Lions get defensive yet again, beat ValientsBISMARCK — Great defensive teams can be a headache to handle, which is why Region 2 champion Central Valley needed some ibuprofen after their quarterfinal game against Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock at the Class B state girls basketball tournament on Thursday night at the Bismarck Civic Center.
By: Michael Savaloja, Forum Communications Co.
BISMARCK — Great defensive teams can be a headache to handle, which is why Region 2 champion Central Valley needed some ibuprofen after their quarterfinal game against Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock at the Class B state girls basketball tournament on Thursday night at the Bismarck Civic Center.
Central Valley’s offense came into the contest averaging 54.6 points per game, but the Region 3 champion Lions entered the game having held nine of their last 10 opponents to 39 points or less.
Make it 10 of 11.
Linton-HMB’s Robin Weber and Kayln Schneider broke up a back-and-forth game in the final period of play with back-to-back buckets, while Central Valley committed three crucial consecutive turnovers with less than two minutes to play, as the Lions moved on to today’s semifinal game against Central Cass by defeating the Valiants 41-36.
“We take pride in our defense,” Linton-HMB coach Pat Gerving said. “Our defense has been key in every game we’ve played. (The team) showed up tonight and played hard.”
The Lions (19-7) have allowed an average of just 36.9 points per game this season, but they knew their defense would be tested against Central Valley and the team’s three starting Henningsgard sisters.
Central Valley (21-5) was up 14-9 to start the second, but that was about as lively as the team’s offense would get.
“I’ve got to give credit to Linton’s defense,” Central Valley coach Rick Sondrol said. “They pressured us and that dictated the game, especially in the fourth quarter.”
Other than a 6-0 run by the Lions in the second, neither team could find a way to break away until the final minutes of the game. Tied 21-21 at the half, Central Valley took a slim 32-29 advantage into the final frame behind a 3-pointer and seven of Jessica Henningsgard’s nine points.
Kennedy Henningsgard added 11 points and Taylor Henningsgard had nine for the Valients.
“We are two very similar teams,” Gerving said. “Both teams are very scrappy, defensive minded and offensive execution is very big.”
That offensive execution fell apart for the Valiants with two minutes to play.
Central Valley committed three straight turnovers that helped turn a Linton-HMB’s 37-36 lead with 3:19 remaining into a 41-36 advantage with 20 seconds left.
Schneider and Weber both hit buckets during the 6-0 run by the Lions, and Whitney Gerving sealed the victory with a pair of bonus shots at the foul line.
Schneider paced the Lions with 14 points, seven rebounds and two steals.
LHMB 9 21 29 41
CV 14 21 32 36
LHMB: Kayln Schneider 14, Nicole Hulm 7, Whitney Gerving 6, Jacey Vetter 6, Lindsey Hulm 4, Robin Wever 4.
CV: Kennedy Henningsgard 11, Taylor Henningsgard 9, Jessica Henningsgard 9, Jessica Sundbom 4, Andra Lenz 3.
3-pointers: LHMB 1 (Hulm 1), CV 4 (K. Henningsgard 2, T. Henningsgard 1, J. Henningsgard 1). Free throws: LHMB 4-10, CV 2-6. Total fouls: LHMB 8, CV 14. Rebounds: LHMB 20 (Schneider 7), CV 23 (K. Henningsgard 4, Sundbom 4). Assists: LHMB 10 (Gerving 5), CV 7 (Lenz 3). Steals: LHMB 6 (Schneider 2), CV 4 (K. Henningsgard 2). Blocks: LHMB 0, CV 0. Turnovers: LHMB 12, CV 13.
Savaloja is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.