Bismarck Shiloh Christian Skyhawks take Class B state title over Watford City

GRAND FORKS -- The Bismarck Shiloh Christian girls basketball team had waited long enough.The fifth appearance at the Class B state tournament was the charm for the Skyhawks, as they patched together a roaring comeback in the second half of the t...

GRAND FORKS - The Bismarck Shiloh Christian girls basketball team had waited long enough.
The fifth appearance at the Class B state tournament was the charm for the Skyhawks, as they patched together a roaring comeback in the second half of the title game Saturday night to defeat Watford City 45-40 at the Alerus Center, winning the first girls basketball state championship in school history.
“They never quit believing. They never quit playing. They just kept going,” Skyhawks head coach Daryl Bearstail said. “They took it a possession at a time. They were so resilient.”
Down by 11 midway through the third quarter, Shiloh Christian (24-3) ended the frame on an 10-2 run to get within three going to the fourth. After trading buckets through the first 4 minutes of the final quarter, Skyhawks sophomore guard Amber Stevahn hit a 3-pointer to take a 36-35 lead, and on the next two possessions, Stevahn and senior guard Krista Ulmer each hit another 3-pointer to go up 42-35. 

“Coach always tells us to take the open shots, and don’t worry, just be confident,” said Stevahn, who had 12 points, all on 3-pointers. “I honestly don’t remember what I was doing. I just shot it, and it felt good and it went in. … I’m so glad I hit them for our team because the seniors really wanted to go out with a bang.”
Watford City (24-3) senior Katie Mogen would get the Wolves back within three with a pair of free throws, but the Skyhawks hit their foul shots on the other end to salt away the win.
Watford City, in its 14th appearance in the state tournament and second in the state championship game, will have to wait a little longer for its first title.
“We had a lot of double-digit wins (this season). We hadn’t had that many close games, so we didn’t handle, maybe, that close-game atmosphere like we needed to,” said Watford City head coach John Zenz, who was voted as the Class B Coach of the Year. “When Katie gets her fourth foul, that hurts our rotations a little bit. She does a lot for us. Once she sat for us, they went on a little run to end the (third) quarter, and in the fourth quarter, we just had turnovers at critical times.”
Mogen, who finished with 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and four blocks and was voted as the tournament MVP, said she and her five fellow seniors will still be proud of their showing this season.
“We still made history for our school,” she said. “We just needed more time.”
Watford City senior guard Ricki Lindley, who was named to the all-tournament team with Mogen, scored eight points with nine rebounds. Senior guard Lea Arndt added seven points and junior center MacKenzie Sparby chipped in six points with eight boards and two blocks.
Shiloh Christian held a 19-18 edge at halftime despite shooting just 7 of 24 (29 percent) in the first half. Ulmer led the Skyhawks with 10 of those points, and she finished with a game-high 19, including three 3-pointers. Ulmer also had five rebounds and six assists and was named to the all-tournament team.
The Wolves went on a 12-0 run to open the second half, taking their largest lead at 30-19 before Shiloh Christian’s shooters got hot.
“That first half was just a battle, and the second half was the same way,” Bearstail said. “When we got down, we were fortunate to get back. All our girls have the green light to shoot, and when they have the open shot, we want them to take it.”
Zenz said the loss doesn’t detract from his team’s accomplishments this season.
“This was a great group to work with - a lot of seniors here,” he said. “They represented themselves well all year long.”

SC 14 19 29 45
WC 12 18 32 40
SC: Krista Ulmer 19, Amber Stevahn 12, Paige Murray 6, Brittan Grubb 6, Allie Mischel 2.
WC: Katie Mogen 14, Ricki Lindley 8, Lea Arndt 7, MacKenzie Sparby 6, Alli Mogen 2, Krystal Wold 2, ReiAnn Lindley 1.
3-pointers: 7 (Stevahn 4, Ulmer 3), WC 2 (Ri. Lindley 1, Arndt 1). Free throws: SC 6-14, WC 8-13. Total fouls: SC 12, WC 15. Rebounds: SC 29 (Murray 10), WC 31 (Ri. Lindley 9). Assists: SC 12 (Ulmer 6), WC 8 (K. Mogen 5). Steals: SC 13 (Grubb 7), WC 8 (Re. Lindley 3). Blocks: SC 2 (Murray 1, Grubb 1), WC 7 (K. Mogen 4). Turnovers: SC 14, WC 20. Records: SC 24-3, WC 24-3.

2016 Class B Girls Basketball All-Tournament Team
Alanna Sickler, Dickinson Trinity; Katie Mogen, Watford City; Ricki Lindley, Watford City; Stephanie Miller, North Star; Macey Kvilvang; Kauri Hochhalter, Carrington; Krista Ulmer, Shiloh Christian; Shea Heidlebaugh, Rugby; Harmony Burns, Fairmount-Campbell-Tintah; Brittan Grubb, Shiloh Christian.
Tournament MVP
Katie Mogen, Watford City
Class B Coach of the Year
John Zenz, Watford City

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