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Bearcats pull off victory: Hebron-Glen Ullin defeats Bulldogs to advance in Region 7 tournament

When the Hebron-Glen Ullin girls basketball team found itself down by six points at halftime to Bowman County, the team wasn't worried. The Bearcats thrive under pressure. With the aid of clutch free throws down the stretch, the Bearcats chipped ...

Kennedy Zuroff
Hebron-Glen Ullin freshman guard Kennedy Zuroff, middle, goes up for a shot against a trio of Bowman County defenders during the quarterfinals of the Region 7 Tournament on Monday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

When the Hebron-Glen Ullin girls basketball team found itself down by six points at halftime to Bowman County, the team wasn’t worried.
The Bearcats thrive under pressure.
With the aid of clutch free throws down the stretch, the Bearcats chipped away at their deficit to upset the Bulldogs 46-42 in the quarterfinals of the Region 7 tournament on Monday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
“Our third quarter is just amazing, we come out fired up and ready to go,” HGU junior Michaela Gerving said. “I don’t think we’ve come into halftime being ahead, but we always work together and win it at the end.”
HGU (15-8) was picked to finish 10th in the preseason Region 7 poll, so not many thought the team could reach the semifinals. But the Bearcats embraced their underdog role and found success throughout the season with come-from-behind wins. Monday was no exception.
With five minutes left in the game Bowman County (13-9) was up 40-33 after Haley Phelps made a layup. HGU went to work and tied the game 42-42 on a Kendra Gerving 3-pointer with two minutes left and scored on foul shots down the stretch.
In the last two minutes the Bearcats went 4 for 8 at the free-throw line and 17 for 31 overall.
“Our free throws are big at the end and we work on free throws every night at practice, 10 minutes each time, and it comes through at the end of each game. You can tell,” Kendra Gerving said.
Michaela and Kendra Gerving were key players for HGU, especially in the closing minutes. Kendra Gerving scored eight points in the last two minutes, finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and all three of the team’s 3-pointers. Michaela Gerving had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Kennedy Zuroff added six points - was 4 for 5 at the free-throw line - and five rebounds and Kiana Schatz supplied four points, including a buzzer-beating jumper to cut HGU’s halftime deficit to 25-22.
“I honestly think our girls are more confident playing from behind and we were a team picked 10th to be in the region and now we can’t finish any lower than fourth so we’ll take that,” HGU head coach Bray Fox said.
Justyce Duffield led Bowman County with 14 points and six rebounds, Kaylee Heinrich pulled down 10 rebounds and supplied eight points. Ariana Zook scored nine points and Phelps had seven.
In a game where free throws mattered, the Bulldogs came up short and was 9 for 13 at the line.
“We fouled too many times and we knew coming in they were a very good free-throw shooting team and we couldn’t put them into the bonus and we did, both halves,” Bowman County head coach Pam Fisher said.
HGU looks to keep its playoff hopes alive by taking on No. 2 seed Hazen at 6:30 p.m. today. The Bearcats had another come-from-behind victory over the Bison and beat them 51-49 on Feb. 2.
“No one expected us to come this far this season and we just shown with team work and what we can do together how far we can actually get,” Kendra Gerving said.
HGU 11 25 35 46
BC 13 22 29 42
HGU: Michaela Gerving 16, Kendra Gerving 16, Kennedy Zuroff 6, Kiana Schatz 4, Taya Bandle 3, Kristin Schaff 1.
BC: Jutyce Duffield 14, Ariana Zook 9, Kaylee Heinrich 8, Haley Phelps 7, Meggie Fisher 4.
3-pointers: HGU 3 (K. Gerving 3), BC 1 (Zook). Free throws: HGU 17-31, BC 9-13. Total fouls: HGU 13, BC 25. Fouled out: BC Zook, Phelps. Rebounds: HGU 44 (M. Gerving 13), BC 41 (Heinrich 10). Assists: HGU 4 (Schatz 2, K. Gerving 2), BC 6 (Fischer 3). Steals: HGU 10 (Scahtz 3, Zuroff 3), BC 5 (5 with 1). Blocks: HGU 1 (Schatz), BC 0. Turnovers: HGU 11, BC 17. Records: HGU 15-8, BC 13-9.

Taya Bandle
HGU juniors forward Taya Bandle, right, drives against Bowman County senior forward Kaylee Heinrich.

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