Tigers win first district tourney game in years
It's been a long time since New England has been able to enjoy a District 13 tournament victory. "Our athletic director says it's been 10 years," New England coach Jason Jung said. Though Mott-Regent made it a little too close for the Tigers' com...
It's been a long time since New England has been able to enjoy a District 13 tournament victory.
"Our athletic director says it's been 10 years," New England coach Jason Jung said.
Though Mott-Regent made it a little too close for the Tigers' comfort, New England gave Jung his first district tournament coaching victory with a 51-42 win over the Wildfire in opening-round action Friday afternoon at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
The win vaults New England into the semifinal where it will face top-seeded Bowman County at 6 p.m. today. Mott-Regent has to wait until 6 p.m. Monday to play the regional-qualifier against the winner of Saturday's contest between Heart River and Beach.
"This was a big win for us," said Jung, who is in his fourth year as coach.
The Tigers were well in control through the first two and a half quarters until a 3-point barrage by twin sisters Heather and Kim Landis brought Mott-Regent back into contention.
"I figured it was going to be close for the first quarter or quarter and a half," Jung said. "We distanced ourselves by being patient and taking good shots."
New England had a 33-19 advantage with more than 2 minutes to go in the third quarter when Mott-Regent started to catch fire as both Landis sisters nailed a 3-pointer to help the Wildfire go on a 10-0 run, which brought them to within four points at 33-29.
Heather Landis drained two more 3-pointers and Kim Landis added another trey and a jumper to keep pace with New England's scoring.
Heather Landis finished with a game-high 14 points while Wildfire senior Emily Krauter had 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
"We knew those two Landis girls were capable of that," Jung said. "They were shooting NBA-type 3s, and they were going in.
"They just got on fire."
Mott-Regent coach Rod Meier said his team were able to use the 3s as a boost, even though it needed to find scoring elsewhere.
"We can count on (the 3s) for a five-minute stretch," Meier said. "Teams are going to stop that."
With New England clinging to a 41-38 lead with just more than four minutes remaining in the game, the Tigers put the kibosh on Mott-Regent's offense for good. New England tightened up its defense and used an 8-0 run to put the Wildfire away.
"We didn't panic," Jung said. "We stayed calm and focused."
New England junior Amanda Olheiser came up with a big bucket and a pair of free throws in the final three minutes to ensure the victory.
She finished with 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Jordyn Bender led the Tigers with 13 points. Junior Shari Hewson added 10. Senior Dana Kuhn had six assists.
Meier said the Wildfire didn't have the energy or the depth to answer New England's late run.
"We're just not healthy," Meier said. "We don't have a lot left.
"Our tank is pretty empty."
Heart River 60, Hettinger 56
Third-seeded Heart River certainly know Hettinger is playing its best ball right now.
The Cougars used a go-ahead jumper from senior Kayla Jilek with more than a minute to go and senior center Michelle Kubas provided a pair of game-clinching free throws with 7.9 seconds to go as the Cougars narrowly escaped an opening-round upset.
"Hettinger played really well," Heart River coach Dan Pender said. "They out-hustled us. We panicked a bit, but we still got the win."
Heart River plays Beach at 7:30 p.m. today in the semifinals. Hettinger matches up against Scranton in loser-out action at 4:30 p.m.
The Cougars started the game on a 12-2 run, but allowed Hettinger to climb back into it with a 9-2 run that extended into the second quarter. Heart River held a 27-21 lead at halftime.
"We showed up tonight," Hettinger coach Brian Christopherson said. "With all the foul trouble we had, our role players really stepped up and gave us a chance to win."
Hettinger kicked it into high gear with an 8-0 run midway through the third quarter that pulled the Lady Devils to within one at 35-34. However, Heart River responded with a 9-0 run.
After senior Lynae Rambousek hit a jumper to put her team up 50-40 with 4:02 to go, Hettinger fired right back.
The Lady Devils answered with eight unanswered points, eventually tying it up at 56 on a pair of made free throws from sophomore Gwen Kristy. Jilek's jumper ensued, giving her a game-high 18 points. Rambousek had 16.
"Lynae stepped up and played well," Pender said. "She kept us in the game by making shots when other people were struggling."
Sophomore Cloe Kilwein's 16 points led Hettinger. Kristy added 14.
"The way we played, I hope we can carry that over," Christopherson said. "With a young team, you don't know."
Beach 53, Scranton 25
Trailing 11-10 early in the second quarter, Beach was struggling to make shots.
"We don't start out well," Beach coach Bob Waldal said. "Lately we have, but we didn't tonight."
Beach settled in and took care of business with a 31-3 run that extended into the final minute of the third quarter.
Freshman center Brittany Dietz scored 13 of her game-high 17 points during the stretch, which ended when Scranton junior Megan Case hit a four-footer with 22 seconds to go in the third.
"We did some traps in the second quarter that probably rattled them," Waldal said.
Brittany Dietz added 10 for the Buccaneers, who play Heart River at 7:30 p.m. today. Scranton takes on Hettinger in an elimination game at 4:30 p.m.
The Miners were led in scoring by junior Mallorie Pierce's seven points.
Beach shot 59 percent in the second half, which helped offset a poor shooting performance from the free-throw line (14 of 27).
However, Beach's defense forced 21 turnovers and held Scranton's offense to 26 percent from the field.
Beach started a senior, a junior, a sophomore and two freshmen against Scranton. Waldal said his young team is good at keeping its composure.
"They're not overconfident," he said. "It's not their nature.
"These kids are too hard on themselves."
District 13 Tournament
New England 51, Mott-Regent 42
MR 9 14 26 42
NE 11 23 33 51
MR: Heather Landis 14, Emily Krauter 12, Kim Landis 9, MacKenzie Hertz 5, Lindsey Freidt 2.
NE: Jordyn Bender 13, Amanda Olheiser 12, Shari Hewson 10, Dana Kuhn 6, Shelby Wilhelm 6, Sara Wandler 4.
3-pointers: Heather Landis 3, Kim Landis 2, Bender. Free throws: MR 11-17, NE 12-18. Total fouls: MR 17, NE 14. Rebounds: MR 32 (Krauter 13), NE 42 (Olheiser 10). Assists: MR 11 (Heather Landis 4), NE 11 (Kuhn 6). Steals: MR 8 (Kim Landis 2, Heather Landis 2), NE 5 (Kuhn 3). Turnovers: MR 10, NE 13.
Heart River 60, Hettinger 56
H 9 21 36 56
HR 14 27 44 60
H: Cloe Kilwein 16, Gwen Kristy 14, Caitlin Pearson 7, Jade Yates 6, Tess Kilwein 6, Samantha Kristy 5, Alex Pearson 2.
HR: Kayla Jilek 18, Lynae Rambousek 16, Michelle Kubas 15, Ashlynn Evoniuk 5, Candra O'Brien 3, Maren Dorval 3.
3-pointers: Cloe Kilwein 3, Dorval, Jilek, Evoniuk. Free throws: H 11-18, HR 15-20. Total fouls: H 21, HR 14. Fouled out: Yates, Caitlin Pearson. Rebounds: H 27 (Alex Pearson 5), HR 31 (Rambousek 8). Assists: H 15 (Tess Kilwein 5), HR 20 (Jilek 6). Steals: H 6 (Tess Kilwein 3), HR 6 (three players with 2). Turnovers: H 22, HR 19.
Beach 53, Scranton 25
S 10 13 16 25
B 10 22 41 53
S: Mallorie Pierce 7, Megan Case 6, Katrina Johnson 3, Caitlin Layden 3, Jill Mollman 2, Brittany Truetken 2, Hannah Sabe 2.
B: Brittney Dietz 17, Jill Rising 10, Kayla Weinreis 8, Emily Hardy 8, Kayla Dolyniuk 4, Teal Waldal 3, Caitlin Maus 2, Abby Weinreis 1.
3-pointers: Pierce, Johnson, Waldal. Free throws: S 3-6, B 14-27. Total fouls: S 23, B 11. Fouled out: Truetken, Layden. Rebounds: S 26 (Layden 5, Case 5), B 31 (Hardy 7). Assists: S 7 (Johnson 3), B 11 (Abby Weinreis 3). Steals: S 2 (Mollman, Truetken), B 10 (Abby Weinreis 3, Hardy 3). Turnovers: S 21, B 11.