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Waldal scores 18 as Bucs handle HGU

Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Beach senior forward-guard Cid Stedman, back, jumps over Hebron-Glen Ullin’s Kendra Gerving during a quarterfinals game of the Region 7 Tournament on Monday at DHS gymnasium.

The Region 7 Tournament was a new experience for both the Beach and Hebron-Glen Ullin girls basketball teams.

It was the first time the Bearcats have made an appearance at the tournament and the first time both stepped onto the court at DHS gymnasium.

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Despite the venue changes and initial nerves, the game went on as planned and the Buccaneers took advantage of HGU’s inexperience, winning 75-40 in a quarterfinals game Monday.

“I like playing here, I don’t mind Trinity and like Trinity’s gym and everything, but I think it’s good to try something new and do something new,” Beach senior guard Hailee Farstveet said.

Senior guard Bailey Waldal added: “Their baskets are just like our baskets. We don’t use the standing baskets on our court so I think that was a little helpful. But a gym is a gym and you got to get used to it too.”

There was no scoring from either team in the first 2 minutes, 11 seconds but the two tied the only time in the game at 2-2 after HGU eighth-grader Kennedy Zuroff — who finished with a game-high 19 points — sank her jumper. Just seconds later, Farstveet drained a 3-pointer for the Buccaneers’ permanent lead.

Beach continued to go on a five-point run, which consisted of a jumper by Brooklyn Zachmann and a 3-pointer by Waldal, and outscored HGU 31-10 until the half. Three players combined for 46 points for Beach, with Waldal leading with 18 points and Hailee Farstveet and Cid Stedman racking up 14 points each.

“As a team, I thought the kids played well together,” Beach head coach Bob Waldal said. “When we play well, they’re always playing well together. they’re very unselfish and always rooting for each other all the time.”

The Buccaneers showed no mercy in the second half either, going 14 for 30 from the floor — shooting 47 percent (32 for 68) overall — adding 43 points. Beach’s largest lead was at 42 points, after Sophia Murato hit her layup with 2:49 to go in the game. But the Bearcats made one final push to try and lessen the deficit. HGU went on an 11-1 run headed by Zuroff with nine of the 11 points.

Despite the tough loss and early exit to the tournament, HGU head coach Jeremiah Stokka said the girls made history making the tournament and it’s a small step in the right direction and a good learning experience for the young team.

“We can be proud of the fact that this is the first time in our co-op’s history that we ever made it to regionals,” Stokka said. “It’s good for the girls to get that experience but you don’t want to settle on that experience right there, you want to move it towards your end goal and obviously your end goal is to win a championship.”

While Beach’s lineup consists of plenty of talent, the team agrees the most important aspect to its success is team chemistry. Since elementary school, the girls have been playing on the same team and have learned to trust one another and know each player’s personal game inside and out.

“We’ve been playing together since third grade, up to this tournament so going up to now this has been a really fun experience,” Waldal said. “Just all of us playing together as a team and I think that will lead to many great things.”

The tournament continues with semifinal matchups as Beach takes on Beulah at 6 p.m. today. Both teams met up on Jan. 13 with Beach topping the Miners 54-34, but tournament time is a completely different game. After Beulah defeated New England in overtime, the Buccaneers know to not overlook their opponent and the past is the past.

“It’s always to work hard to and to do our best,” Farstveet said about the team’s game plan. “We can’t overlook anyone especially in tournament time”

HGU 10 3 8 19

Beach 25 16 18 16

HGU: Kennedy Zuroff 19, Ivy Burbidge 9, Kendra Gerving 8, Michaela Gerving, 2, Taya Bandle 2

B: Bailey Waldal, Hailee Farstveet 14, Cid Stedman 14, Brooklyn Zachman 9, Taryn Hofer 5, Sofia Murato 4, Taylor Abraham 4, Chantel Fulton 3, Lateasha Lechler 2, Paige Rising 2

3-pointers: HGU 5 (Zuroff 3, Burbidge 1, K. Gerving 1), B 4 (Fulton, Zachman, Waldal, Hofer 1). Free throws: HGU 1-2, B 7-12. Total fouls: HGU 12, B 12. Rebounds: HGU 28 (M. Gerving 8), B 38 (Waldal 9). Assists: HGU 13 (Burbidge, K. Gerving 3), B 22 (Zachman 5). Steals: HGU 7 (Kari Gerving 3), B 20 (Farstveet 4). Blocks: HGU none, B 1 (Stedman). Turnovers: HGU 21, B 7.

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.