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Entering the first day of the 2012 Barnes County Girls Basketball Tournament at W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse, Valley City High School coach Jim McDaniel had his team focus heavily on both fundamentals and staying consistent with them throughout the game.
By the end of the Hi-Linersâ€™ 62-22 tournament opening win over Barnes County North, he was pleased.
â€śI thought all four quarters, we offensively did what we were supposed to do. We ran our offenses,â€ť McDaniel said. â€śDefensively, I thought we did a nice job pressuring the ball, making it hard for them to make it for them to get good, easy looks.â€ť
Though the Hi-Liners struggled in the opening minutes, they eventually had a 15-4 lead at the end of the first quarter and never led up. They allowed only nine points in the first three quarters against a much younger and undersized Bison team.
First-year BCN coach Brett Thielges said his team understood that they might struggle against Valley City, which had the best record in Class A basketball until last week.
â€śItâ€™s a game weâ€™re playing against obviously a better, bigger, stronger opponent than we are, so we came in with the mindset that we needed to work on what we needed to work on,â€ť Thielges said.
For the Bison, one of the main focuses was turnovers, which was a tough task against Valley City, who worked a pressure defense that forced 19 turnovers and nabbed eight steals in the first half, many of which gave the Hi-Liners fast break opportunities.
BCN had a goal of limiting themselves to 30 turnovers, and cut back in the second half to allow only 11 more, narrowly achieving the goal.
The Hi-Liners otherwise had shared scoring amongst the teamâ€™s regular rotational players. Jessica Denholm and Dierra Diegel led the Hi-Liners with 15 points, and Dierra also grabbed seven rebounds, six offensive. Danica Diegel contributed 10 points and Madison Taylor led the Hi-Liners with eight rebounds.
Sam Wieland led Barnes County North with eight points and Calby Hanson had seven.
The Hi-Liners advance to the championship semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday where theyâ€™ll play Sargent Central. A win will advance the Hi-Liners to the BCT championship for the third straight year.
BCN will play district opponent LaMoure/Litchville-Marion Friday at 3 p.m. in the consolation semifinals.
Maple Valley 61, Griggs County Central 28
The sixth-ranked and second-seeded Maple Valley girls basketball team was sluggish early in its Barnes County Tournament opener, but once the Raiders got going they were hard to stop.
The Raiders led 10-6 after the first quarter, but then found their stride in the middle two quarters, scoring 39 points in the to set the pace in a 61-28 win over Griggs County Central.
â€śWe came out a little sloppy and we looked a little tired,â€ť said Maple Valley coach Jeff Miller. â€śAt halftime we told them to pick up the aggressiveness, play hard man-to-man, and it came out pretty well.
â€śI canâ€™t be disappointed in a win like that.â€ť
Though the Raiders seemed a step off early, they limited Griggs to six points in three of the four quarters. It advances the Raiders, who won the BCT last year, to the championship semifinals of the tournament. Theyâ€™ll play Enderlin at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Griggs will play Finley-Sharon/Hope-Page at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the consolation semifinals.
Rylee Nudell led the way for the Raiders, getting 24 points, including 10 free throws. She also grabbed seven rebounds and seven assists, both of which were team highs. Cassie Pautz had 16 points, including two 3-pointers.
Griggs was led by Kendra Woodstead, who had 10 points, and Alexis Savre with seven.
The Cougars had success on the boards, out-rebounding Maple Valley 36-32, but the Raiders shot 40 percent from the floor in the game, including 9-20 in the second half.
Sargent Central 46, LaMoure/L-M 38
LaMoure/Litchville-Marion struggled at times in a 46-38 loss to Sargent Central.
The Loboes led the game 12-11 after the first quarter, but the Cadets had a 10-0 run in the first four minutes of the second quarter to take a lead that they never lost.
The run started on free throws by Rane Nelson, then continued on 3-pointers from Tiffany Beaver and Jamie Mlnarik, before another long two-pointer put the Cadets up 21-12.
LLM used balanced play to work back into the game, getting a 3-pointer from Abby Warcken and a layup from Kennedy Witt, and points from Talitha Hirschkorn and Tasha Piehl to narrow the deficit to 26-22 by halftime.
Out of the half, the Loboes struggled to find offense and scored only five points in the third quarter, allowing Sargent Central to up the lead to 36-27 after the third.
â€śWe played very inconsistently,â€ť said LLM coach Mitch Carlson. â€śThatâ€™s one of our drawbacks right now is we play well at times and we play inconsistent at times.â€ť
Carlson said he wasnâ€™t concerned about the offensive issues of the third quarter but hoped his team would improve on its rebounds. Though the Loboes had only seven total rebounds less than Sargent Central, they allowed 20 offensive boards from the Cadets.
â€ś20 offensive second chances are way too many,â€ť Carlson said.
Sargent Central had balanced scoring, with only five players scoring, but all five getting at least eight points. Hannah Schlecht led the Cadets with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Nelson had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
LLM plays Barnes County North Friday at 3 p.m. in a consolation semifinal at 3 p.m. Sargent Central will play Valley City at 6 p.m. in the championship semifinals.
Enderlin 69, FSHP 39
Enderlin junior Megan Johnson played one of the best offensive games of the tournament, leading the Eagles in a 69-39 win over Finley-Sharon/Hope-Page.
Johnson finished the tournament opener one assist shy of a triple double. She had 23 points, finishing 11-12 from the field with a free throw, 10 rebounds, and nine assists in 23 minutes of play.
It was part of an offensive attack that helped the Eagles advance to championship semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. Friday, when theyâ€™ll play Maple Valley. FSHP will play Griggs County Central at 4:30 p.m. in the consolation semifinals.
The Eagles scored 41 points in the first half, the most of any team in this yearâ€™s tournament and continued rolling in the second half scoring 18 points in the third quarter and 10 more in the fourth. They never allowed more than 13 points scored against them in a quarter.
In addition to Johnson, Enderlin got 18 points from Krista Thielges.
Madison Koenig, who had 19 points, and Chauna Ihry, who had eight points, led FSHP.Â