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Top seeds advance

(John M. Steiner / The Sun) South Border’s Brooke Buchholz (5) brings the ball up the floor as Midkota-Kensal’s Victoria Vollmer defends during the third game of the Stutsman County Tournament on Thursday.

South Border’s tremendous pressure caused problems for Midkota-Kensal right from the get-go on Thursday night.

Kalli Scherbenske scored 17 of her game-high 19 points in the first half, and South Border forced six turnovers in the first 3 1/2 minutes en route to a 78-24 triumph in a Stutsman County tournament quarterfinal at the Civic Center.

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South Border meets Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter in tonight’s last semifinal, while Midkota-Kensal faces the Carrington JV in the 4:30 p.m. consolation game.

South Border’s full-court press appeared to confuse Midkota early and often. South Border jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the first quarter, which saw Midkota attempt just eight shots.

“It gets our intensity going once we get running and that helps the rest of our game,” South Border senior Kalli Scherbenske said. “When we get on a roll, we’re pretty deadly.”

Midkota turned the ball over 26 times, leading to 29 South Border points.

“There were a lot of turnovers there,” South Border coach Jason Schmidt said. “They’re a young bunch of girls, but I think coach (Jason Otto) is doing a good job with them.”

The big run was keyed initially by a 10-1 run that included a pair of baskets from senior Madison Schnabel, who finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Scherbenkse added five including a 3-pointer to boost it to 19-3, with Brooke Buchholz capping it. Buchholz was the third Mustang in double figures with 18 points, including an 8-of-9 performance from the foul line.

Schmidt said he was pleased with the shot selection in the first half.

“They worked the ball around really well,” he said. “They hit the open people for the shots.”

Though Midkota learned to handle the pressure, it was too little, too late. It trailed 49-12 at halftime, playing against mostly South Border reserves in the second half. McKenna Frappier had nine points for Midkota.

Napoleon-G-S 63, Carrington JV 48

An early 8-0 run by Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter kept Carrington’s JV at bay for most of the game, although it really proved useful in the third quarter.

Ahead 5-4, Kali Schwartzenberger drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing and Mariah Jangula added a jumper as the Imperials laid claim to a 13-4 advantage. Jangula had a game-high 26 points, while Schwartzenberger added 13.

“It’s good for your confidence,” N-G-S coach Darcy Lehr said of the early run. “We don’t have a very experienced team. We’re still trying to figure things out here. It’s always important when you can go on runs like that.”

Napoleon-G-S extended its lead throughout the first half, weathering small Carrington runs to lead 30-16 at halftime.

In the third, however, the Cardinals caught fire with a 10-2 run, cutting the deficit to just six points. The run was bookended by 3-pointers from Kauri Hochhalter and Brooke Rosenau.

Clinging to a 32-26 advantage midway through the third, the Imperials settled down on offense.

Schwartzenberger drilled another trey, this time from the right corner, and Mariah Jangula scored five straight points to end the period with a 42-28 lead. Carrington failed to get within single digits in the fourth.

Lehr said outside shooting helped the team’s defense.

“When you hit outside shots like that, it just picks up your defense,” he said. “It helps the game flow a lot easier.”

Kauri Hochhalter paced Carrington’s JV with 13 points. Maara Nelson added 11.

South Border 78, Midkota-Kensal 24

Midkota-Kensal 7 12 22 24

South Border 26 49 65 78

Midkota-Kensal: McKenna Frappier 9, Brooke Ronningen 7, Saddie Harding 4, Jakenda Short 2, Victoria Vollmer 2. Totals 8-47 FG, 7-12 FT.

South Border: Kalli Scherbenske 19, Brooke Buchholz 18, Madison Schnabel 12, Morgan Schnabel 9, Amy Jacobson 8, Elisabeth Dalke 4, Katie Schmidt 3, Rachel Rueb 3, Courtney Jochim 2. Totals: 30-75 FG, 14-20 FT.

Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter 63, Carrington JV 48

Carrington JV 8 16 28 48

Napoleon-G-S 17 30 41 63

Carrington: Kauri Hochhalter 13, Maara Nelson 11, Brooke Rosenau 7, Lynzee Hagemeister 6, Ann Endres 4, Kiara Muilenberg 3, Emily Beckman 2, Chania Scherr 2. Totals 15-71 14-18 48.

NGS: Mariah Jangula 26, Kali Schwartzenberger 13, Shania Gross 8, Katelyn Long 5, Callie Thompson 3, Adrienne Rodlund 2, JaCee Schmidt 2, Emily Christofferson 2, Shania Weigel 2. Totals 21-62 16-29 63.

Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or