Central Cass reaches championship in low-scoring affairBISMARCK — Throughout the 2010-11 season, Central Cass made a name for itself as a high-scoring team. On Friday night, nothing could have been further from the truth.
BISMARCK — Throughout the 2010-11 season, Central Cass made a name for itself as a high-scoring team. On Friday night, nothing could have been further from the truth.
From the opening tip against Linton-Hazelton-Moffitt-Braddock, the Squirrels couldn’t get shots to fall. They missed from the free throw line. They missed from the paint. They missed from beyond the arc. But, despite struggling through their worst offensive output of the season, the end result was the same as it’s been all but one time this year: another victory.
Hannah Breske led all Central Cass scorers with seven points and the Squirrels hung on for a 26-24 victory over the Lions in the semifinals of the Class B state girls basketball tournament at the Bismarck Civic Center.
The win pits Central Cass against Carrington in today’s championship game. Tipoff is scheduled for approximately 8 p.m.
“That was part of (Linton-HMB’s) game plan,” Central Cass coach Barb Kraft said. “That’s how they got to the state tournament is slowing it down and trying to keep the momentum in their favor. We were hoping we could knock down some of those shots early so our girls would get confidence, but it didn’t happen that way.”
Trailing by two with 8.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Linton-HMB (19-8) got the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead.
Nicole Hulm’s jumper came up short, but Lions center Kayln Schneider — who led all scorers with 11 points — grabbed the rebound and threw up a shot from under the basket. She was fouled by Central Cass’ Taylor Kraft with half a second left, giving her a chance to tie the game from the free throw line.
Schneider’s first attempt bounced off the heel of the rim. She tried to intentionally miss her second attempt, but failed to catch any iron and the Squirrels (26-1) celebrated as the final buzzer sounded.
“Everyone was scrambling for the ball and I didn’t want to pick up that foul,” Taylor Kraft said. “We’re lucky she missed them and we came out with the win.”
As the first quarter unfolded, both teams struggled to get shots off — let alone through the rim. The Squirrels only managed layups by Riley Camas and Taylor Kraft, while the Lions failed to record a field goal.
Things didn’t get much better for either side in the second quarter. Linton-HMB pieced together a 9-4 run to go up 10-8, but Central Cass center Courtney Dixon sunk two free throws to even the score with less than 2 minutes remaining. Both teams failed to score again before halftime and went to the locker rooms tied at 10-10.
The teams combined to go 6 of 27 from the floor and 0 of 5 mark 3-point range in the dismal first half.
Central Cass seemed to gain some momentum when Dixon converted a 3-point play at the end of the third quarter. Breske followed that up with a jump shot to give the Squirrels a 24-18 lead in the fourth, but the Lions reeled off six straight to re-tie the game and set up the exciting finish.
Linton-HMB faces Kenmare in the third-place game at 6 p.m.
Barb Kraft said she wasn’t fazed by the low totals on the scoreboard, adding that her team has overcome poor shooting nights several other times this season.
“Especially in the regional tournament, we had some games where we struggled to score,” she said. “It doesn’t surprise me.”
CC 4 10 22 26
LHMB 1 10 18 24
CC: Hannah Breske 7, Courtney Dixon 5, Riley Camas 4, Bethany Voss 4, Taylor Kraft 4, Carmen Titus 2.
LHMB: Kayln Schneider 11, Whitney Gerving 4, Nicole Hulm 4, Robin Weber 2, Lindsey Hulm 2, Jacey Vetter 1.
3-pointers: None. Free throws: C 8-12, L 6-10. Total fouls: C 12, L 12. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: C 24 (Voss 7), L 22 (Lindsey Hulm 5, Vetter 5). Assists: C 3 (Kraft 2), L 3 (Gerving 1, Schneider 1, Vetter 1). Steals: C 8 (Kraft 2, Titus 2, Breske 2), L 7 (Weber 3). Blocks: C 1 (Dixon 1), L 1 (Schneider 1). Turnovers: C 13, L 17.