Second-half surge helps Hazen defeat New EnglandNew England, a girls basketball team with just five wins on the season, forced a halftime tie with the District 14 champion Hazen on Monday during the quarterfinals of the Region 7 Tournament. That was enough to prompt Hazen head coach John Ward into a calming halftime speech.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
New England, a girls basketball team with just five wins on the season, forced a halftime tie with the District 14 champion Hazen on Monday during the quarterfinals of the Region 7 Tournament.
That was enough to prompt Hazen head coach John Ward into a calming halftime speech.
“I had to remind them, ‘How’d we get here?’” Ward said. “They looked at me and right away, they knew. They came out ready to play.”
The Bison shot 54 percent from the field in the second half and buried the Tigers 57-40 on Monday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
After Hazen scored the game’s first nine points, New England staged a second-quarter rally.
The Tigers (5-17), who snuck into the tournament as District 13’s No. 4 seed after an upset win over Heart River in the district tournament, staked a 13-2 run and claimed a 23-22 lead on 3-pointer by sophomore Gabbi Hanson with 1 minute, 17 seconds left in the first half.
Free throw by both teams set up a 24-24 halftime tie.
“We had a great second quarter,” Tigers head coach Jason Jung said. “We started to score a little bit and Hazen got a little cold.”
The Bison (12-11) warmed up the moment the third-quarter whistle sounded.
The quickly built their lead back to five points, 31-26, and increased it to 42-31 by quarter’s end.
Hazen senior Paige Burling, who had game highs of 13 points and eight rebounds, scored four points in the final 2:40 of the third to boost the Bison.
“We knew we had to make some adjustments at halftime,” Burling said. “We were up so much, we almost let off a little. We really needed to pick it up and we talked about that halftime. We knew we had to come out strong because they’re a good team and we needed to get more boards, things like that.”
After halftime, the Bison created second-chance opportunities that New England had denied it in the first half. Hazen shot 13 of 24 from the field in the second half to finish 22 of 50 (44 percent) for the game.
Hazen outscored New England 33-16 in the second half.
Hazen sophomore Sadie Bolton hit 5 of 5 shots from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers, and added 12 points and four rebounds.
The Bison meet Bowman County at 7:30 p.m. today in the semifinals. Hazen lost the only regular-season meeting between the teams 47-39.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Ward said.
Sophomore Hannah Nordby had 11 points and seven rebounds to lead the Tigers, who had just three seniors on their roster. Hanson also had 11 points.
“We got a lot of kids some great experience in a regional tournament and I think it’s going to benefit us a ton down the road,” Jung said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids.”
NE 7 24 31 40
H 14 24 42 57
NE: Gabbi Hanson, Hannah Nordby 11, India Fitterer 6, Ashley Plaggemeyer 3, Erin Volk 3, Taylor Hewson 2, Kristen Neprash 2, Bryanna Rasch 2.
H: Paige Burling 13, Sadie Bolton 12, Rachael Biffert 9, Morgan Karges 8, Courtney Ost 7, Dakota Wood 4, Ashton Carter 2, Mariya Schneider 2.
3-pointers: NE 3 (Hanson 2, Volk 1), H 4 (Bolton 2, Karges 2). Free throws: NE 11-17, H 9-18. Total fouls: NE 17, H 17. Fouled out: H, Burling. Rebounds: NE 23 (Nordby 7), H 31 (Burling 8). Assists: NE 7 (Hanson 2), H 15 (Ost 4). Steals: NE 7 (Neprash 2), H 7 (Schneider 2). Blocks: NE 0, H 3 (three with 1). Turnovers: NE 23, H 14.