Heart River heading back to title gameGood things happen for the Heart River boys basketball team when it uses its inside-out game.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Good things happen for the Heart River boys basketball team when it uses its inside-out game.
The Cougars relied on its big guys to spark them early in both halves and got good perimeter play out of its guards throughout en route to reaching the District 13 Tournament championship game for the third consecutive season.
No. 2 seed Heart River will defend its title against Mott-Regent next Monday after defeating third-seeded Bowman County 66-48 on Saturday night during a semifinal game at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
“We went to our game, inside out, and we got a little bit of a lead and all of a sudden we just went away from it,” Heart River head coach Greg Pruitt said. “We can’t do that in the postseason. Bowman is a great team, they’re going to fire back, they’re going to make runs.”
The Cougars, however, made the biggest run of the night in the third quarter — and their biggest player was the catalyst.
Leading 28-24 early in the third quarter, 6-foot-4 senior center Isaiah Marschner scored nine of his 16 points to pace a 13-2 run that gave the Cougars a healthy double-digit lead it would expand on in the fourth.
“Our team, there’s so many people who can score,” Marschner said. “Any given night, whoever is getting looks. We try to pass it to the open man and tonight it was me, so I guess I finished.”
Junior Tyson Kudrna hit three 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 19 points for the Cougars (16-4) and senior guard Seth Ewoniuk was everywhere as usual, scoring 10 points while grabbing six rebounds and six steals.
Heart River senior forward Riley Obrigewitch had eight points and six rebounds in the paint despite fouling out early in the fourth quarter. He scored the first four points of the third quarter to help Heart River break open a game that was tied 24-21 at halftime.
“When we can get multiple kids in double digits, it’s tough to beat us — especially when we’re playing defense like we want to,” Marschner said.
Bowman County had chipped away at a Heart River lead that was as big as 10 points, 19-9, early in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs (10-11) did it at the free-throw line, making six straight at one point to bring the game within one, 20-19.
“We had that stretch right before halftime where we got it to one point,” Bowman County head coach Steve Shahan said. “We had a couple shots at taking the lead and we didn’t execute well on those possessions and we never got over the hump in the second half.”
Heart River lost the District 13 title game to New England in 2011, beat Bowman County last season and now faces Mott-Regent at 7 p.m. Monday for the championship.
“It goes to show that the boys work hard and they believe in themselves,” Pruitt said. “That’s all we ask as a coaching staff. Believe in yourself, work hard and good things will happen. We’re going to try and continue that philosophy and see what happens.”
Bowman County matches up against No. 4 seed Hettinger-Scranton at 4 p.m. Monday in a region-qualifier game.
The Bulldogs won the regular-season game 58-56 on Feb. 1.
“It was our most competitive game of the season,” Shahan said. “It was back and forth, well played by both teams and we’re not going to be able to take a minute off. We’ve got to play well against them.”
BC 8 21 31 48
HR 15 24 45 66
BC: Brandon Fischer 13, Michael Palczewski 10, Tanner Fischer 8, Chandler Braaten 7, Colter Braaten 7, Chance Moran 3.
HR: Tyson Kudrna 19, Isaiah Marschner 16, Seth Ewoniuk 10, Riley Obrigewitch 8, Cole Hecker 5, Jordan Wagner 4, Zach Miller 2, Brady Olson 2.
3-pointers: BC 1 (Co. Braaten), HR 6 (Kudrna 3, Marschner 2, Ewoniuk 1). Free throws: BC 13-17, HR 4-8. Total fouls: BC 11, HR 20. Fouled out: Obrigewitch. Technical fouls: Ch. Braaten. Rebounds: BC 28 (B. Fischer 6), HR 38 (Kudrna 6, Marschner 6, Obrigewitch 6, Wagner 6) Assists: BC 8 (T. Fischer 2, Palczewski 2), HR 18 (Ewoniuk 6, Hecker 6). Steals: BC 8 (T. Fischer 3), HR 12 (Ewoniuk 6). Blocks: none. Turnovers: BC 20, HR 13.