Contrasting styles highlight District 13District 13 girls basketball has displayed contrasting styles all season long.
By: Chris Aarhus, The Dickinson Press
District 13 girls basketball has displayed contrasting styles all season long.
While Beach, New England and Hettinger like to get out and run, teams like Bowman County and Scranton prefer to slow it down and play a half-court offense.
“You have to be prepared for those styles,” New England coach Jason Jung said. “... It becomes more mental.”
The two styles meet today when fourth-seeded Scranton and No. 5 Hettinger kick off their district tournament with a game at 4:30 p.m. today at Bowman County High School’s Solberg Gymnasium.
Third-seeded New England follows against sixth-seeded Mott-Regent at 6 p.m. and second-seeded Bowman County meets seventh-seeded Heart River in the late game. Beach, the top seed, has a first-round bye.
Beach coach Bob Waldal said his team has to make sure its half-court game is sharp.
“It’s our half-court game that we have to continually improve at,” Waldal said. “Scranton and Bowman County play a style of ball that counters the running game. That’s why the running teams better have a half-court game to go with them.
“It’s going to be an interesting (district tournament) because of the style that Bowman (County) and Scranton bring.”
A potential semifinal against Scranton looms for Beach, which is on a 10-game win streak after starting the season 6-2. The Buccaneers suffered an early-season loss to Thompson at the Bismarck Civic Center and fell to Dickinson Trinity in early January. Beach avenged the loss to the latter two weeks later at home.
“I think we’ve become seasoned,” Waldal said. “We’re more mature. We’ve been in close games.”
One of Beach’s wins came over New England, which was ranked as high as sixth in the Class B state media poll before losing to Bowman County and Beach in the same week. The Tigers have a record of 15-3 with their other loss coming to Dickinson Trinity last week.
“I think (our kids) know we can play much better,” Jung said. “We’re excited and very focused. We can’t wait to get the tournament under way.”
Both Waldal and Jung said Bowman County is a team that can’t be overlooked.
The Bulldogs earned a higher seed than New England because of their win over the Tigers. However, many may not realize how close Bowman County came to being the No. 1 seed, falling to Beach on a last-second shot.
“Bowman (County) could have just as well beat us,” Waldal said.
The Bulldogs are 10-6 on the season.
“They take care of the ball and they don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Jung said. “You have to play defense the entire four quarters. Offensively, you have to be patient.”
Scranton (11-6) and Hettinger (12-5) also bring in winning records.
“Our district is so jumbled,” Jung said. “Those top five are capable of beating anybody.”