Hazen uses bench, beats Bearcats in semifinals
The Region 7 semifinal between the Hazen and Hebron-Glen Ullin girls basketball teams was a battle from the start. Hazen was tagged with nine fouls before the start of the second quarter. Despite the overabundance of fouls, which the teams combin...
The Region 7 semifinal between the Hazen and Hebron-Glen Ullin girls basketball teams was a battle from the start.
Hazen was tagged with nine fouls before the start of the second quarter.
Despite the overabundance of fouls, which the teams combined for 45, the No. 2-seeded Bison held off the No. 6-seeded Bearcats for a 43-38 win on Tuesday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
“It was definitely a physical game,” said Hazen senior forward Madison Leintz, who posted a game-high 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals. “We had to play through our fouls, but so did they.”
The foul trouble affected the Bearcats (15-9) due to the limited bench.
HGU only had a total of eight players dressed for the contest. In the end, Bearcats had three starters foul out. It also didn’t help HGU struggled from the free-throw line at the start and finished 11 of 27 (41 percent).
“Usually at the free-throw line, we are pretty solid,” HGU head coach Bryton Fox said. “Our girls were a little too tight right away. They were afraid to miss. We took a timeout when we were 1 for 10 (at the free-throw line). After that, they started falling.”
Hazen head coach John Ward didn’t have a problem going to bench. The Bison only received seven points off the bench, but five players saw significant playing time.
“I have three or four girls that I can bring off the bench,” Ward said. “On a lot of teams, they might be starters.”
At the end of the first quarter, the teams were tied at nine. Hazen (14-9) made a move in the second quarter to take a 24-17 lead at halftime. HGU, which had prided itself on strong second halves, grabbed a 35-34 lead at the end of the third quarter.
However, in the fourth quarter, Hazen junior forward Krista Slaubaugh made clutch free throws down the stretch. She ended with 12 points, three rebounds and three steals.
In the final 22 seconds, Slaubaugh sank a free throw to make it a two-possession game, which ended up being a final for 43-38.
Though the Bison went 21 percent from the field, they took 15 more shots than the Bearcats.
“We made enough shots when it counted,” Ward said with a laugh. “I never tell my girls they can’t shoot. I have a lot of good shooters.”
HGU’s Kennedy Zuroff supplied 11 points, while Taya Bandle grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, six points and three steals. Kendra Gerving and Kiana Schatz each had seven points.
The Bison play No. 10-ranked and top seed Dickinson Trinity for the Region 7 championship at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The Bearcats meet No. 4 seed Beach for the third-place game at 5 p.m.
“We are all excited,” Leintz said. “It should be a good game. We are going to have to bring our ‘A’ game.”
HGU 9 17 35 38
Hazen 9 24 34 43
HGU: Kennedy Zuroff 11, Kendra Gerving 7, Kiana Schatz 7, Taya Bandle 6, Michaela Gerving 5, Kristin Schaaf 2.
H: Madison Leintz 15, Krista Slaubaugh 12, Raquel Doll 4, Stephanie Ziegler 3, Courtney Rask 3, Dakota Wood 3, Kayla Lindquist 3.
3-pointers: HGU 1 (K. Gerving), H 5 (Leintz 3). Free throws: HGU 11-27, H 14-20. Total fouls: HGU 21, H 24. Fouled out: HGU, Zuroff, M. Gerving, K. Gerving. Rebounds: HGU 42 (M. Gerving), H 35 (Leintz 7). Assists: HGU 6 (2 tied with 2), H 5 (2 tied with 2). Steals: HGU 5 (Bandle 3), H 14 (3 tied with 3). Blocks: none. Turnovers: HGU 23, H 10.