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Bulldogs offense too much to handle for Cougars

Bowman County went on to win the game after taking a 17-point lead at halftime.

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Lelani Privratsky tries to get two-points after recovering a offensive rebound.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

SOUTH HEART, ND — The Heart River girls basketball hosted a regional contest against Bowman County at South Heart High School Thursday night. It was a full crowd with nearly every seat accounted for.

The two sides encountered each other earlier in the season at the Roughrider tournament that ended 53-34 favoring the Bulldogs and their aggressive press. It would be a similar outcome again with the Cougars facing a hard defeat at home with the final result being 73-57.

An early double-digit lead served as the foundation for Bowman County’s victory, keeping Heart River at arm’s length.

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A pack house inside the South Heart Pubic School gymnasium for the Region 7 match up between Heart River and Bowman County on Feb. 2
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

“Every night is a different game plan,” Bowman County co-head coach Jaci Mrnak said. “Our game plan tonight was to make it a track meet. get after the ball, ball pressure and do what we do and make it a full-court game.”

“We knew exactly what their pressure was going to do, we felt like we made pretty good adjustments, but still clearly handling the ball is not something that we are blessed with,” Heart River head coach Ronnie Stewart said. “This game was closer than what the scoreboard indicated and I am so proud of our girls and our three seniors.”

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The score was close after four minutes into the first quarter with the Cougars trailing by two. However, the Bulldogs went on a 12-2 run to end the quarter 21-11.

“They looked a lot inside-out, they moved the ball very well, they looked for good shots,” Mrnak said. “They don't care who scores the points, they just want to get points on the board and get the win. That has kind of been our philosophy all season and they are just really great teammates for each other.”

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Sophomore Dalys Olson guarding the Bowman County player in the second half of their regional game on Feb. 2
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

Heart River started the second quarter on a run to cut their deficit in half at 24-19, but would then struggle to connect their shots and failed to secure rebounds. Bowman County was back at a ten-point lead with four minutes remaining in the first half and extended it to 17 as the two teams headed to their locker rooms with the Bulldogs up 41-23.

“We gave up too many second-chance points and you can't give a team of Bowman’s caliber those opportunities,” Stewarts said. “Bowman County definitely just knocked down more shots than we did, they definitely went deeper off the bench and they played well. Hats off to them … We got better as the game went on and our girls played with a lot more energy.”

The third quarter showed two evenly matched sides with Bowman County outsourcing Heart River 15-13.

The score was 56-37 at the start of the final quarter. The Cougars began to find success, outscoring the Bulldogs 20-17 and hitting three 3-pointers after going empty handed in the first three quarters. Their last run almost brought it to a ten-point game at 68-55, but the Bulldogs would take it back up to 16 points to finish the game 73-57.

Heart River senior forward Jordan Buckman had trouble at the free-throw line going 4-for-17, but still contributed 14 points. Their top shooter, senior forward Lelani Privratsky, pocketed 19, but her lone 3-pointer came down the stretch. Both sides had four players each score in double figures. Bowman County’s top scorer was Ellie Powell with 17, going 5-for-5 at the line.

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Bowman County's post player Ellie Powell was 5-for-5 at the line in their regional win in South Heart on Feb. 2
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

The Bulldogs next game will be against Killdeer while Heart River will meet Trenton, out of Region 8, on the road. Both games will be happening this Saturday.

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Score Summary: 

Q1Q2Q3Q4 Final
Bowman County2120151773
Heart River1113132057

Bowman County: Ellie Powell 17, Jaci Fisher 12, Raegan Honeyman 11, Saige Stadheim 11, Andrea Rodakwoski 8, Jayda Miller 6, Sophia Headley, Mickellyn Walker, 4; Heart River: Lelani Privratsky 19, Jordan Buckman 14, Sage Froehlich, Meg Silbernagel 11, Dalys Olson 2

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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