Carrington beats Central Cass for first state titleBISMARCK — Carrington has played in the state Class B girls basketball championship game twice before, but a title was never in the cards.
By: Michael Savaloja, Forum Communications Co.
BISMARCK — Carrington has played in the state Class B girls basketball championship game twice before, but a title was never in the cards.
On Friday night inside the Bismarck Civic Center, that all changed.
Carrington’s Emily Thompson torched the net from the free-throw line, converting 12 of 13 freebies, and finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and three blocks as the Cardinals took down the Central Cass Squirrels 54-46 to win the school’s first state championship in the sport.
“I just practiced a lot of free throws during our shootout and I guess it paid off tonight,” Thompson said. “I’ve never felt like this before. It’s so awesome.”
The Cardinals had some incentive heading into the title tilt. Not only did they miss out on playing in the big game last year — they took third at state — the Carrington boys’ team won its first state championship in 15 years two week later in Minot.
“(Carrington boys’ coach) Monson and the boys, they set the bar pretty high,” Carrington coach Andy Braaten said. “The girls looked at that banner in the gym … and they wanted it too.”
For the second straight night the Cardinals (23-3) were forced to defeat a team that had already beaten them.
But Carrington never trailed in this one. The Cardinals opened the game with five quick points on a bucket by junior Sierra Rosenau and a 3-pointer by junior Becca Scherr.
Scherr hit three treys on the night and led all scorers with 19 points.
“We knew we all had to step up. I was feeling it,” Scherr said. “I can’t even describe the feeling right now.”
Thompson posted eight points in the first half, going 6 of 6 from the line, and Carrington got six more from junior guard Sierra Rosenau as it went ahead 18-16 at the half.
Thompson and Rosenau were named the tournament’s co-Most Valuable Players.
“That’s our leader out front and our leader down low,” Braaten said. “It’s always that argument that you have as coaches, you need to have a point guard and you need to have a post.”
Central Cass (26-2) struggled in the first half, converting just 5 of 23 shots from the field.
“If we would have shot better in the first half, I think the girls would have been more confident coming into the second half,” Central Cass coach Barb Kraft said. “How many shots of Taylor’s went halfway down and came back out again?”
Taylor Kraft, Central Cass’s all-state senior forward and Miss Basketball candidate, struggled all evening.
She finished with just eight points on 3 of 12 shooting.
Bethany Voss and Hannah Breske led Central Cass with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
“We struggled shooting. A lot of our shots didn’t fall, especially in the first half, and we had to play catch-up the whole game,” Kraft said. “We only had two losses the whole season. It was a great season and as a senior I was glad to end it in the state championship.”
Carrington led by as many as eight in the third and held a 34-28 advantage after three. Taylor Kraft came to life a bit late, hitting a pair of 3-pointers to cut Carrington’s lead to 48-45 with 48 seconds to play.
But by then it was too late.
CC 9 16 28 46
Carrington 10 18 34 54
C: Voss 13, Breske 12, Kraft 8, Dixon 7, Camas 2, Weber 2.
CC: Scherr 19, Thompson 18, Rosenau 11, Braaten 4, Page 2.
3-pointers: CC 5 (Voss 2, Kraft 2, Dixon 1), C 4 (Scherr 3, Braaten 1). Free throws: CC 9-12, C 24-32. Total fouls: CC 20, C 15. Fouled out: Dixon. Rebounds: CC 30 (Kraft 10), C 26 (Thompson 9). Assists: CC 10 (Kraft 3), C 8 (Thompson 3).
All-tournament team: Taylor Henningsgard, Central Valley; Abby Weinreis, Beach; Samantha Schell, Washburn; Kayln Schneider, Linton-HMB (unanimous); Katie King, Kenmare (unanimous); Brittney Dietz, Beach (unanimous); Courtney Dixon, Central Cass; Taylor Kraft, Central Cass; Sierra Rosenau, Carrington (unanimous); Emily Thompson, Carrington (unanimous).
Tournament Co-Most Valuable Players: Thompson, Roseneau.
Class B Senior Athlete of the Year: Brittney Dietz, Beach
Coach of the year: Rick Sondrol, Central Valley
Savaloja is a sports reporter for The Jamestown Sun, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.