ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Killdeer completes run to state: Cowboys outlast Bowman County, win Region 7 Championship

Celebrating her birthday, Killdeer senior guard Sydney Anderson locked eyes with her teammate and close friend, senior forward Trae Murray. As the final buzzer sounded and the faithful wearing orange and black rose up from their seats roaring, th...

The Killdeer girls basketball team hold high their Region 7 Championship plaque following 67-59 victory over Bowman County on Thursday, Feb. 222 from the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)
The Killdeer girls basketball team hold high their Region 7 Championship plaque following 67-59 victory over Bowman County on Thursday, Feb. 222 from the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)

Celebrating her birthday, Killdeer senior guard Sydney Anderson locked eyes with her teammate and close friend, senior forward Trae Murray.

As the final buzzer sounded and the faithful wearing orange and black rose up from their seats roaring, the two players hugged with tears beginning to stream down their face, realizing a season-long goal has been met.

Killdeer and Bowman County entered Thursday night's Region 7 Girls Tournament Championship Game as the top two seeds. In a tightly-contested match throughout, the Cowboys late surge paved their way to the state tournament, defeating the Cowboys 67-59 from the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

"Trae and I have been teammates since third grade, classmates forever and best friends forever," Anderson said. "It's just a surreal moment to accomplish this with that person. She has always been there for me. When I saw her as the clock winded down, it was just disbelief. I knew how hard we worked. This day felt like it took forever to come and it's just an awesome feeling."

The teams stayed within six points of each other through the first three and a half quarters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cowboys senior forward Bridgette Reiss nailed a 3-pointer as the first quarter buzzer sounded, giving Killdeer a 18-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. Following a shot inside from junior forward Shawnee Hansen, the Cowboys stretched their lead to six late in the second quarter, but as was the case for much of the night, the Bulldogs countered.

Bowman County closed the half on a 8-2 run. Bulldogs senior forward Meggie Fischer scored on a post up, trimming the deficit to 31-29 entering halftime.

The Cowboys pushed to as much as a five-point advantage in the third quarter after Anderson scored inside, but Bowman County again responded as junior forward Ellie Stafford banked in a basket, close the gap to 47-44 at the end of the third period.

"I thought our girls played their hearts out," Bulldogs head coach Jaden Schoch said. "They did a good job for as long as we possible could. We needed the ball to bounce our way a couple of times, but it just didn't happen that way."

With a quarter to go and a trip to the state tournament at stake, Cowboys junior guard Steena Larsen rose to the occasion. She scored six important points in the final frame, including a layup off of a backdoor cut, pumping the advantage to 59-53 with under three minutes remaining.

"I really appreciate the trust that we have for each other. They can trust me." Larsen said. "I've been having some off-games lately, but they still had that full trust in me to step up to the task."

Bowman County closed to within two when junior guard Maury Burke scored on a backdoor cut of her own.

Following a timeout, Murray scored inside bumping the lead up to four. She was a force offensively for the full 32 minutes, but her biggest contribution came defensively. With just over a minute remaining in regulation, Murray stepped in front and intercepted a Bulldogs entry pass.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Well, I don't really remember much about the game, but I surely remember that," Murray said. "I just remember getting the ball and kicking it out. We had this calming feeling that we had the whole game, it just settled. At that moment, it's just like 'This is it. This is real life. We did it.' We saw that the clock was on our side and it was very surreal."

Reiss was subsequently fouled as she drained two free throws. Anderson followed with two more free throws to seal it, finishing with nine points and nine rebounds.

"The only way I can describe my emotions right now is that I feel completely blessed to be a part of these girls' lives, to get coach in such an amazing community, I'm just overwhelmed with happiness." Killdeer head coach Ashlee Viveros said. "There were points in which we were letting fatigue in and we'd kind of have little defensive lapses. But we became more alert on defense and Bridgette stepping up and making crucial free throws in the final minute was so big for us."

Stafford and Fischer each led the Bulldogs with 18 points. Stafford also collected 12 rebounds.

Leading all scorers with 22 points, Murray said she believed Killdeer's victory was a complete, collective team effort.

"It wasn't so much of a load, because we don't try to put it all on one person or two people," Murray said. "Our whole team takes the load. We all take our share, we all do our job, we all trust each other and trust that we are going to do our job."

Killdeer 67, Bowman County 59

BC 14 15 15 15

ADVERTISEMENT

K 18 13 16 20

BC: Meggie Fischer 18, Ellie Stafford 18, Maury Burke 10, Jillian Svihovec 7, Abby Smyle 6.

K: Trae Murray 22, Shawnee Hansen 14, Bridgette Reiss 11, Sydney Anderson 9, Steena Larsen 8, Karly Bang 2, Hannah Kling 1.

3-pointers: BC 3 (Svihovec 1), K 1 (Reiss 1). Free throws: BC 4-6, K 14-19. Total fouls: BC 16, K 12. Fouled out: 1 (BC Burke). Rebounds: BC 34 (Stafford 12), K 32 (Anderson 8). Assists: BC 11 (Fischer 3), K 13 (Anderson 4). Steals: BC 7 (Fischer 3), K 8 (Murray 3). Blocks: BC 0, K 1 (Murray 1). Turnovers: BC 13, K 12. Records: BC 18-6, K 20-4.

2018 All-Region 7 Girls Basketball Awards

All-Region 7 Team

Beach - Abby Wilhelmi

Bowman County - Ellie Stafford, Meggie Fischer

Dickinson Trinity - Josie Glaser

Glen Ullin-Hebron - Kennedy Zuroff, Kiana Schatz

Hazen - Raquel Doll

Heart River - Bailey Olson, Ashlyn Privratsky

Hettinger-Scranton - Abigail Kludt, Molly Holt

Killdeer - Sydney Anderson, Tray Murray

Mott-Regent - Breanna Friedt

Paige Ehlis - New England

Coach of the Year

Killdeer - Ashlee Viveros

Senior Athlete of the Year

Killdeer - Sydney Anderson

Athletic Director of the Year

Hazen - Randy Johnson

Related Topics: KILLDEER COWBOYS
What To Read Next
Members Only
A string of late goals for Dickinson boys hockey team would be the decider, but wouldn't cease the North Stars 'never say die' effort till the final buzzer.
Magicians secure victory with a three pin contest at an intense dual in Dickinson. 
The Midgets’ win came with an injury to All-State beam title holder Addison Fitterer that could see her out for an extended period of time.
Members Only
Dickinson's Michael McChesney helps lead Team USA to a silver medal finish in the World University Games, inspiring young athletes to strive for greatness