Beach front woes: Without Dykins, the Buccaneers drop in semifinals to Linton-HMBBISMARCK — The Runnin’ Bucs ran right into the teeth of the Lions. For the first time all season, absolutely nothing went right for the Beach girls basketball team.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
BISMARCK — The Runnin’ Bucs ran right into the teeth of the Lions.
For the first time all season, absolutely nothing went right for the Beach girls basketball team.
Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock, on the other hand, was crisp with its passing, created easy shots down low, crashed the boards and frustrated the cold-shooting Buccaneers as it cruised to a 47-30 victory in the semifinals of the Class B state tournament Friday night at the Bismarck Civic Center.
Playing without senior standout Kelcee Dykins, who was injured in Thursday’s quarterfinal victory over Kindred, the No. 9-ranked Buccaneers shot just 25 percent from the field and had no answer for the Lions in the paint or on their cuts to the basket.
“It was just a poor outing for us,” Beach head coach Bob Waldal said. “I feel bad for them. They certainly didn’t want to go out that way.”
The Buccaneers (23-3) had their lowest point output of the season and, at 13 of 52 from the field, their worst shooting performance. Also, for the first time this year, Beach didn’t have a player score in double figures.
‘We weren’t fully together it seemed like,” Beach sophomore Hailee Farstveet said. “We just couldn’t really get anything going.”
LHMB (20-6), meanwhile, rode the slick play of seniors Kalyn Schneider and Robin Weber into the championship game, where the Lions play third-ranked Grafton at 7 p.m. today. Beach plays Shiloh Christian at 5 p.m. in the third-place game.
Schneider had 14 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Weber had 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.
If the duo wasn’t putting the ball in the basket, they were leading LHMB’s suffocating defensive effort.
“I was really proud of our defensive effort,” LHMB head coach Pat Gerving said. “That’s a ballclub that likes to get up and down the floor and score some points in a hurry. To hold them to 30 says a lot about the team defense we played. The poise and the heart of these girls is phenomenal. They leave it all on the floor.”
LHMB broke out to an 11-3 first-quarter lead and Beach didn’t score from the field until Farstveet made a scoop layup with 1:23 left. The Lions went ahead 22-13 at halftime and kept the offensive heat cranked up as they built a 31-17 lead just 3 minutes into the third quarter.
“We knew if we got them down, kept forcing it and forcing it, kept getting buckets and getting them deeper in the hole, then we knew that we could take them down,” Weber said.
Beach scored the first four points of the fourth quarter, but LHMB answered with eight straight points to stretch its lead to 47-26 with 3:12 remaining and wash away all hopes of a Buccaneer comeback.
“We’ve been in that boat where we’re behind and it’s hard to get over that hump,” Weber said. “We knew that if we were in the lead, we could keep it and make them fight for it.”
Sophomore Bailey Waldal had eight points and seven rebounds for the Buccaneers. Farstveet added seven points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Freshman Channa Clarin finished with six points and six boards.
It was the first time in school history Beach has reached the semifinals and lost. The Buccaneers had won state titles in their three previous appearances in the winner’s bracket.
Despite the crushing loss, Bob Waldal said the team left the locker room ready to bounce back in the third-place game.
“They said we’ve got to win, we’ve got to give a good effort tomorrow night,” he said. “That’s a nice attitude. That’s why they’re fun to coach.”