Cowboys edge Cougars

DICKINSON - Jamie Lee admitted she didn't realize how important she was to the Killdeer girls basketball team in overtime Monday night. However, the 5-foot-4 point guard made a world of difference to the Cowboys in their extra session against Hea...

DICKINSON - Jamie Lee admitted she didn't realize how important she was to the Killdeer girls basketball team in overtime Monday night.

However, the 5-foot-4 point guard made a world of difference to the Cowboys in their extra session against Heart River during the final quarterfinal game of the Region 7 tournament at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

Lee scored seven of her team's 11 overtime points - including two free throws that put Killdeer ahead by three with 21 seconds remaining - as the Cowboys withstood the Cougars' late charges and held on for a 69-65 victory.

"Things went good and we never gave up," said Lee, a soft-spoken senior who, along with senior Katie Dukart, scored a team-high 15 points.

"Those two, they do so much without putting points on the board," Killdeer coach Randy Binstock said. "This whole week, we told them if we go down, we go down shooting."


While things went well down the stretch for the Cowboys, the fourth quarter wasn't so pleasant.

Killdeer watched as Kayla Jilek and the Cougars gradually chipped away at its 44-36 third-quarter lead.

Jilek eventually forced overtime with an incredible 3-pointer that bounced off the front of the rim for two seconds before falling through the net just as time expired, forcing overtime.

"I was just hoping it was going in," said Jilek, who scored a game-high 23 points and made three of her five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. "When it went in, I was so happy I didn't know what to do."

Said Binstock: "That's tournament basketball. That's Region 7 right there."

Michelle Kubas went 4 of 4 from the free-throw line in overtime and gave the Cougars a 62-60 lead a minute in.

Then Lee took over.

She drove to the hoop and created free-throw opportunities for herself and her teammates as overtime wore on.


She tied the game at 62 with 2:50 remaining and put Killdeer ahead with a 3-pointer from the right side with 2:21 left.

Jilek fired back 20 seconds later with a 3 from the right wing to tie it at 65, but Killdeer senior center Tana Trotter got to the line just 13 seconds later and made the front end of her double-bonus opportunity to give the Cowboys a 66-65 lead.

They never trailed again.

Killdeer called a time out with 27 seconds remaining after Trotter and Dani Sadowsky missed back-to-back layups on a fast-break trip.

Five seconds later, Lee stepped up and knocked down a pair of free throws to make it 68-65.

Heart River got only one quality look after that and junior Ashlynn Evoniuk stepped on the 3-point line before missing her shot with 8 seconds left.

"They played good defense," Heart River coach Dan Pender said. "We just ran out of gas at the end."

Sadowsky pulled down the rebound and was fouled. She made one of her two free throws to seal the win.


Trotter, Sadowsky and Kailey Appledoorn each scored 13 points for the Cowboys, who were the third seed out of District 14 and improved to 15-7.

"We have to have a little bit of scoring from everybody to win games like this," Binstock said.

The game was tight throughout but Killdeer maintained an advantage until late in the fourth.

Killdeer held an 18-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Katie Dukart scored seven unanswered points in a 1:10 span to help the Cowboys go into halftime with a 29-24 lead.

Lee and Appledoorn helped the Cowboys increase their lead to 44-36 by the end of the third. But from there, the Cougars went to work.

After cutting Killdeer's lead to one, Jilek stole an in-bounds pass on Heart River's end of the court and dished the ball to senior forward Lynae Rambousek, who scored the final points of her career to put the Cougars ahead 56-55 with 43 seconds remaining in regulation.

Rambousek fouled out 17 seconds later and finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and three steals.


Appledoorn and Dukart each hit a pair of free throws to give the Cowboys a 58-55 lead with 12.6 seconds left, setting up Jilek's overtime-forcing 3-pointer.

The close game was a difference from the first two times the teams met. Heart River beat Killdeer 55-29 and Killdeer won 51-33 when the teams met in the regular season.

However, neither coach expected Monday's game to turn out any differently than it did.

"I thought this was the game that would be played," Pender said.

Free throws played a big role in the game. Killdeer was 15 of 21 for the game but was 6 of 8 from the line in overtime.

Heart River, meanwhile, was 21 of 25. The majority of that came from Kubas, who was 11 of 15.

She scored 17 points and had seven rebounds in the final high school game of her career. The 5-foot-10 senior center plans to take her game to Dickinson State next season.

Heart River ends its season at 15-8.


Binstock said he was happy with what his team did from the line.

"You don't win championships unless you can hit from the free-throw line," he said. "The girls stepped up and hit some biggies tonight."

If the Cowboys want to have a shot at the Region 7 championship, they'll have to go through Dickinson Trinity at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the semifinals.

In their only game during the regular season, Killdeer came to Trinity and won 53-49.

Binstock thinks his team can do the same again.

"Year-in and year-out, you know a chance to go to the state tournament goes through Trinity's door," he said. "That was a hard-fought game then too. We expect nothing else (tonight)."

Killdeer 69, Heart River 65 (OT)

K 18 29 44 58 69


HR 16 24 36 58 65

K: Katie Dukart 15, Jamie Lee 15, Kailey Appledoorn 13, Tana Trotter 13, Dani Sadowski 13.

HR: Kayla Jilek 23, Michelle Kubas 17, Lynae Rambousek 12, Maren Dorval 7, Ashlynn Evoniuk 2, Laura Steffan 2, Keri Clyde 2.

3-pointers: Lee 3, Dukart, Jilek 5, Dorval. Free throws: K 15-21, HR 21-25. Total fouls: K 19, HR 18. Fouled out: Rambousek. Rebounds: K 36 (Sadowsky 11), HR 32 (Rambousek 8). Assists: K 9 (Lee 3), HR 4 (Evoniuk 2). Steals: K 10 (Dukart 4), HR 10 (Dorval 3, Rambousek 3). Turnovers: K 18, HR 16.

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