Beach overcomes halftime deficit to defeat No. 2-ranked KindredBISMARCK — Beach is young enough. Take away its only senior, who happens to be their leading scorer and rebounds, and the Buccaneers basically have the roster of a junior varsity team.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
BISMARCK — Beach is young enough. Take away its only senior, who happens to be their leading scorer and rebounds, and the Buccaneers basically have the roster of a junior varsity team.
Still, nobody reacts on the big stage like Beach.
No. 9-ranked Beach overcame an injury to senior Dykins, rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit and shocked the No. 2 Kindred 52-48 on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Class B state girls basketball tournament.
“I like being the underdog,” said Beach sophomore Hailee Farstveet, who had 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. “It gives us more of an inspiration to get going and beat those teams.”
The Buccaneers not only won without their senior standout, they did it playing a defensive style they don’t typically employ.
Beach hadn’t been too keen on its zone defense all season. It rarely worked to the Buccaneers’ advantage.
Kindred head coach Perry Piatz wished the Buccaneers never would have switched to their zone.
“We thought we had them where we wanted them because we had the tempo in our favor,” Piatz said. “They went to that zone in the second half, which was a good move by them.” Kindred (24-2) led 28-20 at halftime but sophomore Hailee Farstveet and the inspired Buccaneers (23-2) went on a 15-4 run over the final 4 minutes, 20 seconds of the third quarter to take a 39-35.
The zone defense is what got them there — and Beach head coach Bob Waldal said it wasn’t even his idea. He said assistant coach Loni Hall was the one who suggested it.
“Loni said, ‘Maybe we should try our zone that we worked on,’” Waldal said. “We did. It really helped us. It took away their inside game.”
Beach played the entire second half and much of the first quarter without Dykins.
She left early in the first quarter, came back in the second but emerged after halftime with a heavily taped right foot. Hall said Dykins had suffered what was believed to be a right heel injury and Beach head coach Waldal said she was going to a hospital after the game to have X-rays on the foot.
Dykins averages 18.5 points and 8.2 rebounds but had only seven points and five rebounds in about 11 minutes of action. Her status is uncertain for today’s semifinal game against Linton-HMB, which tips off at about 7:15 p.m.
Playing the entire second half in Dykins’ place was Morgan Nunberg, a junior reserve who didn’t play in Beach’s Region 7 championship game victory over Hazen. Nunberg responded to the state tournament spotlight by collecting six points and eight rebounds.
Sophomore Cydni Stedman stepped up well too, scoring a team-high 15 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Sophomore Bailey Waldal added 10 points, five rebounds and five assists.
“I thought they reacted really good,” Waldal said of losing Dykins to the injury. “That’s our player. I thought the kids really rallied.”
Beach stretched its lead to 49-41 on a pair of Farstveet free throws with 1:10 left in the fourth quarter before the Vikings (24-2) made a late charge.
Kindred junior Casey Allmaras, who had 11 points, hit a 3-pointer. Braidy Dahl made a layup and Harlee Glasow took advantage of a Beach turnover on an inbounds pass — an issue that plagued the Buccaneers all night — and made a putback layup off a teammate’s missed shot with 5.1 seconds left.
Glasow was fouled on the shot but missed the free throw. Senior Kellie Schmit, who led Kindred with 15 points and 12 rebounds, got the board but threw the ball out of bounds while trying to pass the ball outside the 3-point line.
“She’s one of those kids who works hard all the time and never quits,” Piatz said of Schmit. “I’m very proud of what they did. They never did quit. We still had a chance at the end.”
The Buccaneers have won 78 of their last 81 games, dating back to their undefeated state championship season in 2009-10. They lost to Kenmare in the state quarterfinals last season with a veteran group and finished in fifth place.
They never expected to be back here, and definitely not two wins away from another state title.
“It was the first time being under that huge spotlight, but we got into it and got comfortable,” Farstveet said.