In about a month’s time, Shiloh Christian took on the No. 1-ranked team in Class B girls basketball as well as two teams that were ranked No. 2.
Tonight the No. 7 Skyhawks will host the No. 3 team in the state — the 15-1 Napoleon Imperials.
Shiloh, 14-3 overall, went 1-2 against those ranked teams, losing to No. 1 Minot Ryan 59-39 on Jan. 19, and No. 2 New Town 65-61 last Saturday, and defeating then-No. 2 Grafton 43-41 on Feb. 2.
Shiloh coach Jim Petrik said he and his staff tried to put together the most difficult schedule possible for his team, and it appears to be paying off.
“As coaches we’ve always believed that playing the tougher teams will prepare you for tournament time,” he said. “Even though we lost two of those three games, the girls learned from those experiences. They definitely want to get to the next level and they’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get there. Our game against Napoleon will be another big challenge for us. Win or lose, we know playing them is going to help us.”
Tonight’s game, which is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m., at the Shiloh gym, will be a matchup of teams that have experience, quickness, depth and firepower. Both squads go at least eight players deep, and average around 65 points per game.
“We’re two similar teams. We match up very well,” Petrik said. “We both have good size and quickness, we like to play man-to-man pressing defense, we like to play the transition game, and we both have good scorers. It’ll be a lot of fun playing a team that plays the same style as us.”
Mikayla Forness, a senior who joined the 1,000-point club in career scoring on Feb. 2, leads the Skyhawks with a 14.3 points per game average. Paige Emmel, Beth Muggerud, Regan Watson, Abby Muggerud and Brenna Jessen average 11.5, 11.1, 7.4, 5.6 and 4.1 points, respectively.
Napoleon coach Darcy Lehr said tonight’s game will be a great test for his team heading into the postseason.
“Shiloh is a good team and they’ve played as tough a schedule as any,” he said. “We’ve played some tough teams as well, but not many of them have the depth and the balance that Shiloh has. We’re anxious to see how we perform against a team like that.”
Sheridon Dewald, a senior forward, is Napoleon’s top scorer, averaging nearly 19 points per game. She is followed by Kendra Weigel 14.5, Mariah Jangula 10.5, Mikayla Young 6.9, and Brenna Schmidt 5.3.
Reserves Brianna Wolf, Kecia Ellison and Shania Gross combine to average nearly 10 points per game.
“Dewald is the leader of their offense, but we can’t lose sight of their other kids,” Petrik said. “They have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball. Our defense will be tested.”
Napoleon’s only loss was to Midkota, 60-55 on Jan. 14. The Imperials have won nine straight since.
The Skyhawks will close out the regular season Saturday at home against Turtle Lake-Mercer-McClusky. Napoleon will face Linton-HMB on Saturday in its regular-season finale.
Tight title games
The District 6, 14 and 13 boys basketball tournament championship games all went down to the wire.
Strasburg-Zeeland claimed its first District 6 title since 2008 with a 45-42 victory over Linton-HMB Tuesday night. Linton-HMB, the top seed, tied the game at 42 with 38 seconds remaining, but the Clippers went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line over the next 34 seconds to build a 45-42 lead. A last-second 3-point attempt by the Lions missed the mark.
In District 14, No. 1-ranked Beulah edged Dickinson Trinity 56-54 on Monday to win its fourth consecutive district title. The Miners led 54-48 late, and held off the Titans for their 21st victory without a loss. Trinity fell to 19-2, with both losses coming to Beulah.
Beulah senior Jesse Hettich went past the 1,000-point mark in career scoring that night. Teammate Trevor Zacher reached that milestone earlier this season.
Heart River claimed its second straight District 13 title, sneaking past Mott-Regent 59-57. The contest featured 12 lead changes and six ties.
Regional tournaments will begin Monday.
Milestone for Haugeberg
Watford City senior McKayla Haugeberg netted her 1,000th career point Tuesday night in the Wolves’ 68-53 victory over Parshall.
According to the Girls Hoopster, Haugeberg is the seventh Watford City girls basketball player to reach that milestone. The others are Billy Dixon 1,714, Molly Anderson 1,693, Paige Anderson 1,351, Stephanie Grantier 1,351, Sonny Schulz 1,313, and Andrea Christenson 1,128.
South Border’s Blake Bosch had plenty to celebrate last weekend at the Class B wrestling state tournament in Fargo.
In addition to winning his third state title, becoming North Dakota high school wrestling’s all-time victories leader (240), helping the Mustangs win the dual and individual tournament championships, and being named the Class B senior wrestler of the year, Bosch emerged from the tournament as the season’s lone unbeaten Class B wrestler. He finished with a 44-0 record.
Abe Roehrich of Stanley-Powers Lake-Tioga entered the tournament with a 28-0 record and was the top seed at 170 pounds, but lost to Dylan Schnabel of Ellendale-Edgeley-Kulm in the semifinals. Jaron Lunday of Grafton was 19-0 before losing to New Salem-Almont’s Colton Neumiller in the 138-pound final.
Three Class A wrestlers finished the season with unblemished records — Bismarck’s Ryan Blees (160), 51-0, and Ricky Galindo (17), 30-0, and West Fargo’s Preston Lehmann (182), 50-0.