Medina/Pingree-Buchanan girls basketball coach Cory Mack wasn't exactly thrilled with his Thunder out of the gate during Thursday's opening round of the Stutsman County girls basketball tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center.

The Thunder trailed Edgeley/Kulm/Montpelier 10-5 after eight minutes before coming together in a convincing 62-38 victory. Possibly as a result, MPB looked shot out of a cannon in Friday's semifinal against Ellendale.

Thunder senior Megan Moser recorded 6 of 11 MPB steals in the first half, as the Thunder scored 20 of 34 first-half points off turnovers in a 55-25 victory over the Cardinals. MPB led 48-21 after three quarters, and starters Moser, Brittney Reister and Gracie Bohl watched the entirety of the fourth quarter from the Thunder sideline after getting after it early.

MPB will play Carrington in Saturday's championship game at 6:30 p.m.

"He just said that we need to come out stronger and have our defense be better and start out that way," said Moser of coach Mack's words of post-quarterfinal wisdom. "I think we came a little more prepared and we knew our defense could set the tone for the rest of the game."

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Medina-Pingree-Buchanan's Megan Moser makes a drive to the basket Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, during the Stutsman County Invitational at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Medina-Pingree-Buchanan's Megan Moser makes a drive to the basket Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, during the Stutsman County Invitational at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Moser led a balanced MPB offense with 12 points, while also filling the stat sheet with seven steals and five rebounds. The standout Medina High School athlete committed to play college volleyball at the University of Jamestown last month.

Moser was selected to the Class B all-state volleyball team this past fall and entered the girls basketball season having scored over 1,000 career points. Moser played an integral part in MPB's road to the Region 3 girls basketball tournament championship in 2017-18. The Thunder went on to finish third at the state tournament that year, Moser's sophomore season.

"I really have more of a passion for (volleyball), so I knew that I wanted to pursue that and just make a decision and get it off my chest," Moser explained. "But I love both."

A pair of Moser steals out of the gate led to a Bohl layup in transition and an Allison Thomas 3-pointer, part of a 7-0 run by the Thunder to start Friday's game facing Ellendale. MPB led 14-5 after the opening eight minutes and pushed the advantage to 20 with 2:53 remaining in the half following a 14-2 run capped by a Moser 3-pointer.

Medina-Pingree-Buchanan's Alison Thomas looks to pass the ball Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, during the Stutsman County Invitational at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Medina-Pingree-Buchanan's Alison Thomas looks to pass the ball Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, during the Stutsman County Invitational at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Bohl, and sophomore starting forward Ryleigh Martin, each scored 10 points for the Thunder. Martin notched four offensive rebounds, leading to six of MPB's 15 second-chance points.

Ellendale, suffering its first loss of the season (1-4), scored just 10 points in the second half. Senior guard Calli Hauck led the way with 10 points tossed in during the game.

The Thunder will be playing in a sixth consecutive Stutsman County tournament championship game on Saturday. MPB has just one title in that span, coming when Moser was an eighth-grader in December 2015.

MPB (3-0) lost to Carrington for the tourney title last season, the same team that beat the Thunder for the crown in 2016 and 2014.

Carrington (3-0) defeated Midkota 67-35 in Friday's second semifinal game.

"I think we've just got to be ready to go and be ready defensively," Moser said. "Just know that defense can win games and keep shooting till our shots come."

Semifinals

Medina/Pingree-Buchanan 55, Ellendale 25

MPB 14 20 14 7 -- 55

ELL 5 10 6 4 -- 25

MPB -- Megan Moser 12, Gracie Bohl 10, Ryleigh Martin 10, Allison Thomas 9, Brittney Reister 6, Paige Gefroh 2, Isabel Schmidt 2, Gracie Gunderson 2, Kalen Kinzell 2. Totals: 22-46 FG, 3-12 3-pointers (Thomas 2, Moser), 8-13 FT, 28 Rebounds (Reister 7), 10 Fouls, 3 Assists, 13 Turnovers, 15 Steals (Moser 7).

ELL -- Calli Hauck 10, Abigail Molan 5, Jada Henningsen 5, Morgan Fischer 3, Abigail Peterson 2. Totals: 10-33 FG, 4-7 3-pointers (Hauck 2, Henningsen, Peterson), 16 Rebounds (Mackenzie Thorpe 5), 12 Fouls, 2 Assists, 21 Turnovers, 1 Block, 5 Steals (Molan 2).

Records: MPB 3-0. Ellendale 3-1.

Carrington 67, Midkota 35

CAR 20 18 14 15 -- 67

MID 4 12 11 15 -- 35

CAR -- Hannah Hagel 19, Addison Hoornaert 14, Kiera Eli 12, Sydnie Grager 6, Marah Schmitz 5, Kenzie Edland 5, Tessa Page 2, Lexus Page 2, Ella Nowatzki 2. Totals: 29-68 FT, 3-15 3-pointers (Eli 2, Schmitz), 6-10 FT, 40 Rebounds (Hagel 12), 12 Fouls, 11 Assists (Hoornaert 5), 9 Turnovers, 2 Blocks, 15 Steals (L. Page 5).

MID -- Brenna Anderson 11, Meanda Rickford 7, Emma Kollman 5, Nicole Beckley 6, Hunter Petersen 4, Tara Otto 2. Totals: 13-38 FG, 2-7 3-pointers (Anderson, Kollman), 7-11 FT, 21 Rebounds (Rickford 6), 7 Fouls, 4 Assists, 23 Turnovers, 7 Steals (Petersen 3).

Records: Carrington 3-0. Midkota 2-3.

Consolation

Edgeley/Kulm/Montpelier 49, Napoleon/Gackle-Streeter 33

NGS 8 5 9 11 -- 33

EKM 18 13 8 10 -- 49

NGS -- Teagan Erbele 9, Kylie Beidenbach 5, Janae Weigel 4, Tanecia Kleppe 4, Sophie Ketterling 4, Courtney Thompson 2, McKenzie Glatt 2, Sydney Kleingartner 2, Kortney Bitz 1. Totals: 11-42 FG, 0-5 3-pointers, 11-17 FT, 35 Rebounds (Erbele 7, Kleppe 7), 21 Fouls, 1 Assist, 26 Turnovers, 9 Steals (Ketterling 3).

EKM -- Maren Berntson 25, Jocelynn Madcke 7, Jacy Entzi 6, Reagan Teske 3, Kiara Jangula 3, Emily Kinzler 2, Norah Entzi 2, Keyana Musland 1. Totals: 16-48 FG, 3-9 3-pointers (Jangula, J. Entzi, Madcke), 14-32 FT, 36 Rebounds (Berntson 14), 14 Fouls, 7 Assists, 14 Turnovers, 1 Block (Berntson), 16 Steals (Berntson 6).

Records: EKM 1-3. NGS 0-4.

South Border 36, Warwick 24

WAR 1 4 9 10 -- 24

SB 6 10 9 11 -- 36

WAR -- Hilary Archambault 8, Sunnie Belgarde 5, Sandra Mattson 4, Jayla Alberts 2, Bethany Brown 2, Sarah Anderson 2, Genevieve Little 1. Totals: 10-40 FG, 2-7 3-pointers (Archambault 2), 2-7 FT, 26 Rebounds (Anderson 8), 10 Fouls, 2 Assists, 20 Turnovers, 7 Steals (Belgarde 3).

SB -- Nicole Schmidt 9, Reagen Gross 9, Emily Jochim 7, Hannah Vangorkom 7, Alexa Ketterling 2, Kathryn Schneider 2. Totals: 14-56 FG, 1-9 3-pointers (Schmidt), 7-14 FT, 39 Rebounds (Jochim 10), 10 Fouls, 4 Assists (Schneider 2), 12 Turnovers, 1 Block, 16 Steals (Jochim 4).

Records: South Border 2-2. Warwick 0-5.

Girls Stutsman County Tournament

At Jamestown Civic Center

Dec. 12

G1: (D6/1) Medina/PB 62, (D5/4)Edgeley/KM, 38

G2: (D5/2) Ellendale 37, (D6/3) Napoleon/GS 29

G3: (D5/1) Carrington 74, (D6/4) Warwick 28

G4: (D5/3) Midkota 51, (D6/2) South Border 47

Dec. 13

G5: EKM 49, NGS 33

G6: South Border 36, Warwick 24

G7: MPB 55, Ellendale 25

G8: Carrington 67, Midkota 35

Dec. 14

Seventh place: NGS vs. Warwick, 2 p.m.

Fifth place: EKM vs. South Border, 3:30 p.m.

Third place: Ellendale vs. Midkota, 5 p.m.

Championship: MPB vs. Carrington, 6:30 p.m.