Bismarck Legacy had an answer for everything the Mandan Braves tried Tuesday in their West Region girls’ basketball game.
Mandan had a 15-2 run; second-ranked Legacy had an 18-5 run. Mandan led by six points in the first half; Legacy led by seven at the half. Mandan had six 3-pointers; Legacy had eight.
Mandan’s Sydney Gustavsson had 16 points; Legacy’s Alexis Dressler had 17; Mandan’s Lakyn Darras had 18 points; Legacy’s Mac Boone had 24.
When it all shook out, the Sabers were still unbeaten, improving to 13-0 with a 75-64 win over the Braves at Mandan High.
“The game plan is to push the ball in transition,” Legacy coach Jim Petrik said. “The goal is to not let their defense get set. When you have the playmakers we have, you don’t want to limit them.”
Nothing stood in the way of Boone and Dressler in the first half. Boone had 13 of her game-high point total in the first half and Dressler also had 13. The two seniors combined to score the Sabers’ first 15 points as Legacy raced out to a 17-10 lead.
“We knew they had been hitting a lot of threes and we wanted to defend the 3-point line,” Boone said. “We were going to defend that and also the drive.”
The Braves hit four 3-pointers in a three-minute span during a 15-2 run. They took an 18-17 lead on one of Gustavsson’s two 3-pointers with 11 minutes to play in the half. Aleah Clarke, Taylor Leingang and Piper Harris dropped bombs with Harris’ completing the run that staked the Braves to a 25-19 lead and prompted a timeout by Petrik.
“After that first timeout, we clamped down on defense,” Petrik said.
That they did. The Braves missed on seven of their next nine shots during an 18-5 run that gave Legacy the lead on Boone’s 3-pointer with 5:29 left. Alayna Hill capped the run with a banked 3-pointer with 3:12 remaining.
The 43-36 halftime cushion was all the Sabers needed even though Mandan showed life throughout the second half.
“When they did make their runs, we had kids step up and make plays,” Petrik said.
Darras opened the second half with back-to-back drives to the hoop to whittle the deficit to three points. But for the first of several times in the half, Legacy had an answer. Boone scored to stop the surge on a third-chance layup.
“Offensively we knew we had to move the ball,” Boone said. “We know we can run and get open looks. If not, we can slow it down.”
The Sabers stretched the lead to 12 before one final push by the Braves cut the lead to five at 59-54. After an exchange of baskets, Mandan’s Jordan Toman made two free throws with 4:54 to play. Those were Mandan’s final points.
The Sabers were 30-for-64 from the field, while Mandan hit 25 of 51 shots.
Legacy swept the regular season series with Mandan. It won the opener 57-51 despite trailing at halftime.
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