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Beulah keeps Heart River from rallying in quarterfinals of Region 7 tournament

The Miners tallied 40 rebounds over the Cougars’ 33 to cement their victory.

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Heart River falls to Beulah in quarterfinals of Region 7 tournament.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press
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Last year, Heart River made it all the way to the Region 7 championship game. This year, Cougars made an early exit in the tournament after encountering the No. 2 seed Beulah in the quarterfinals. The two sides faced each other in the quarterfinals last year, but this year Heart River ended on the wrong side of the scoreboard with the game resulting in a 57-48 defeat for them Monday evening at Trinity High School.

The Cougars came into the tourney as the No. 7 seed, after vanquishing Richardton-Taylor in the play-in game. Despite Heart River’s lower placement, their game against the Miners could not be called a one sided affair, with the score at a five-point margin with just over a minute remaining in the game.

“We are definitely disappointed, but we definitely did not just fall over in this one,” Heart River’s head coach Ronnie Stewart said. “We gave it our absolute all. We are proud of the girls that played here today and so proud of our three seniors.”

The first bucket was made well after a minute into the first quarter. It came from Miners guard Paige Miller. The Cougars got on the board after sophomore guard Sage Froehlich tipped the ball and took it up the lane for a layup to make it 5-2.

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Sage Froehlich drives the ball midcourt after tipping it away from the Miners in the first quarter.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

Beulah’s defense was a tight man-to-man that gave senior forward Lelani Privratsky very little room around the edges. Her first 3-pointer came right before the second quarter to make it 13-9.

“Really it came down to our execution,” Stewart said. “Everybody in the region knows what Privratsky can do from the outside so of course he (Beulah head coach Rich Miller) did his homework.”

The Miners had doubled the Cougars’ score early in the second quarter at 18-9, but the gold and blue would outscore them 11-10 in the quarter. The Beulah lead grew to 26-13 with three minutes remaining in the quarter, before Heart River would go on a 5-0 run, closing out the first half was a 2-point buzzer beater from senior guard Meg Silbernagel.

The halftime score was 26-18.

Privatsky started the scoring in the third quarter with two free-throws. The Cougars were at the top of their game in the third, outscoring their opponents 14-9.

Privratsky made a big three to make it 33-31 which led to the Cougars taking a momentary one point lead in dying seconds of the third, before a putback from Beulah’s Jenna Koppelsloen re-established the Miners’ lead.

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Lelani Privratsky makes a three for Heart River in their quarterfinal battle against Beulah.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

The fourth quarter started with just one point in between the two at 35-34.

Heart River took a big hit in the final quarter when Froehlich picked up her fifth foul and was taken out for the remainder of the game.

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“We already only play with six players, but our six player, Dallas Olson is definitely capable of coming off the bench and providing quality minutes for us,” Stewart said. “Sage last year in the regional tournament in the semifinal and championship game, she was our high scorer so she can definitely bring a lot to the table. So yes, losing her definitely gave us a much needed substitute and we just didn't quite have that.”

Both teams were in the double bonus in the final quarter and led to a mini free-throw contest. Senior forward Jordan Buckman was sent to the foul line five times and went 8-for-10. Beulah’s Kinsey Zuroff took to the line three times in the final quarter and went 6-for-6.

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Jordan went 8-for-10 at the line in their quarterfinals game against Beulah on Monday, Feb. 21.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

Heart River showed superiority at the charity stripe, shooting 76 percent compared to 63 percent for Beulah. Ultimately, it would not be enough as the Miners dominated rebounds, especially on offense and made clutch three point shots.

“The one thing I am hesitant about zone defense is rebounding,” Stewart said. “Because it does make it more difficult and towards the end there, a few of those rebounds and long three-point shots definitely went their way.”

The Cougars’ seniors combined for 35 points and 20 rebounds. Silbernagel was their leading scorer with 17. Buckman followed with a double-double, 10 points and 10 boards. Privratsky had eight points and six rebounds.

The Miners will continue onto the semifinals with their opponents being Bowman County. Heart River’s season has now come to an end, but they take with them cherished memories and an experience that Stewart expressed will forever be remembered.

“Our hats off to our three seniors,” Stewart said. “They gave us four years and they were the greatest four years of my life. I am so grateful to be able to coach them. I can confidently say that I am a better person and coach, just by coaching them. I hope our young girls can take off from their leadership and be a good influence and create just as many memories that our seniors have provided us.”

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Abby Talkington scans the court for an open pass.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

Box Scores:

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Q1Q2Q3Q4Final
Heart River911141448
Beulah161092257

Beulah: Jenna Koppelsloen 14, Harys Beauchamp 13, Kinsey Zuroff 10, Paige Miller 9, Allyson Walcker 6, Shea Barron 5; Heart River: Meg Silbernagel 17, Jordan Buckman 10, Abbey Talkington 9, Lelani Privratsky 8, Sage Froehlich 4

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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