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Thunder crowned Stutsman tourney champs

Motivation wasn't an issue for the Medina-Pingree-Buchanan girls basketball team on Saturday. One year removed from falling to Carrington in the championship game of the Stutsman County tournament, the Thunder made sure a similar fate wouldn't be...

Medina-Pingree-Buchanan's Brooke Krapp (left) holds off Ellendale's Kennedy Schimke during Saturday's championship game of the Stutsman County tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner/The Sun
Medina-Pingree-Buchanan's Brooke Krapp (left) holds off Ellendale's Kennedy Schimke during Saturday's championship game of the Stutsman County tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner/The Sun

Motivation wasn't an issue for the Medina-Pingree-Buchanan girls basketball team on Saturday.

One year removed from falling to Carrington in the championship game of the Stutsman County tournament, the Thunder made sure a similar fate wouldn't be suffered in the this year's title tilt at the Jamestown Civic Center.

Fresh legs and a suffocating full-court press didn't allow the Ellendale Cardinals much of a chance. M-P-B limited the Cardinal offense to just eight field goals in the game-four in each half-and cruised to the title 49-27 over Ellendale.

"Last year we were here, but we wanted to be No. 1 this year," M-P-B senior guard Brooke Krapp said. "We just played hard, we played for each other, and that's what won the game."

Krapp put the exclamation mark on a 9-0 Thunder run to start the second period with her second 3-pointer of the contest, which handed M-P-B a 22-11 lead with 4 minutes, 56 seconds left to play in the half.

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Ellendale never had the opportunity to catch back up. The Thunder produced 16 steals and forced the Cards into 22 turnovers and 8-of-32 shooting from the field.

"We kinda just focus on getting the traps, knowing where to go and just being there," Krapp said. "When a girl gets in trouble, we're there and we want to make sure we get that trap."

The Thunder also didn't allow too many second chances, holding Ellendale to just two offensive rebounds in the second half. Wave after wave of players kept attacking the Cardinals, as 10 Thunder athletes recorded close to 10 minutes of playing time.

"I didn't know how our legs were going to be, and how we were going to score offensively, being it was our third game in three days and early in the season," M-P-B coach Brett Thielges said. "Obviously our depth helps, and I'm able to rotate enough players in and keep that constant pressure coming.

"Today I think we did a better job of pressuring without fouling. We were able to create not necessarily turnovers, but bad shots on the other end."

M-P-B also did an excellent job of neutralizing Ellendale senior standout Isabel Wedell. Wedell was held to 11 points and eight rebounds, and she was held scoreless in the final period.

"(M-P-B) really came ready to play," Ellendale coach Rachel Land said. "Our girls were prepared. They knew what was coming, but today the ball didn't fall for us and our offense was hard to come by.

"We'll bounce back," Land added. "We get LaMoure on Tuesday."

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M-P-B senior forward Madi Moldenhauer led her team in scoring for the third straight game with 19 points on Saturday. Moldenhauer averaged over 17 points and four steals in the tournament.

"Madi deserved that all-tournament team. She puts forward a lot of effort," Thielges said. "She's becoming a real leader on our team and that's great to see."

As a team, M-P-B averaged just over 19 steals per game in the tournament and forced opponents into an average of 26 turnovers. The Thunder also took home the tournament's free-throw award, converting 31-of-44 from the stripe for 70 perecent.

"Credit to our girls, they knew they had to bring some defensive pressure, and I think losing last year in this game had a little bit of a bitter taste," said Thielges, who earned his first tournament victory as a coach.

An intriguing winter of basketball now awaits M-P-B (4-2), as the team's identity became more clear over its three days in the Buffalo City.

"We just gotta keep working hard and focusing on what needs to get done, because we still have a lot to do," Krapp said. "There's a lot of tough teams that are out there in our region."

Stutsman County Invitational Girls Basketball Tournament

At Jamestown Civic Center

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Saturday

Championship

Medina-Pingree-Buchanan 49, Ellendale 27

Ellendale 11 16 23 27

Medina-P-B 13 27 37 49

Ellendale-Isabel Wedell 11, Brooke Boehm 6, Kaitlyn Schimke 4, Josie Henningsen 3, Macy Young 2, Megan Roehl 1. Totals: 8-32 FG, 3-pointers: 1-11 (Henningsen 1), 10-16 FT, 22 Rebounds (Wedell 8), 13 Fouls, 4 Assists, 22 Turnovers, 3 Blocks, 12 Steals.

Medina-P-B-Madi Moldenhauer 19, Megan Moser 7, Brooke Krap 6, Hall Uehran 4, Jaydn Pollert 4, Jordan Thomas 4, Jaycee Moldenhauer 4, Lauren Moser 1. 19-42 FG, 3-pointers: 3-8 (Brooke Krapp 2, M. Moser 1), 8-12 FT, 29 Rebounds (Thomas 10), 17 Fouls, 10 Assists, 19 Turnovers, 5 Blocks (Uehran 4), 16 Steals.

Records: M-P-B 4-2; Ellendale 2-3.

Tournament Awards

Sportsmanship Award: South Border

Free-throw Award: Medina-Pingree-Buchanan, 31-of-44 (70 percent)

Coach of the Tournament: Rachel Land, Ellendale

All-Tournament Team: Isabel Wedell, Ellendale; Maara Nelson, Carrington; Olivia Anderson, E-K-M; Katie Entzi, E-K-M; Alyssa Nishek, Ellendale; Madi Moldenhauer, M-P-B; Kayla Rohr, South Border; Haley Hewitt, Carrington; Katelyn Long, N-G-S; Taylor Sabinash, Midkota; Jordan Thomas, M-P-B.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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