Kindred overcomes 15-point deficit to beat Thompson in state semis
GRAND FORKS -- With about 3 minutes, 15 seconds left in the third quarter, Thompson’s Kaia Sorby scored to give the Tommies a 15-point lead and all of the momentum against Kindred.
“I told them I’m not ready to feel a loss yet,” Kindred coach Sam Brandt said. “If we’re going down, we’re going down swinging.”
Kindred swung back, indeed.
Kindred freshman Abby Duchscherer finished a tough drive with eight seconds remaining to lead the Vikings to a 56-54 come-from-behind win over Thompson in the semifinals of the North Dakota state Class B girls basketball tournament at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Unseeded Kindred, 22-3, advances to Saturday night’s 8 p.m. championship game against the winner of Rugby and Hettinger-Scranton. The Vikings last won a state title in 2017.
The Tommies, 22-3, play in the third-place game at 6 p.m.
Thompson’s final rebuttal was mishandled near midcourt and the Tommies were only able to get off a rushed, off-balance 3-pointer from the corner that didn’t draw iron as the final buzzer sounded.
“After half, we knew we had to step up our game,” Kindred eighth-grader Kacie Burner said. “We weren’t ready for it to end. We kept pushing and played solid defense.
“I knew we could get back in this but it had to be a fight.”
No. 3 seed Thompson, which beat Kindred in triple overtime during the regular season, led by 15 points twice in the third quarter.
“It was a combination of things,” said Thompson coach Jason Brend, who had hoped to get a timeout in the final moments after crossing halfcourt but Kindred pressure didn’t allow enough time. “We maybe lost some composure and had trouble putting the ball in the hole.”
The Tommies limited Kindred’s go-to offensive standout, Duchscherer, to just four first-half points. She finished with 17 on 8-for-16 shooting. She also had 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals.
“Playmakers make plays,” Brend said. “Great players know when to make plays at crunch time.”
The Vikings also received 15 points from Terryn Johnson, 13 from Kristina Freier and nine from Kacie Burner.
Thompson was led by Mackenzie Hughes (22 points) and Sorby (14 points).