LaMoure-Litchville-Marion junior guard Ellie Holen stepped out of big sister Anna Holen's shadow this winter on the basketball court.
One season removed from Anna receiving the North Dakota Miss Basketball Award, Ellie has helped lead the Loboes back to the Region 3 tournament. Holen scored 14 points and recorded three steals Monday, Feb. 11, at the Jamestown Civic Center, as L-L-M put No. 8 Carrington on a bad night offensively.
The Loboes defeated the Cardinals 48-41 in the championship game of the District 5 girls basketball tournament, and will play South Border in the Region 3 quarterfinals at 6 p.m. next Monday, Feb. 18, back at the civic center.
"The plan going into the game was definitely defense," Holen said. "We knew if we scored we had to limit their scoring so that, you know, we'd pull out the W."
L-L-M used a 9-0 run during a low-scoring opening half to produce an 18-13 advantage after two quarters. Carrington converted just four field goals on 24 shots over the game's first 16 minutes, and finished 15 of 49 from the floor for just over 30 percent.
Carrington's leading scorer and District 5 senior athlete of the year, McKenzie Johnson, was held scoreless until 6:20 remained in the fourth quarter. Johnson ended the night with 5 points.
"I'm not sure if we had a real game plan on defense, it was just to play real solid, rugged man-to-man," L-L-M coach Mitch Carlson said. "The girls did a real good job. (Carrington's) a good offensive team.
"They had a couple of open looks that they missed, it was just fortunate for us. But that's part of the game too."
Holen and junior Kaylynn Siedschlag both hit clutch 3-pointers in the third, helping the Loboes hold steady leading 29-24 to begin the final 8 minutes. Siedschlag buried 4 of 6 treys in the game and scored a game-high 15 points.
Carrington junior Kiera Eli was the lone bright spot offensively for the Cards. She connected for a trio of 3-pointers, the last of which helped Carrington claw to within 1 at 34-33 with 4:24 remaining following a bucket in transition scored by Carrington's Lexus Page.
But another big 3 by Siedschlag and 9-for-12 shooting at the free-throw line down the stretch by the Loboes snapped a string of three straight District 5 tournament titles won by Carrington.
"Kiera came in and picked us up offensively and we got a spark," said Carrington coach Andy Braaten. "We just couldn't get over the hump."
Carrington is playing without junior forward Bella Hone, who played major minutes during Carrington's district title runs the past two seasons. Hone is dealing with a knee issue stemming from the volleyball season and her Region 3 tournament is up in the air.
Carrington will play Medina-Pingree-Buchanan on Monday at 4:30 p.m.
"It was a little inexperience ... but hand it to LaMoure," Braaten said. "They did the things that they had to do to take care of business."
L-L-M (18-4) made a statement during the tournament, also picking up a victory over Oakes (17-5) in the semifinals.
"I think they're finding their roles-they're finding where they fit on the team," Carlson said. "It's a good time for that to happen."
The Loboes defeated South Border, Monday's opponent, 52-36 on Feb. 1 in LaMoure.
"We played them late in the season," Holen said. "They've got some big posts so we've gotta really play them well and be ready for regions."
LaMoure-Litchville-Marion 48, (8) Carrington 41.
LLM 9 9 11 17 -- 48
CAR 6 7 11 19 -- 41
LLM-Kaylynn Siedschlag 15, Ellie Holen 14, Alli Hebl 9, Molly Musland 5, Olivia Bliss 3, Alyssa Ragan 2. Totals: 14-36 FG, 6-11 3-pointers (Siedschlag 4, Holen 2), 14-23 FT, 27 Rebounds (Bliss 8), 11 Fouls, 4 Assists, 15 Turnovers, 7 Steals (Holen 3).
CAR-Kiera Eli 9, Kadyn Mehring 8, Hannah Hagel 7, Addison Hoornaert 5, McKenzie Johnson 5, Marah Schmitz 5, Lexus Page 2. Totals: 15-49 FG, 8-21 3-pointers (Eli 3, Mehring 2, Hoornaert, Johnson, Schmitz), 3-4 FT, 31 Rebounds (Mehring 11), 20 Fouls, 7 Assists (Johnson 3), 14 Turnovers, 3 Blocks (Hagel 2), 9 Steals (Johnson 3).
Records: LaMoure-LM 18-4. Carrington 17-3
District 5 girls basketball awards
All-District honorees: Addison Hoornaert, Carrington; Clara Wieland, BCN; Ellie Holen, LLM; Kadyn Mehring, Carrington; Datelyn Dathe, Ellendale; McKenzie Johnson, Carrington; Nicole Schmitz, Oakes; Olivia Bliss, LLM; Payton Brandenburg, EKM; Sadie Hansen, Oakes.
Senior Athlete of the Year: McKenzie Johnson, Carrington.
Coach of the Year: Andy Braaten, Carrington.
Athletic Director of the Year: Lucas Isaacson, LaMoure-L-M.