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THUNDER'S THIRD: M-P-B claims District 6 tourney three-peat

The Medina-Pingree-Buchanan girls basketball team posed with the District 6 tournament championship plaque Monday night in Hazelton. The Thunder topped Kidder County 43-29 in the title game for a third straight year. Photo courtesy Brett Thielges

HAZELTON, N.D.—Medina-Pingree-Buchanan girls basketball is like most other high-performance machines.

Sometimes a little fine-tuning is in order.

Tied 14-14 at the half Monday in the Class B District 6 championship game against Kidder County, M-P-B coach Brett Thielges offered his second-ranked Thunder a new plan of attack.

"We went into halftime and made a couple of adjustments, nothing huge," Thielges said. "The key in the second half was better high-post touches, and a lot better short-corner touches, that got us inside looks early in the third and opened up the outside."

Junior guard Amanda Allen buried a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and senior Lauren Moser added a third, helping M-P-B lock up its third straight District 6 tournament crown with a 43-29 victory over the Wolves. The Thunder will play Oakes in the opening round of the Region 3 tournament next Monday at the Jamestown Civic Center.

"Amanda didn't score until the second half. She hit two big 3s in the fourth quarter and Lauren hit one," Thielges said. "You don't get those if we are not doing anything on the interior."

M-P-B (19-2) outpaced Kidder County (15-6), which has been receiving votes in the Class B state media rankings, 18-8 over the final eight minutes after leading 25-21 through three quarters.

Foul trouble in the first half for both squads helped contribute to the game's low offensive output. Kidder County star Grace Benz and Katie Silbernagel, along with M-P-B's Allen, Moser, Halle Uehran and Megan Moser all finished the contest with three fouls.

Benz hit a pair of triples in the fourth—two of just eight total field goals made by the Wolves—and finished with game-high 13 points. She was later named the District 6 senior athlete of the year.

"Both teams got into some critical foul trouble that first half," Thielges said. "Benz was on the bench with three, and Megan and Halle were on the bench with three for us.

"When you don't have those key players on the floor, you shouldn't expect a lot of scoring. But I thought both teams did a pretty good job weathering that storm of not having some of your leading scorers out there."

Megan Moser and Jadyn Pollert each scored a team-high 11 points in the contest for the Thunder. Pollert, a 6-foot senior center, buried one from beyond the 3-point arc late in the first half.

Allen and the 6-3 Uehran each scored six points. Brittany Rath scored 12 for the Wolves, who'll play fourth-ranked Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier (19-3) in Monday's Region 3 quarterfinals.

The Thunder will look to make regional semifinal night for a third consecutive season with a win over Oakes. M-P-B handled the Tornadoes 64-29 in Pingree on Jan. 27.

"Oakes is a young, improved team," Thielges said. "(Oakes coach) Don Warren is doing a good job with them, and it's tournament time. You never know what's going to happen."

District 6 Girls Basketball Tournament

In Hazelton


(2) Medina-Pingree-Buchanan 43, (RV) Kidder County 29

KC 3 14 21 29

MPB 4 14 25 43

KC—Grace Benz 13, Brittany Rath 12, Jaslyn Magstadt 3, Katie Silbernagel 1. Totals: 8 FG, 10-15 FT, 11 fouls. 3-pointers: Benz 2, Rath.

MPB—Megan Moser 11, Jadyn Pollert 11, Amanda Allen 6, Halle Uehran 6, Lauren Moser 5, Taylor Sabinash 4. Totals: 17 FG, 4-4 FT, 16 fouls. 3-pointers: Allen 2, M. Moser, Pollert, L. Moser.

Records: MPB 19-2. KC 15-6.

Region 3 qualifiers

Linton-HMB 37, South Border 36

SB 6 17 27 36

LHMB 13 18 30 37

SB—Emily St. Aubin 10, Faith Dockter 9, Katie Schmidt 8, Rachel Rueb 6, Nicole Schmidt 3. Totals: 13 FG, 6-7 FT, 11 fouls. 3-pointers: K. Schmidt 2, N. Schmidt.

LHMB—Cassie Gefroh 13, Erica Umber 7, Teegan Scherr 6, Mya Vetter 6, JayCee Richter 3, MaKayla Ptacek 2. Totals: 15 FG, 2-8 FT, 10 fouls. 3-pointers: Scherr 2, Gefroh, Vetter, Richter.

Records: LHMB 10-12. SB 9-12.

Napoleon-G-S 50, Strasburg-Zeeland 26

SZ 7 9 16 26

NGS 15 34 43 50

SZ—Madison Vander Vorst 14, Peyton Vander Vorst 10, Shelby Vander Vorst 2. Totals: 11 FG, 2-4 FT, 14 fouls. 3-pointers: M. Vander Vorst 2.

NGS—Alexa Young 14, MaKenzie Heflin 7, Megan Regner 6, Brianna Regner 5, Kaylin Weigel 5, Sydney Kleingartner 4, Ashley Schmitt 3, Bailey Heflin 3, McKenzie Glatt 2, Kourtney Bitz 1. Total: 20 FG, 7-14 FT, 6 fouls. 3-pointers: M. Regner, B. Regner, Weigel.

Records: NGS 10-12. SZ 1-19.

Tournament awards

All-District Team

Grace Benz, KC; Halle Uehran, MPB; Katie Schmidt, SB; Mackenzie Heflin, NGS; Megan Moser, MPB; Madelyn Schmidt, KC; Faith Dockter, SB; Jaslyn Magstadt, KC; Amanda Allen, MPB; Kaylin Weigel, NGS.

Senior athlete of the year: Grace Benz, KC.

Athletic director of the year: Brent Kleinsasser, SZ.

Coach of the year: Jason Schmidt, SB.

Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

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