Hot-shooting Beach Buccaneers girls basketball rolls past Mott-Regent Wildfire

True to form, the Beach girls basketball team used a hot shooting touch Monday to propel itself into the Region 7 semifinals.The second-seeded Buccaneers were dangerous from all over the floor, shooting 41.8 percent, and cruised to a 71-49 win ov...

2340327+0223 Beach.jpg
Beach eighth-grader Samantha Oech attempts a three-pointer during her team’s Region 7 quarterfinal game against Mott-Regent Monday at Dickinson High gymnasium. (Press Photo by Parker Cotton)

True to form, the Beach girls basketball team used a hot shooting touch Monday to propel itself into the Region 7 semifinals.
The second-seeded Buccaneers were dangerous from all over the floor, shooting 41.8 percent, and cruised to a 71-49 win over seventh-seeded Mott-Regent at Dickinson High gymnasium in the quarterfinals of the Region 7 Tournament.
With the win, Beach (16-6) moves on to play Glen Ullin-Hebron in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. today at Dickinson High gymnasium.
Five Buccaneers combined to hit six 3-pointers against Mott-Regent.
“We knew they were the best shooting team, probably, in our region, so not a great draw for us,” Wildfire head coach Adam Hill said. “But we held them to 45 in the regular season, so we knew what they were doing, but they just made shots tonight. They just had too many shooters in too many places.”
Beach senior forward Baili Nielsen led all players with 21 points on 10 of 17 shooting, and sophomore guard Abby Wilhelmi and senior forward Brooklynn Zachmann added 14 and 10 points, respectively.
“Throughout the year, we’ve had three or four (in double-figures),” Buccaneers head coach Bob Waldal said. “I like the way they work as a team, and they’re always pulling for each other. We got a good bunch. They seemed to make the baskets when it counted.”

Three other Buccaneers scored at least seven, putting pressure on Mott-Regent to defend all angles.
“We can rely on anybody and everybody to take a shot,” said Zachmann, who also had a game-high 10 rebounds. “Our whole team has confidence.”
After the teams traded buckets and turnovers in the opening minutes of the game, Beach found some breathing room in the waning moments of the first quarter and went ahead 17-10 going to the second.
The Buccaneers slowly added on after that, leading by 12 at halftime and by 20 through three quarters.
Mott-Regent (13-9, 7-7) shot 12 of 25 (48 percent) from the field in the second half, but couldn’t keep up. For the game, the Wildfire shot just a shade under Beach’s percentage from the field - at 39.6 percent - but the Buccaneers forced 24 turnovers and brought down 10 offensive rebounds, leading to more attempts at the basket.
“They zoned us, so we should get some offensive rebounds,” Waldal said. “Our girls crashed the boards, and they needed to do that.”
Mott-Regent junior guard Eleanore Messmer led the Wildfire with 17 points. Wildfire seniors Haley Hill and Sadie Ambers scored nine and eight points, respectively.
Zachmann said it was vital for her team to play quality defense with a trip to the Region 7 semifinals on the line.
“My team did a really good job of hustling to get every pass,” she said. “We really gave it our all to try to get every turnover possible.”
The win allows Beach’s three seniors - Rylee Clarke, along with Zachmann and Nielsen - to extend their careers at least one more game.
“It’s always a fun opportunity to play another game,” Zachmann said.
Waldal said he’s also thankful his seniors can play on.
“At the beginning of the season, as coaches,” Waldal said, “you want your seniors to have the best year possible and have a lot of fun doing it.”

MR 10 21 34 49
B 17 33 54 71
MR: Eleanore Messmer 17, Haley Hill 9, Sadie Ambers 8, Malynn Kautzman 6, Kaitlyn Duncan 4, Maddison Johnson 3, Abbey Kautzman 2.
B: Baili Nielsen 21, Abby Wilhelmi 14, Brooklynn Zachmann 10, Samantha Oech 9, Rylee Clarke 7, Taryn Hoffer 7, Sofia Muruato 3.
3-pointers: MR 3 (Hill 3), B 6 (Wilhelmi 2, Zachmann 1, Clarke 1, Hoffer 1, Oech 1). Free throws: MR 4-9, B 9-15. Total fouls: MR 15, B 13. Rebounds: MR 37 (Kautzman 6), B 35 (Zachmann 10). Assists: MR 5 (5 tied, 1), B 5 (Muruato 2). Steals: MR 9 (Messmer 4), B 14 (Zachmann 3, Clarke 3). Blocks: MR 0, B 0. Turnovers: MR 24, B 15.

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