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Glen Ullin-Hebron Bearcats pull away from Hazen Bison in Region 7 quarterfinals

One of the many things stressed in the practices of the Glen Ullin-Hebron girls basketball team is free throws.Down the stretch of the Bearcats' Region 7 quarterfinal game, that emphasis paid off.Glen Ullin-Hebron, the sixth seed, made 11 of 15 f...

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Glen Ullin-Hebron sophomore guard Kennedy Zuroff, right, drives to the hoop against Hazen sophomore guard Raquel Doll in the Region 7 Tournament quarterfinals Monday at DHS gymnasium. (Press Photo by Colton Pool)

One of the many things stressed in the practices of the Glen Ullin-Hebron girls basketball team is free throws.
Down the stretch of the Bearcats’ Region 7 quarterfinal game, that emphasis paid off.
Glen Ullin-Hebron, the sixth seed, made 11 of 15 free throws in the second half to extend a first-half lead and defeat No. 3-seeded Hazen 51-40 Monday at Dickinson High gymnasium.
Being the only seeded upset of the Region 7 quarterfinals, the Bearcats (16-7) move on to play No. 2-seeded Beach at 6:30 p.m. today.
After making it to the the semifinals last season before losing to Hazen, Glen Ullin-Hebron head coach Bray Fox said his team feels good to be back.
“These girls are finally starting to expect that play out of themselves,” Fox said. “It’s no longer a mentality of, ‘Oh, we’re going to get beat by Hazen, Beach or (Dickinson) Trinity.’ We’re going to come in and be competitive.’”
Although Hazen (16-6) had beaten the Bearcats 51-49 in the regular season, sophomore guard Kennedy Zuroff said her team wasn’t going to back down.
Zuroff led all players with 15 points from going 5 for 9 from the field and 2 for 3 from 3-point range to go with a team-high four rebounds and an assist.
“We basically like to play (like we’re) 20 points down,” Zuroff said. “We keep it in our mind that we have to keep playing hard and keep going.”
Glen Ullin-Hebron senior center Michaela Gerving went 4 of 11 from the field and 5 of 5 from the free-throw line for 13 points.
“We’ve got a mix of high scorers,” Fox said. “Any girl on any given night is capable of giving me 10 to 15 a night easy, it just depends. That’s one of our strengths is that you can’t really key on one of our girls. You can try to slow one down, but the other four rally around and pick up the slack.”

Hazen was led by sophomore forward Grace Zimmerman, who went 4 of 10 from the field for 10 points.
However, the Bison were without senior forward Krista Slaubaugh, who was in New York City traveling with her band, Tigirlily. Hazen head coach John Ward said Slaubaugh was in the top three of about every statistical category for the team.
“That’s their dream,” Ward said. “We encouraged her to go and told her this is something she needed to do. I’m not going to be one to squash a girl’s dream. She’s an amazing, talented singer. I would’ve love to have her, but I’m not going to take that talent. … I know she was here for us.”
However, Hazen didn’t appear to need her from the get go, as the Bison went on a 9-0 run midway through the first half.
But then Glen Ullin-Hebron went on an 8-0 run to close out the second quarter and take a 25-20 lead at halftime.
“That’s kind of how we want the game to go is on some big runs,” Ward said. “We came and tried to press them, and we were trying to push them. They like to slow it down and run their zone, so we really had to try and play our style of game. In the first half, we were making shots and doing some good things.”
The Bearcats gradually pulled away in the second half, Fox said, mostly due to defense. Glen Ullin-Hebron made 35 percent of its shots in the second half and limited Hazen to 20 percent from the field.
“I think staying very calm and focused is what helped us a lot,” Zuroff said, “and not forcing anything.”
Now that the Bearcats have survived, Zuroff said her team needs to play with more confidence against Beach - which defeated Mott-Regent 71-49 in their quarterfinals game.
And even though the Buccaneers beat Glen Ullin-Hebron 47-38 the first time around in the regular season, Fox said his team has enough momentum to keep it going.
“We have a nice mix of players,” Fox said. “They all feed off each other and play really well together.”

GUH 8 25 37 51
H 13 20 30 40
GUH: Kiana Schatz 8, Kennedy Zuroff 15, Michaela Gerving 13, Kendra Gerving 7, Taya Bandle 8.
H: Raquel Doll 7, Grace Zimmerman 10, Kayla Lindquist 6, Eva Byerley 5, McKenzie Walters 7, Courtney Rask 2, Elise Hintz 3.
3-pointers: GUH 4 (Zuroff 2, K. Gerving 2), H 3 (Doll 1, Lindquist 1, Hintz 1). Free throws: GUH 7-15, H 17-26. Total fouls: GUH 22, H 14. Fouled out: H, Zimmerman. Rebounds: GUH 39 (Bandle 6), H 41 (four tied with 4). Assists: GUH 1 (Zuroff 1), H 0. Steals: GUH 3 (Schatz 2), H 6 (Lindquist 4). Blocks: GUH 2 (two tied with 1), H 1 (Byerley 1). Turnovers: GUH 10, H 16.

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