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District 5 Girls Basketball Tournament opens on Feb. 11

The reigning champion Carrington Cardinals come in as the three seed.

MataeyaMathernEKM.jpg
Edgeley/Kulm/Montpelier's Mataeya Mathern (12) drives to the basket against Carrington's Madison Johnson (2) and Sydnie Grager (30) during the Rebels' 56-26 win in the Stutsman County tournament championship game on Dec. 11, 2021. Both teams will compete in the District 5 Girls Basketball Tournament in Jamestown.
Michael Savaloja / For The Jamestown Sun

The District 5 Girls' Basketball Tournament kicks off with seven teams in action including the No. 1-seeded Edgeley/Kulm-Montpelier Rebels at the Jamestown Civic Center from Friday, Feb.11, Saturday, Feb.12, and Monday, Feb.14.

The No. 2 seed is the Oakes Tornadoes (12-7). The challengers will have to work to unseat the reigning champions, the No. 3-seeded Carrington Cardinals (10-8). The first team that will get their crack at that is the Ellendale Cardinals at 7:30 p.m.

Earlier this season, the Rebels (18-1) took down Carrington in the Stutsman County Tournament Championship game. The Rebels and Cardinals were also joined by consolation champions Griggs-Midkota and fifth-place finishers Ellendale in their previous trip to the Civic Center.

The Rebels are coming into the tournament off a long break having finished the regular season with a win on Feb. 4. Head coach Rory Entzi said that's not the way the tournament is usually scheduled.

“It’s kind of unusual because we haven’t had this much practice time in quite some time, probably since the beginning of the season,” Entzi said. “So, we take each day, I’m trying to look at things and get prepared as we move forward to be ready for a lot of different scenarios. We’re still working on fundamentals this week and trying to stay sharp on the little things like rebounding and slowly trying to work towards a game plan for whoever we face on Saturday.”

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By virtue of being the top seed, the Rebels have a first-round bye, setting them up to face the winner of the Loboes-Titans game. As a result, Entzi is conflicted about the bye and how it simultaneously helps and hurts his team.

“I have mixed feelings about it,” Entzi said. “Granted, you have that day off but the other teams are playing on the court, kind of getting their feet underneath. So, you’re playing a team on Saturday in the semifinals and it’s a big game already, not that other games aren’t in the tournament but you’re jumping straight into the semifinal. So, it’s kind of good and bad. I think having the day is nice, your first game, though, is right in the fire. We’ll have to be ready without a doubt whoever we play.”

One of the unique challenges that Oakes head coach David Goetz has is that he is in his first year at the helm of the program.

“I think every day we learn, it's hard to pinpoint just one thing,” Goetz said. “I think we learn on a constant basis right along with the girls. No matter what, every coach, if we stop learning, it’s just like in education if we stop learning we really are not doing ourselves justice.

“I would say it’s constantly evolving into something new, understanding the girls and making sure that I am connecting with them as much as possible, being a new coach here," he said. "Probably, the biggest thing is learning to just work together and try the best that we can to get the girls to understand that; they are in a tough spot. I knew coming in that they are in a tough spot because I’m a new coach and I know I’m a very strict old coach but at the same time they have done real well at adjusting to that.”

Despite being the second seed, Goetz and his team will not be overlooking any of the teams at the tournament.

“You can't take anybody lightly," Goetz said. "At the same time, who do you fear? Everybody.”

Tournament schedule:

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Feb.11:

#1 E/K-M vs. Bye

#4 L/L-M vs. #5 Griggs-Midkota, 4:30 p.m.

#2 Oakes vs. #7 BCN, 6 p.m.

#3 Carrington vs. #6 Ellendale, 7:30 p.m.

Hello,
My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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