Bison crush CougarsThe No. 1-ranked team in Class B girls basketball wanted to get out to a great start in its Region 7 tournament opener.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
The No. 1-ranked team in Class B girls basketball wanted to get out to a great start in its Region 7 tournament opener.
By the end of the first quarter, Hazen had done even more than it had hoped to do against Heart River.
The undefeated Bison scored the first nine points of the game and held the Cougars without a field goal until the 6:06 mark of the second quarter as they cruised to a 64-37 quarterfinal victory Monday afternoon at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
“I’m really proud of my girls, how they stepped it up on the defensive end to start the game,” Hazen coach Leland Opp said.
While the Bison (21-0) came up with 16 steals and forced 24 turnovers, senior Brianna Beecher said the team wasn’t quite as pleased with their performance as their coach was.
“We started off a little sluggish,” said Beecher, who scored 10 points and had game-highs of six steals and three assists. “Even though it looked like we played really well, it wasn’t really our style.”
The District 14 champions held just a 10-2 lead at the end of the first quarter but made up for the slow start by scoring nine unanswered points in the first 1 minute, 28 seconds of the second quarter.
Four different players scored for Hazen during the outburst, which was definitive of the teams balanced scoring.
Stef Bohrer scored a game-high 13 points, Paige Burling added 11 while playing mostly in the second half and Breaunna Oakland had 10 and Allison Opp finished with eight.
The second quarter proved big for the Bison. Even though the Cougars began getting shots to fall, Hazen was also able to find opportunities.
Heart River coach Andrew Jordan knew his team, which was the bottom seed in the District 13 tournament, would have a tough time beating the Bison.
Alicia Palaniuk came off the bench and scored 10 points for the Cougars, who end their season at 7-15.
“The biggest thing for us was we wanted to keep it close for three quarters,” said Jordan, who added he must hang up his coaching hat after one season due to a career change. “… I’ve been a coach that’s focused on what we control, not the other team. They came out hot and we really couldn’t get back into it.”
Hazen faces New England, the No. 2 seed from District 13, in the semifinals at 6 p.m. today.
Heart River 2 14 24 37
Hazen 10 36 55 64
HR: Alicia Palaniuk 10, Ashlynn Evoniuk 6, Shea Shypkoski 5, Laura Steffan 4, Candice Buckman 4, Danielle Kadrmas 4, Kayla Buckman 3, Quinn Steffan 2, Hannah Rodne 2, Anna Fleck 1.
H: Stef Bohrer 13, Brianna Beecher 10, Breaunna Oakland 10, Allison Opp 8, Kate Berg 5, Morgan Karges 3, Molly Johnson 2, Racheall Biffert 1, TiAnna Stevens 1.
3-pointers: Berg, Karges. Total fouls: HR 19, H 25.
Rebounds: HR 44 (Loren Baranko 8), H 37 (Berg 5). Assists: HR 2 (two with 1), H 13 (Beecher 3). Steals: HR 6 (L. Steffan 2, C. Buckman 2), H 16 (Beecher 6). Turnovers: HR 24, H 12.