Ellendale's Scott Wagner scored two points in the first half Saturday at the Jamestown Civic Center, and the Cardinals are the 2021 Stutsman County tournament champions.

Facing one of the state's more physical and larger lineups in ninth-ranked Edgeley/Kulm/Montpelier, the 6-foot-7 Wagner came alive after the break to add 15 points to a game-high 15 rebounds in a gritty 45-41 victory over the previously unbeaten Rebels.

"I haven't had competition like that all year," Wagner said. "First half I felt it, second half I had to come out and understand that's gonna be the contact every single time we play them."

Alex Huber of Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier is up against a defensive wall of Ellendale players consisting of Chance Durheim (21), Levi Reis (14) and Scott Wagner (52) while playing in the Stutsman County tournament championship game Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Alex Huber of Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier is up against a defensive wall of Ellendale players consisting of Chance Durheim (21), Levi Reis (14) and Scott Wagner (52) while playing in the Stutsman County tournament championship game Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The District 5 rivals beat each other up for 32 minutes. Wagner was held to 1 of 6 from the field in a first half that ended tied at 21-21, and the Rebels were forced to make adjustments defensively all game with 6-7 Chayse Entzi battling foul trouble.

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Entzi played just nine minutes, collecting a fourth foul 30 seconds into the third and eventually fouling out with EKM leading 37-36 with three minutes remaining in quarter No. 4.

EKM's Alex Huber and Jorgen Paulson largely took turns battling with Wagner in the post after the half, and the Rebels nearly survived had it not been for a couple of key outside shots made by Ellendale down the stretch.

Sophomore Riley Thorpe's fourth 3-pointer of the night flipped the score 39-38 Ellendale with 2:30 to play, and sophomore Levi Reis splashed home a dagger from deep 30 seconds later to score his only three points of the night. Ellendale led 42-40 at that point, with Wagner scoring Ellendale's final three: a field goal against Huber in the paint and 1 of 2 at the foul line.

Ellendale coach Brian Vance was happy with his team's possessions in the fourth quarter. Thorpe's 3 in the corner was set up by a drive into the lane by Reis.

"Our goal is we want to go inside-out," Vance said. "It doesn't have to go into Scotty, but when Levi penetrated and kicked that one 3 out, that's an inside-out to us.

"Levi is a shooter, but right now he's kind of in a little bit of a funk. He's a very emotional kid and we just gotta get him to have the confidence that he's gotta hit that one because now everybody knows Riley."

Adam Nitschke (15) of Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier is under attack by Eric Blondo (33) of Ellendale while playing in the Stutsman County tournament championship game Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Adam Nitschke (15) of Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier is under attack by Eric Blondo (33) of Ellendale while playing in the Stutsman County tournament championship game Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Thorpe had a breakout-type tournament, converting 11 of 19 3-pointers and scoring 37 points over the first two nights. The sophomore struggled a little more against the Rebels, converting 4 of 10 from outside the arc for 12 points.

Wagner converted 22 of 34 from the field and paired 52 points with 37 rebounds over the three games in Jamestown, but the Rebels were able to shut him and the Cardinals' offense down for most of the first half Saturday. Thorpe hit a pair of treys in a first half in which neither team led by more than six.

"We missed Scotty, a lot," Vance said. "He was there, but EKM put good pressure on us and so our guards were a little frustrated and couldn't see the floor as well as what we needed, to be able to see Scotty when he is open."

The Rebels had the final 20 seconds to try and force overtime down 44-41, but what looked like an attempt to get Huber the ball in the left corner resulted in and Paxton Mathern miss from the top of the key. Wagner rebounded the ball and was fouled, making the game's final point at the line.

Mathern and Paulson were both unable to connect on decent attempts from 3 in the final frame. The Rebels converted just 4 of 20 3-pointers attempted and shot less than 30% overall (13 of 45).

"We tried to make a few adjustments at halftime in regards to what we were gonna attack and how we were gonna attack it, but the bottom line is you just gotta make open looks," said EKM coach Kevin Strobel. "They put a lot of pressure on Alex, which was expected, and we need a couple other kids to make a shot. We just gotta continue to look and shoot that with confidence."

Ellendale's Scott Wagner and Chayse Entzi (34) of Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier are all locked up after coming down from a rebound Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, during the  Stutsman County tournament championship game at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Ellendale's Scott Wagner and Chayse Entzi (34) of Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier are all locked up after coming down from a rebound Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, during the Stutsman County tournament championship game at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Huber finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Rebels, who fell to 6-1, defeated Ellendale in overtime to win last year's Stutsman County tournament.

"Give (Ellendale) a lot of credit, they made us work for everything we got," Strobel said. "It's early."

Ellendale improved to 5-1 and added a little swagger to its step.

"We now have a target on our back and we have to prove that we beat a good team," Wagner said.

CHAMPIONSHIP

Ellendale 45, (9) Edgeley/Kulm/Montpelier 41

ELL 6 15 11 13 -- 45

EKM 8 13 12 8 -- 41

ELL -- Scott Wagner 17, Riley Thorpe 12, Wyatt Henningson 9, Eric Blondo 4, Levi Reis 3. Totals: 17-46 FG, 6-18 3-pointers (Thorpe 4, Reis, Henningson), 5-12 FT, 34 Rebounds (Wagner 15), 18 Fouls, 5 Assists, 11 Turnovers, 1 Block, 1 Steal.

EKM -- Alex Huber 13, Paxton Mathern 8, Dalton Madcke 7, Adam Nitschke 6, Jorgen Paulson 5, Chayse Entzi 2. Totals: 13-45 FG, 4-20 3-pointers (Mathern 2, Paulson, Huber), 24 Rebounds (Huber 10), 14 Fouls (Entzi), 6 Assists (Mathern 3), 5 Turnovers, 7 Blocks (Paulson 3, Entzi 3), 6 Steals (Paulson 3).

Records: Ellendale 5-1. EKM 6-1.

All-Tournament Team

Hunter Gronneberg, GCM; Hayden Schmitz, Carrington; Riley Thorpe, Ellendale; Lucas Hendrickson, Carrington; Trent Erbele, NGS; Chayse Entzi, EKM; Jorgen Paulson, EKM; Joshua Moser, MPB; Jayden Rath, KC; Scott Wagner, Ellendale; Alex Huber, EKM.

Third place

Carrington 49, Griggs-Midkota 44

CAR 11 13 10 15 -- 49

GM 15 12 3 14 -- 44

CAR -- Hudson Schmitz 17, Hudson Topp 10, Grady Shipman 8, Cole Seaburg 5, Lucas Hendrickson 4, Jack Erickson 3, Tate Larsen 2. Totals: 15-46 FG, 5-16 3-pointers (Schmitz 3, Topp 2), 14-22 FT, 36 Rebounds (Schmitz 9), 16 Fouls, 4 Assists, 12 Turnovers, 2 Blocks, 3 Steals.

GM -- Jaxon Gronneberg 16, Hunter Gronneberg 11, Tanner Haugen 10, Tavon Stadler 4, Carter Spitzer 3. Totals: 15-54 FG, 4-15 3-pointers (J. Gronneberg 3, Spitzer), 10-21 FT, 38 Rebounds (H. Gronneberg 13, Haugen 10), 17 Fouls (H. Gronneberg), 0 Assists, 10 Turnovers, 1 Block, 4 Steals.

Records: Carrington 3-5. Griggs-Midkota 2-5.

Fifth place

Napoleon/Gackle-Streeter 53, Medina/Pingree-Buchanan 45

NGS 6 13 17 17 -- 53

MPB 13 14 12 6 -- 45

NGS -- Kayden Sperle 16, Trenton Erbele 12, Jaxcen Glatt 10, Ethan Johnson 9, Payton Haas 2, Jordan Kuipers 2, Dylan Kuipers 2. Totals: 17-47 FG, 2-16 3-pointers (Johnson, Sperle), 17-19 FT, 24 Rebounds (Erbele 12), 5 Assists, 6 Turnovers, 3 Blocks (Johnson 2), 9 teals (J. Kuipers 3).

MBP -- Rylen Wick 20, Josh Moser 14, Alec Horn 8, Sawyer Wanzek 3. Totals: 17-41 FG, 7-15 3-pointers (Wick 4, Moser 2, Wanzek), 4-6 FT, 30 Rebounds (Moser 8), 14 Fouls (Moser), 1 Assist, 11 Turnovers, 3 Blocks (Moser 2), 6 Steals (Wick 3).

Records: Napoleon/GS 4-6. Medina/PB 3-2.

Seventh place

Kidder County 61, South Border 34

KC 19 13 19 10 -- 61

SB 4 9 2 19 -- 34

KC -- Payton Cauthon 18, Jayden Rath 17, Jonah Harter 14, Luke Rath 4, Jace Larson 2, Brock Nicholson 2, Wyatt Miller 2, Blake Braun 2. Totals: 25-52 FG, 2-11 3-pointers (J. Rath 2), 9-18 FT, 26 Rebounds (J. Rath 6), 7 Fouls, 4 Assists, 5 Turnovers, 2 Blocks, 14 Steals (Cauthon 5).

SB -- Luke Scherbenske 8, Kaden Bader 6, Zach St. Aubin 5, Conner Kosiak 5, Seth Wolf 4, Colton Martz 2, Trevor Schmidt 2, Kaleb Thiery 2. Totals: 13-38 FG, 3-6 3-pointers (Kosiak, Bader 2), 5-6 FT, 24 Rebounds (Scherbenske 6), 15 Fouls, 2 Assists, 21 Turnovers, 3 Steals.

Records: Kidder Co. 3-4. South Border 0-7.

Class B Boys Basketball

Stutsman County Tournament

Thursday, Jan. 7

G1: Edgeley/Kulm/Montpelier 62, South Border 26.

G2: Griggs-Midkota 47, Medina/Pingree-Buchanan 38.

G3:Carrington 63, Kidder County 58 (OT)

G4: Ellendale 60, Napoleon/Gackle-Streeter 36

Friday, Jan. 8

G5: Medina/PB 57, South Border 47.

G6: Napoleon/GS 58, Kidder Co. 52

G7: Edgeley/KM 58, Griggs-Midkota 30

G8: Ellendale 63, Carrington 28

Saturday, Jan. 9

Seventh place: Kidder County 61, South Border 34

Fifth place: Napoleon/GS 53, Medina/PB 45

Third place: Carrington 49, Griggs-Midkota 44

Championship: Ellendale 45, Edgeley/KM 41