turn the ball over against the Carrington Cardinals, expect them to pay for it.

Carrington took 25 Ellendale turnovers and converted them into 34 points, helping Carrington roll 52-45 over Ellendale in the battle of the red birds during semifinal night of the Stutsman County boys basketball tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center on Friday.

Carrington, the defending tournament champions, will face Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier in the championship game tonight at 6:30 p.m. The E-K-M Rebels defeated Kidder County 48-46 in the second semifinal game to earn a date in the title tilt.

“That’s what we pride ourselves on,” Carrington coach Matt Hone said, referring to turning opposing turnovers into points. “We may not have a lot of height, we may not have a whole lot of depth, but we try to play great defense. We try to pressure the floor from baseline to baseline, and when we get those turnovers then we try to fly up the floor and use our team speed to create offense that way.

“Get it up the floor and make things happen.”

It was definitely noticeable in the first half, as transition points were keeping Carrington in the game. Carrington scored 10 points in transition and tallied 15 points off Ellendale cough ups, but the southern Cardinals still held a slim 25-23 lead over the northern Cardinals at the half.

That was due to a strong opening 16 minutes by Ellendale’s Adam White. Ellendale successfully utilized the 6-foot-5 junior early in the paint, as he scored 13 of Ellendale’s 25 at the break.

But White was held in check scoring-wise thereafter. He finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, 6 blocks and 3 steals, after going 6-for-8 from the floor in the first half.

“He’s a tremendous player. We knew that being undersized like we were, we were going to have to clamp down on him,” Hone said of White. “He’s going to get his points, but just don’t let him have the easy ones. Then it’s kind of roll-the-dice and hope that over the course of the game he misses a little more than he makes.”

What got Carrington rolling was an 8-0 run to start the third, turning what was a 2-point deficit into a 31-25 lead with 4 minutes, 37 seconds left before the fourth. Carrington also closed the third on an 8-0 run to lead 39-30 to start the final 8 minutes.

“They put pressure on us and our guys kind of folded,” Ellendale coach Brian Vance said. “We’ve been working on it and working on it, but our guys are still a little tentative with pressure, and instead of attacking we were kind of hiding.”

Carrington senior Ryan Indergaard played a large second-half roll, scoring 10 of his 11 points after the break. The northern Cards were led by Jacob Edland with 15 points and Brady Smith with 14.

“Once we got into halftime we were feeling pretty good, not that we were controlling the game by any means, but the fact that we weathered the storm and we were still hanging around,” Hone said. “The kids came out with a lot of enthusiasm, and turned it up a notch or two on the defensive side and that’s where you see those runs come from.”

Carrington snagged 18 steals as a team, with Seth Abaurrea collecting 6 of them.

“We think that every turnover is worth one point. We’ve got to play a lot smarter,” Vance said. “Our guys are a lot smarter than that. They panicked. We’ve just got to regroup and come out again tomorrow.”

Ellendale did get back to within 2 points in the fourth at 43-41, but a final 9-4 run by Carrington over the final 3 minutes sealed the win.

Carrington (3-0) stayed undefeated as they meet up with the Rebels tonight. Ellendale (2-1) will face Kidder County for third place at 5 p.m.

“We’re such a young team. So it’s a matter of learning from this game and learning from (tonight’s) game,” Hone said. “Win or lose, as long as we learn, it’ll lead to more wins down the road.”

Carrington 52, Ellendale 45

Ellendale 9 25 30 45

Carrington 12 23 39 52

Ellendale — Adam White 19, Brennen Vance 10, Timothy Belmore 5, Zachary Dathe 4, Hunter White 3, Chase Durheim 2, Logan Wang 2. Totals: 18-40 FG, 8-16 FT, 3-pointers: 1-9 (H. White 1), 33 Rebounds (A. White 10), 16 Fouls, 1 Assist (Vance), 25 Turnovers, 6 Blocks (A. White 6), 12 Steals (A White 3).

Carrington — Jacob Edland 15, Brady Smith 14, Ryan Indergaard 11, Seth Abaurrea 6, Shae Mehring 4, Connor Wendel 2. Totals: 21-51 FG, 9-15 FT, 3-pointers: 1-8 (Smith 1), 23 Rebounds (Abaurrea 5), 16 Fouls, 3 Assists (Edland 2), 17 Turnovers, 3 Blocks (Abaurrea 3), 18 Steals (Abaurrea 6)

Records: Carrington 3-0; Ellendale 2-1.

Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at