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WIN AND IN: M-P-B tops L-L-M, advances to region title game

Medina-Pingree-Buchanan girls basketball has made opposing lives miserable all season defensively. The second-ranked Thunder did it again Tuesday in the semifinals of the Region 3 tournament. M-P-B was, for the most part, impenetrable facing sixt...

M-B-P player Amanda Allen (2) and L-L-M's Ellie Holen reach for the ball Tuesday during the Region 3 tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun
M-B-P player Amanda Allen (2) and L-L-M's Ellie Holen reach for the ball Tuesday during the Region 3 tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Medina-Pingree-Buchanan girls basketball has made opposing lives miserable all season defensively.

The second-ranked Thunder did it again Tuesday in the semifinals of the Region 3 tournament.

M-P-B was, for the most part, impenetrable facing sixth-ranked LaMoure-Litchville-Marion at the Jamestown Civic Center. The Thunder held the Loboes to 11 of 52 from the field-including 7 of 35 from 3-point range-in a 58-48 victory.

M-P-B moves on and will play fourth-ranked Carrington in the championship game Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

"In the locker room before the game, we really made it a point to make sure where (L-L-M's) shooters were, and I think that's what helped us a lot in the beginning," said M-P-B senior center Jadyn Pollert, whose monster night of 15 points, 14 rebounds and three steals led the Thunder.

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"When we turned on our zone, we knew where their shooters were and we got in their faces."

The Thunder couldn't have asked for a better start defensively. M-P-B forced the Loboes to the outside, where they missed all eight 3-point attempts they took in a first quarter won by the Thunder 12-2.

On the flip side, sophomore Megan Moser was feeling it for the Thunder. She converted 5 of 5 from the field, including a pair a triples, and scored 12 first-half points to help M-P-B soar to a 28-16 advantage at the half.

"Defensively, we've been there all year and I expect nothing less," M-P-B coach Brett Thielges said. "We grinded for stops when we needed them, but I'd prefer not to foul as much next time."

Of course, L-L-M and all-state senior guard Anna Holen made a charge after the break. Holen went 3 of 15 from beyond the arc on the night, but made 11 of 12 shots at the free-throw line in the final two quarters.

Holen finished with a game-high 28 points, which helped fuel a 17-2 run by the Loboes that cut the deficit to just 39-36 with 6 minutes, 44 seconds left to play in the fourth quarter.

"We were trying to keep her in front, but then we started to get away from that," Thielges said. "Anna is such a quality person. I know winners always seem to get the bad end of the stick, but I know her well enough and when she went through the line tonight I told her how much I appreciated her and loved her so much.

"You always wanna go up against great competitors, and she is a great competitor and that team is a great competitive team."

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But a big trey by M-P-B junior Amanda Allen-her only three points of the contest-and a bucket by Pollert helped push the Thunder lead back to nine at 50-41 with three minutes left in regulation.

Moser would foul out of the contest shortly thereafter without scoring in the second half. But by then the Thunder and caused enough damage to hold on for the win. Holen also fouled out in the final minute.

"It was a big hole to dig out of. We dug a ways out, but not enough," L-L-M coach Mitch Carlson said. "It was one of those things were we didn't attack their zone defense like we wanted to, and we didn't get a lot of open looks from the outside either.

"We knew three teams were going to be disappointed this week when the tournament was over."

M-P-B finally got past Region 3 semifinal night after falling to Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier in the final four in each of the past two seasons. But Carrington stands in the way of what would be the first trip to the Class B state girls basketball tournament for Medina.

"It feels amazing because we've been working hard all season for this," Pollert said. "No matter what happens we're all out there for one reason, and that's to play the sport that we love."

"We gotta be able to handle pressure, because we know what Carrington is gonna do," Thielges added. "There's no letdown in this region. We know that and we gotta come ready to play."

(2) Medina-Pingree-Buchanan 58, (6) LaMoure-Litchville-Marion 48

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LLM 2 16 28 48

MPB 12 28 39 58

LLM-Anna Holen 28, Ellie Holen 10, Jackie Meiklejohn 7, Kindra Hamlin 3. Totals: 11-52 FG, 19-26 FT, 7-35 3-pointers (A. Holen 3, E. Holen 1, Meiklejohn 2), 33 Rebounds (A. Holen 8), 18 Fouls (A. Holen), 2 Assists, 13 Turnovers, 10 Steals (A. Holen 4).

MPB-Jadyn Pollert 15, Megan Moser 12, Halle Uehran 11, Lauren Moser 10, Taylor Sabinash 5, Amanda Allen 3, Gracie Bohl 2. Totals: 19-39 FG, 15-21 FT, 5-10 3-pointers (M. Moser 2, L. Moser 2, Allen), 28 Rebounds (Pollert 14), 22 Fouls (M. Moser), 8 Assists (Uehran 3), 15 Turnovers, 4 Blocks (Uehran 3), 4 Steals (Pollert 3).

Records: MPB 21-2. LLM 20-3.

L-L-M's Ellie Holen, left, puts some pressure on M-P-B's Halle Uehran Tuesday during the Region 3 tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun
L-L-M's Ellie Holen, left, puts some pressure on M-P-B's Halle Uehran Tuesday during the Region 3 tournament at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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