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No. 1-ranked Minot Ryan rolls past Thompson

FARGO - Thompson tried to counter Minot Ryan's size advantage on Friday, but nothing the Tommies put together made the Lions stumble.

Minot Ryan defeated Thompson 66-46 during the semifinals of the North Dakota Class B state girls basketball tournament at the Fargodome.

Ryan's pair of 6-foot-2 sophomore forwards Hannah Stewart and Gabbie Bohl thrived in the paint and accounted for 68 percent of the Lions' scoring.

Stewart finished with 24 points and nine rebounds, while Bohl tallied 21 points.

"We always look for that," Minot Ryan head coach Julie Stewart said of the Lions' inside attack. "Our guards do such a nice job distributing the basketball, and I thought the way we broke to the high-post area really opened things up for us."

No. 1-ranked Minot Ryan (26-0) plays No. 8-ranked Central Cass in the championship game set to begin at approximately 7 p.m. today at the Fargodome.

No. 4-ranked Thompson plays No. 3-ranked Napoleon in the third-place game at 5 p.m. today.

"They used their height against us in the first half," Thompson head coach Jason Brend said. "Not only in the half-court set, but they broke us down in transition as well. ... We had a hard time getting back on defense at times, and when we did they beat us over the top."

Shannon Galegher scored 11 points for the Tommies (24-3).

Thompson got to within eight points of Ryan early in the second half, but never got any closer.

The Lions rattled off an 11-3 run to start the fourth quarter and led 52-33 with 5 minutes, 40 seconds left.

"We tried to pull it together as a team," Hannah Stewart said. "We knew Thompson was a really good rebounding team, so we tried to box out and get those rebounds before they did. We also tried to keep our intensity up on defense as well, because that is what feeds into our offense."

Quinn Harmon added 13 points and five rebounds for the Lions, who have won 28 straight games dating back to last season.

Ryan's size advantage it has enjoyed against most of its opponents this season won't be there today against Squirrels who feature 6-foot-3 Faith Dooley and 5-foot-11 guard Hannah Breske.

"They know that Central Cass has girls that are 6-foot-3 tall, but it still comes down to fundamental basketball," Julie Stewart said.

It is Minot Ryan's first trip to the title game since 1993 when it defeated New Salem 40-39 for its lone championship in school history.

T 11 19 30 46

MR 16 28 41 66

THOMPSON (24-3): Galegher 3 4-4 11, Weber 4 2-2 10, Marx 2 4-6 9, Ivesdal 2 2-2 8, Hegg 2 0-0 4, DeMoe 1 1-2 4. Totals: 14-52 13-16 46.

MINOT RYAN (26-0): Stewart 8 8-8 24, Bohl 10 1-2 21, Harmon 4 5-5 13, Rovig 2 2-2 7, Wald 0 1-2 1. Totals: 24-49 17-19 66.

3-pointers: Galegher, Marx, Ivesdal 2, DeMoe, Rovig. Total fouls: T 17, MR 15. Fouled out: Galegher. Rebounds: T 26 (Weber 5), MR 32 (Stewart 9). Assists: T 5 (Marx, Overby 2), MR 7 (Stewart 2). Steals: T 8 (Weber 3), MR 5 (Rovig 3). Turnovers: T 21, MR 20.