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Night Hawks fall to Beulah in Roughrider tournament semifinals

Day two of the Roughrider girls basketball tournament got underway Thursday evening.

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Hettinger-Scranton junior Ella Jensen (2) defends Beulah senior Allyson Walcker (22) in the fourth quarter Thursday, Dec. 9 at the Roughrider tournament in Killdeer. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

The Hettinger-Scranton girls basketball team got an early look to see how they would fare against Region 7’s elite.

The Night Hawks met the Miners in the semifinals of the Roughrider tournament held in Killdeer, with both sides looking to gain the upper hand on each other just a week into the season.

Stakes weren’t as high as they usually are between two contending teams, but a spot in the Roughrider tournament championship game was on the line.

Beulah kept a narrow lead throughout the game and hung on until the end, defeating Hettinger-Scranton 55-49.

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Hettinger-Scranton freshman Monica Morris (23) looks to drive to the basket in the fourth quarter against Beulah Thursday, Dec. 9 at the Roughrider tournament in Killdeer. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

“We needed to get that win against Stanley (on Tuesday) because we wanted to play Beulah,” Hettinger-Scranton head coach Kelly Pierce said. “Good competition early in the season is what you want. Win, lose, or draw, you want to play good teams. We knew if we played Beulah, who is a really good team, it would make us better in the long run.”

It was a close game throughout - with the largest lead being 12 in favor of the Miners - as the Night Hawks had an answer every time it seemed like the game would slip out of their hands.

“I was extremely happy with how the girls fought and hung in there,” Pierce said. “We got in some foul trouble with our bigs and had to go deep in our bench with some young players that hadn’t seen any varsity action.”

It was 14-9 Beulah at the end of the first quarter. Hettinger-Scranton made it known they would hunt their shots from the perimeter, with senior guard Bailee Pierce leading the way.

The Miners went up by seven early in the second quarter, but back-to-back threes by Pierce kept the Night Hawks within reach. Beulah held a 27-24 halftime lead.

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Out of the break the Miners took a 34-24 lead, but Hettinger-Scranton again answered with a pair of threes, one by Pierce and the other from junior Ella Jensen to make it 34-30.

But Beulah had an answer themselves, extending their lead 39-30 and then 48-36 at the end of the third. One more run was required for the Night Hawks to stay in the game, which they got.

A 12-2 run to begin the fourth quarter made it a two-point game at 50-48 as the game reached the final stages. It was 52-49 as Hettinger-Scranton looked to tie the game, but misfired on back-to-back three point attempts with minutes to go.

They eventually had to foul with the Miners possessing the ball with the shot clock turned off. It was a four point game as the Night Hawks quickly looked for a basket.

With their last chance to cut into a 54-49 deficit, they turned the ball over and would see the end of their late-game surge.

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“We had to scrap and be gritty and I thought we did that,” Pierce said.

It sends Hettinger-Scranton to the third place game against Heart River and Beulah to the championship against Bowman County on Saturday.

ROUGHRIDER TOURNAMENT DAY 2 SCORES

CONSOLATION BRACKET

Stanley 68, Richardton-Taylor 56

New England 58, Killdeer 37

SEMIFINALS

Beulah 55, Hettinger-Scranton 49

Bowman County 53, Heart River 35

Related Topics: BASKETBALLBEULAH MINERSGIRLS BASKETBALL
Race Archibald is a former sports reporter with The Dickinson Press.
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