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Tornadoes attack paint in victory over Bison

Oakes' Nicole Schmitz brings the ball upcourt against Barnes County North Monday during the District 5 tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun1 / 2
Barnes County North's Ashley McFadgen drives the ball alongside Oakes' Jaida Seyer Monday during the District 5 tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun2 / 2

Oakes High School poses a unique threat in Region 3.

With freshman Sadie Hanson, sophomore Nicole Schmitz and senior Bailey Skjefte dangerous down low, the Tornadoes used its size to give third-ranked LaMoure-Litchville-Marion a run for its money during Saturday's semifinals of the District 5 tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center.

"We knew they were a good team and we had to respect them," Schmitz said. "But we couldn't fear them and just had to go out there and play our game."

Oakes did the same Monday, this time with a 61-48 victory over Barnes County North in Region 3 play-in action. The Tornadoes will play second-ranked Medina-Pingree-Buchanan in next week's quarterfinals at the Civic Center.

This is the second year in a row the Tornadoes will be heading to the Region 3 tournament. The first time ever in school history.

"We are all pretty young," Schmitz said. "One senior, one junor, six sophomores and we got some youth coming up. It's going to be pretty fun."

Schmitz led with 26 points on 9 for 12 shooting and a perfect 8 of 8 from the free-throw line. Skjefte was behind her with 15 points and Hanson had nine points.

Schmitz got the Tornadoes off to a good start with six points in the first quarter. With 5:33 remaining in the second, Schmitz got a putback on a missed freebie at the line and by halftime the sophomore had 12 points.

"It's good when the wings can get me the ball because I'm faster than most post players in the district so I can move around quicker."

Hanson also scored a basket in the paint and later showed her range from downtown with a 3-pointer to end the half with a 32-20 lead.

"She's a good threat because you have to respect her and she can make some pretty good moves inside, she's got some size and she's going to grow too," Schmitz said.

Barnes County North slowly worked itself back in the game in the second half. Clara Wieland and Ashley Samek opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back treys to get the deficit to six points.

But Oakes finished at the free-throw line in the closing minutes to bring the season to a close for the Bison.

Samek paced BCN with 21 points. The Bison finished the year at 5-16 overall and will graduate two seniors.

District 5 Girls Basketball Tournament

At Jamestown Civic Center

Monday's No. 4 seed qualifier

Oakes 61, Barnes County North 48

BCN 14 20 33 48

OAK13 32 45 61

BCN—Ashley Samek 21, Clara Wieland 12, Ashley McFadgen 11, Tabitha Muncy 4. Totals: 13-41 FG, 6-18 3-PT, 16-20 FT, 23 Rebounds, 21 Turnovers, 12 Steals.

OAK—Nicole Schmitz 26, Bailey Schmitz 15, Jaida Seyer 9 Sadie Hanson 9, Claire Wagner 2. Totals: 24-46 FG, 1-6 3-PT, 12-17 FT, 24 Rebounds, 16 Turnovers, 12 Steals.

Records: OAK 11-10, BCN 5-16.

Mitchell Johnson

Hometown: Enumclaw, WA; College: Central Washington University

(360) 918-1853