Beach wins 5th straight District 13 title
BOWMAN -- Before Beach head girls basketball coach Bob Waldal stepped foot in the locker room at halftime, he could hear chatter.
It was the kind of chatter a coach likes to hear.
The top-seeded Buccaneers were talking about fixable mistakes for the second half and the team's chatter turned into a 66-46 win in the District 13 Tournament championship against sixth-seeded Bowman County on Tuesday at Solberg Gymnasium.
"Our kids were talking in the locker room," Waldal said. "They were saying 'We need to do this, this and this.' When you got players communicating with each other, they are focused and they are talking about the right things."
The District 13 title marks Beach's fifth straight and gives them the district's No. 1 seed going into next week's Region 7 Tournament. They'll face District 14 No. 4 seed Beulah at 6 p.m. Monday, March 11 at Knights of Columbus Activities Center in Dickinson.
It also marked the first time in three years that Beach came into the District 13 Tournament unranked in the Class B poll. The Buccaneers (16-5) held the top-seed twice and were ranked No. 9 last year.
Though Beach was chatting during halftime, the team made a point of continuing to talk throughout the rest of the game. Defensively, Beach forced the Bulldogs into 19 turnovers and only committed six.
"We were talking about things that could help us win the game," Beach junior guard Bailey Waldal said. "Realizing that we have those little faults and bringing them up as a team and suggesting to play defense a certain way really helps everybody out."
The Buccaneers wasted no time jumping out to a comfortable double-digit lead and powered to a 36-17 halftime advantage.
Bailey Waldal scored 19 of her team-high 23 points in the first half. She also had a game-high 10 rebounds.
"We always have to come out strong," Bailey Waldal said. "In other games, we haven't come out strong and that's really put us behind. Moving the ball around made a lot of difference."
Beach's offense didn't slow down one bit as Hailee Farstveet added 21 points and Cydni Stedman supplied eight. As a team, the Buccaneers finished 25 of 71 (35 percent) from the field with 27 of those misses coming from 3-point range.
The game was a battle from the start and Bowman County got into the bonus with 2 minutes, 13 seconds left in the first quarter.
Bowman County finished 13 of 16 (81 percent) from the free-throw line, while Beach was 8 of 13 (62 percent).
"They did get into foul trouble and it kept our spirits up," said Bowman County senior post Kit Miller, who had a game-high 24 points and seven rebounds. "We just kept pushing hard."
Beach knew a strong start was needed, especially against Bowman County, which had run over teams by an average margin of 18 points during the first two games of the tournament despite entering with the lowest seed.
After Beach's defensively potent first half, the Bulldogs shot 11 of 24 (46 percent) from the field in the second half.
Haley Sabe supplied 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Bulldogs (12-10).
Bowman County also had a size advantage in the post, yet the Buccaneers held a 39-37 edge on the boards, including 24 offensive rebounds.
"We have to play defense, because we're not very big," Bob Waldal said. "Rebounding and everything is all hustle. I think that's something our kids do a nice job at."
Though Bowman County had its sights on knocking off the top three teams in the district, Miller said it will keep the team hungry for the Region 7 Tournament, where the team will play Killdeer, the No. 3 seed from District 14, at 4:30 p.m. next Monday.
"We've been on a high and we knew Beach was never going to be a walk in the park," Miller said. "Hopefully, we're planning to meet them again in the regional tournament."
BC 8 17 33 46
Beach 21 36 53 6
BC: Kit Miller 24, Haley Sabe 12, Brittany Hansey 5, Kaitlyn Dix 3, Justyce Duffield 2.
B: Bailey Waldal 23, Hailee Farstveet 21, Cydni Stedman 8, Ashlynn Dietz 6, Brookylnn Zachmann 4, Paige Rising 2, Chantel Fulton 2.
3-pointers: BC 1 (Sabe 1), B 8 (Farstveet 4, Waldal 2, Dietz 2). Free throws: BC 13-16, B 8-13. Total fouls: BC 13, B 16. Rebounds: BC 37 (Miller 7, Sabe 7), B 39 (Waldal 10). Assists: BC 14 (Sabe 6), B 15 (Farstveet 6). Steals: BC 2 (Miller 1), B 12 (Farstveet 4). Blocks: BC 0, B 1 (Farstveet 1). Turnovers: BC 19, B 6.
Heart River 54, Mott-Regent 48
Heart River built up a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter as senior guard Mary Hlebechuk supplied a game-high 25 points. The Cougars used Hlebechuk's effort en route to a win over No. 3-seed Mott-Regent.
Hlebechuk was named the District 13 Senior Athlete of the Year.
Though Heart River held a double-digit lead, Mott-Regent made it interesting as Naomi Meier made five 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 23 points and seven rebounds.
Karli Northrop added 12 points for the fourth-seeded Cougars, while Janessa Schmidt supplied a game-high 11 rebounds and four points.
The rest of the statistics were about even as Mott-Regent held the advantage in rebounds 38-35, though Heart River committed four less turnovers. The Cougars made 10 more trips to the free-throw line and finished 12 of 17 (71 percent) while the Wildfire were 1 of 7 (14 percent).
MR 12 24 34 48
HR 10 23 39 54
MR: Naomi Meier 23, Abby Honeyman 15, Marah Friez 4, McKayla Roll 4, Alyssa Olin 2.
HR: Mary Hlebechuk 25, Karli Northrop 12, Jada Mattson 8, Janessa Schmidt 4, Alex Poland 2, Jasmine Northrop 2, Jennifer Praus 1.
3-pointers: MR 5 (Meier 5), HR 4 (K. Northrop 2, Hlebechuk 2). Free throws: MR 1-7, HR 12-17. Total fouls: MR 20, HR 15. Fouled out: MR Olin, Honeyman. Rebounds: MR 38 (Honeyman 10), HR 35 (Schmidt 11). Assists: MR 14 (Olin 5), HR 14 (Poland 4). Steals: MR 8 (Roll 3), HR 8 (Northrop 3). Blocks: MR 3 (Honeyman 3), HR 1 (Praus 1). Turnovers: MR 17, HR 13.
Hettinger-Scranton 49, New England 41
The fifth-seeded Night Hawks used a 20-point fourth quarter to upset New England and reach the Region 7 Tournament.
The Night Hawks had two players in double figures en route to a 49-41 win over second-seeded New England.
Casey Joppa led Hettinger-Scranton with 13 points and three steals, while Kaitlin Reitz added 12 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists. Bailey Sadowsky posted nine points, five rebounds and four steals.
The Night Hawks forced the Tigers into 24 turnovers, which made up for getting outrebounded 32-16.
Gabbi Hanson led New England with 12 points, while Hannah Nordby supplied 11 while going 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. Bryanna Rasch added nine points.
New England head coach Jason Jung was named the district's Coach of the Year.
HS 9 18 29 49
NE 7 14 30 41
HS: Casey Joppa 13, Kaitlin Reitz 12, Bailey Sadowsky 9, Cassie Holt 8, Kaitlyn Olson 5, Rebecca Oase 2.
NE: Gabbi Hanson 12, Hannah Nordby 11, Bryanna Rasch 9, Taylor Hewson 4, Erin Volk 3, Ashley Plaggemeyer 2.
3-pointers: HS 3 (Joppa 2, Olson 1), NE 3 (Hanson 2, e. Volk 1). Free throws: HS 12-18, NE 10-11. Total fouls: HS 16, NE 16. Rebounds: HS 26 (Reitz 5), NE 32 (Nordby 10). Assists: HS 11 (Olson 4), NE 9 (Rasch 3). Steals: HS 16 (Reitz 4, Sadowsky 4), NE 9 (Nordby 3). Blocks: HS 2 (Joppa 2). Turnovers: HS 14, NE 24.
All-District 13 team
Hailee Farstveet, Jr., G, Beach; Marah Friez, Sr., G, Mott-Regent; Gabbi Hanson, Jr., F, New England; Mary Hlebechuk, Sr., G, Heart River; Abby Honeyman, Jr., F, Mott-Regent; Casey Joppa, So., F, Hettinger-Scranton; Hannah Nordby, Jr., F, New England; Karli Northrop, Jr., G, Heart River; Kaitlin Reitz, Jr., G, Hettinger-Scranton; Haley Sabe, Sr., G, Bowman County; Cydni Stedman, Jr., F, Beach; Bailey Waldal, Jr., G, Beach; Morgan Woodley, Jr., F, Bowman County.
Senior Athlete of the Year: Mary Hlebechuk, Heart River
Coach of the Year: Jason Jung, New England.