The Valley City High School girls basketball team extended its season Saturday with a 69-65 win over Devils Lake in a play-in for the Eastern Dakota Conference regional basketball tournament.
But Mother Nature had other plans for the tournament, which was originally scheduled to start last night.
Due to incoming storms Tuesday night, the tournament’s opening round Tuesday was postponed. That included the Hi-Liners’ tournament opening game at West Fargo, which was rescheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday in West Fargo.
As a result, the entire tournament will be played in three straight days, with semi-finals and an elimination game Friday, followed by state qualifying games Saturday.
“Now it ends up where every team is going to play three games three nights in a row,” Valley City coach Jim McDaniel said. “It affects everybody, so I don’t know if it’s going to be too big of a deal.”
Despite getting two more days before the game, McDaniel wasn’t planning on doing much more preparation.
The team had a shoot-around Tuesday night but McDaniel said he wanted his team more focused on being sharp for Thursday’s game against the tournament’s top seed. The Packers enter the game with only one loss this season.
“Our mistakes are going to have to be at a minimum,” McDaniel said.
The teams have played each other twice this season. The Hi-Liners lost 53-33 to West Fargo to open the season, and lost 69-56 in January.
McDaniel said Valley City held its own until the end in both games.
“We’ve been able to hang kind of close,” he said.
As the season went on, the Hi-Liners have discovered their strengths and weaknesses. In order to succeed, McDaniel said his team will have to get off to a quick start and run the floor.
“The games where we’ve played well, those things have been happening,” he said, noting that the Hi-Liners’ strength lies in their ability to play in transition.
“We’re just not as capable as a team like West Fargo to get into a halfcourt game,” he said. “We do our best when our transition game is up and back.”
That said, the Packers will bring a tight defensive press, which McDaniel said his team will have to deal with right from the start.
He said his team will have to avoid turnovers and avoid easy fouls.
That said, McDaniel hopes his team isn’t feeling pressure, but rather the opposite.
“Any four teams really can come out of the EDC (into the state tournament),” he said. “I hope we can just relax, get into our game and make something happen.”