MINOT — Alexis Bentz missed the first six shots she took on Thursday but made her last one to lift Grant County to a 60-57 win over defending champion Kindred at the North Dakota Class B girls state basketball tournament.
Bentz drained a long 3-pointer as time ran out, just seconds after Kristina Frier tied the game with her own 3-pointer.
The Coyotes (20-5) led by 16 points early in the third quarter but Kindred (19-5) stormed back behind eighth-grader Abigail Duchsherer, who scored 15 of her 25 points in the second half. Victoria Braaten added 11 points.
Bentz led the Coyotes with 15 points and 14 rebounds. The buzzer-beating ga me-winner was her only 3-pointer.
Taylor Roehl added 12 points and Molly Wetzel 11.
The Coyotes took a 15-12 lead after one quarter despite Bentz's shooting woes. She missed he first six shots but finally found the range. She was just 3-for-11 in the first half.
But she had help in what amounted to an almost perfect second quarter. Three other Grant County players had seven or more points in the half.
The Coyotes made 7 of 10 shots in the second quarter, including 2 of 3 3-pointers. It had four points on two second-shot chances and turned six turnovers into eight points to take a 39-25 halftime lead.
Killdeer 51, Rugby 45
The middle of the fourth quarter, in a state tournament, is no time to relax, as the Rugby Panthers found out on Thursday at the North Dakota Class B girls basketball tournament.
The Panthers put together a 19-6 run to take a 42-38 lead. Then they took a deep breath … and suffocated. A 13-0 run late in the fourth quarter led the Cowboys to a 51-45 win and a berth in Friday’s semifinals against Thompson.
“It was a lack of focus,” Rugby coach Jen Lunde said. “We clawed back from down 10, went up four, and our girls let up a little bit. That was the story. Then we couldn’t get it back. We’ve been down before and battled back.”
Madison Uhlenkamp started and ended strong for Rugby. She had six of the Panthers’ first-quarter points and all seven of their 10 points in the fourth, finishing with 17 points. Anni Stier added 10 points and Tristin Lunde had seven points and eight rebounds.
Killdeer (21-4) got points from five different players in the second quarter while stretching the lead to 27-19 at half. The Cowboys extended the lead to 32-21 with 6:27 left in the third.
Back-to-back baskets by Uhlenkamp lit a fire in Rugby. With 3:38 left, Karsyn Hager hit a 3-pointer to cap a 12-0 run and put Rugby up 33-32. The quarter ended with Bridgette Reiss draining a short jumper from the baseline with four seconds left to put Killdeer on top 36-35.
Uhlenkamp scored the Panthers’ next seven points, interrupted only by Reiss’ layup. With 5:19 left, the Panthers (22-3) had the lead and the momentum.
Then it was gone.
Shawnee Hansen scored six straight points. She finished with 12. Andersen added three of her 15 -- to go with 11 rebounds -- and Trae Murray netted four of her 15. By the time the run ended, Killdeer was up 51-42 despite missing six free throws.
MPB 62, Watford City 20
Halle Uehran and the Medina-Pingree-Buchanan girls basketball team made a statement Thursday at the Minot State University Dome.
Uehran filled the stat sheet for the second-ranked Thunder in the opening round of the North Dakota Class B girls state tournament against Watford City. The 6-foot-3 senior center scored 17 points and produced seven rebounds, seven blocks and five assists in the Thunder’s 62-20 victory over the Wolves.
M-P-B plays Grant County or Kindred in Friday’s semifinals at 8:15 p.m
“There was a lot of preparation for this,” said Uehran, who has committed to play volleyball at Northern State. “We knew it was now or never, and I think we were so pumped up you couldn’t stop us.”
M-P-B controlled the game’s tempo from the start, handling the Wolves’ full-court press and patiently working through its offense. The slow-it-down approach led to M-P-B rifling off a 22-4 run that closed the opening half 31-10.
“They’re a good basketball team, and when you miss shots and miss free throws it just digs you deeper in a hole,” said Watford City coach Cary Veis. “But the kids never quit and we just have to bounce back tomorrow.”
M-P-B’s defense was dominate all game. The Thunder held the Wolves to 8 of 52 from the field and outrebounded the opposition 40-26.
“It’s a lot of communication, and a lot has to do with matchups,” said M-P-B coach Brett Thielges, whose defense has now held an opponent to 20 points or less four times this season. “But the big thing is the adaptability of it -- being able to adjust to the different teams and players that you play against. Just staying aggressive and having five people communicating.”
Thompson 39, Langdon-Edmore-Munich 36
Thompson led only 31 seconds of its first-round game against Langdon-Edmore-Munich Thursday at the North Dakota Class B state girls basketball tournament. But they were the more important 31 seconds.
Kaia Sorby’s free throw with 31 seconds left gave the Tommies the lead for the first time and they held on down the stretch to beat the second-seeded Cardinals 39-36.
Mackenzie Hughes’ two free throws with six seconds to play and her steal of the inbounds gave the Tommies their 13th straight win and avenged an earlier loss to L-E-M.
“We had to be aggressive,” Hughes said. “There’s no way to explain it. It’s just exciting.”
Thompson (22-3) trailed from the opening possession until the end of the game despite several runs at the lead. It wasn’t until the Cardinals’ big two -- Jordyn Worley and Callie Ronningen -- got in foul trouble in the second half when the Tommie made it back from an early 16-7 deficit.
“We just wanted to keep being aggressive and keep them in foul trouble,” Thompson coach Jason Brend said.
But L-E-M coach Rob Scherr didn’t feel like he could take the two players responsible for more the half the team’s points off the floor. Ronningen fouled out in the closing seconds.
“We had to sit back,” Scherr said. “We definitely sit back more. I couldn’t sit them … but I should have, though.”
Worley finished with 15 points and Ronningen 10 points and nine rebounds.
Kailen Dolleslager, who led Thompson with 11 points and 10 rebounds, scored on a layup with 1:15 left to tie it at 36. The Cardinals misfired on their possession and Sorby went to the line to break the tie and send Ronningen to the bench.