Sixth-seeded Bulldogs upset New EnglandBOWMAN — After winning one regular-season District 13 game, the Bowman County girls basketball team was saddled with the No. 6 seed.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
BOWMAN — After winning one regular-season District 13 game, the Bowman County girls basketball team was saddled with the No. 6 seed.
The woes of regular season woes are out the window as the Bulldogs are on their way to district championship and solidified at least a spot in the Region 7 Tournament Saturday night by upsetting second-seeded New England.
“It’s a huge sigh of relief that we’ve made the region tournament already,” Bowman County senior forward Kit Miller said. “I was nervous coming into the tournament as the No. 6 seed. I didn’t want my senior year to end and not even make it to regionals.”
Bowman County made plays down the stretch and clamped down on defense in the fourth quarter to defeat the Tigers 60-46 during the semifinals of the District 13 Tournament on Saturday at Solberg Gymnasium.
“It was just an overall team effort both offensively and defensively,” Bowman County head coach Pam Fisher said. “The team has come together and gelled at the right time.”
The Bulldogs have won their first two district playoff games by a margin of 20 and 14 points. The key to those victories has been the play of the four post players. The four post players combined for 48 of the team’s 60 points.
Miller led the Bulldogs with 14 points, while junior Morgan Woodley added 13, junior Brittany Hansey supplied 11 and sophomore Kaylee Heinrich came off the bench for 10.
“We kind of have a triangle out there,” Miller said. “It doesn’t matter who is out there. We have our chemistry and we know what each other likes to do.”
Despite a 33-30 lead at halftime, Fisher felt her team wasn’t controlling the boards. She relayed the message to her team to finish on the glass in the second half and they did. Bowman County outrebounded New England 43-29 and had 19 offensive rebounds.
“Rebounding was even at half and that was really what we focused on at halftime,” Fisher said. “We needed to keep them off the boards and not give them second-chance points.”
The Bulldogs added to their lead after the third quarter, 45-39, but it wasn’t until the fourth when the team really hit their stride.
Though multiple players were in foul trouble, Bowman County outscored the Tigers 15-7 in the final quarter to ensure spots in Region 7 Tournament and in the District 13 championship game against Beach at 7 p.m. Monday.
“I need to give a lot of credit to our bench,” Fisher said. “Justyce Duffield and Kaitlyn Dix came in and did a really good job in the bottom of the zone.”
New England was 11 of 25 (44 percent) in the first half, but didn’t have the same offensive power in the second half. The Tigers shot 7 of 26 (27 percent). Ashley Plaggemeyer led the team with 11 points, while Gabbi Hanson and Hannah Nordby each added 10.
“It just seemed like Bowman was a little more physical than us tonight,” New England head coach Jason Jung said. “In the second half, we had kids that weren’t looking to score anymore.”
The Tigers know their season isn’t over yet. They play Hettinger-Scranton in a region-qualifying game at 4 p.m. Monday.
“We talked a little bit about the game, but told them, ‘This one is over, it’s done,’” Jung said. “All that matters now is Monday night. Our kids will be ready to play on Monday.”
BC 13 33 45 60
NE 12 30 39 46
BC: Kit Miller 14, Morgan Woodley 13, Brittany Hansey 11, Kaylee Heinrich 10, Ariana Zook 5, Haley Sabe 4, Justyce Duffield 3.
NE: Ashley Plaggemeyer 11, Gabbi Hanson 10, Hannah Nordby 10, Autumn Wolf 7, Bryanna Rasch 4, Taylor Hewson 4.
3-pointers: BC 4 (Woodley 2, Zook 1, Hansey 1), NE 3 (Wolf 2, Hanson 1). Free throws: BC 12-17, NE 7-12. Total fouls: BC 18, NE 19. Fouled out: BC, Hansey. Rebounds: BC 43 (Woodley 9), NE 29 (Nordby 8). Assists: BC 14 (Sabe 5), NE 16 (five tied with three). Steals: BC 14 (Miller 3), NE 5. Blocks: BC 2 (Heinrich 1, Hansey 1), NE 1 (Nordby 1). Turnovers: BC 14, NE 18. Records: BC 12-9, NE 12-8.