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Raiders push on to semis

Maple Valley's Katie Pautz hauls down a rebound against North Sargent's Karah Sandness on Monday during the Region 1 tournament quarterfinals in Wahpeton. (Dave Samson / Forum News Service)

WAHPETON, N.D. – Maple Valley trailed all of 1 minute, 13 seconds in the second half on Monday, but the Raiders had to hang on to get past North Sargent.

Maple Valley — the No. 2 seed from District 2 — defeated the District 1 No. 3-seeded Bobcats 41-34 during the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B, Region 1 girls basketball tournament at Ed Werre Arena.

The No. 4-ranked Raiders (21-2) trailed 11-6 after the first quarter and 18-16 at halftime.

“We’ve had a handful of games like this one this season, but we have always been able to find a way to get through it,” Maple Valley head coach Jeff Miller said.

With the victory, Maple Valley — a school that includes Tower City, Oriska, Fingal and Buffalo — advances to play Fairmount-Campbell-Tintah in the semifinals at 6 p.m. today.

Sophomore guard Rylee Nudell completed a three-point play to give the Raiders a 19-18 edge with 6:47 left to play in the third quarter.

Nudell poured in a team-high 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

The Raiders shot 19 percent from the field (5-for-27) in the first half and finished the game shooting 23 percent that included an 0-for-14 figure from 3-point range.

“Nobody’s shots where falling so we tried to get the ball inside,” said Maple Valley senior guard Abbie Tinjum, who finished with 10 points. “That’s basically all we could do.”

The Raiders also got to the free-throw line. Nudell was 13-for-14 from the charity stripe, highlighting a 19-for-30 team effort from the free-throw line.

“When your shots are not falling like ours were, you have to try to get the ball inside or get to the line to get your offense going,” Miller said. “Down the stretch I thought we did that.”

Maple Valley led 29-25 heading into the fourth quarter, but senior guard Chelsey Anderson connected for a 3-pointer with 7:31 left to cut the Raiders’ lead to one.

Anderson, once again, got North Sargent — located in Gwinner — to within one of Maple Valley when she got a layup to fall making it 33-32 with 5:56 left.

Maple Valley responded with a 6-0 run over the next 5:47 to pull away from the Bobcats (10-13). During that span three of North Sargent’s starters — Karissa Kempel, Lexi Jacobson, and Jacie Enderson — fouled out.

“We had some bad fouls,” North Sargent head coach Michael Sorlie said. “We gave up 19 points to them on the free-throw line and we couldn’t afford that. It caught up with us. The girls played hard, and defensively I was pleased with the effort of holding them to 11 baskets.”

Anderson finished with a game-high 25 points for the Bobcats.

Region 1 girls basketball tournament

Maple Valley 41, North Sargent 34

North Sargent     11   18   25   34

Maple Valley       6   16   29   41

NORTH SARGENT (10-13): K. Kempel 1 0-0 2, Jacobson 1 1-2 3, Anderson 11 1-2 25, Enderson 0 2-4 2, Hansana 1 0-0 2. Totals: 14-38 4-8 34.

MAPLE VALLEY (21-2): Tinjum 3 4-10 10, Punton 0 0-1 0, Kasowski 3 1-2 7, Nudell 4 13-14 21, Pautz 1 1-3 3. Totals: 11-48 19-30 41.

3-point goals: Anderson 2. Total fouls: NS 23, MV 12. Fouled out: K. Kempel, Enderson, Jacobson. Rebounds: NS 33 (Hansana 11), MV 37 (Nudell 12). Turnovers: NS 23, MV 14

Tom Mix

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high school sports reporter. He's worked at The Forum for five years. He was the 2013 North Dakota sportswriter of the year, an award that is sponsored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to  

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