Sharp-shooting Lions rip Bottineau

Bishop Ryan girls basketball coach Julie Stewart didn’t quite like what she was seeing out of her team in the opening minutes of Saturday’s game against Bottineau.

Five unanswered points by the Stars prompted Stewart to use a timeout. Whatever she said to her team, the top-ranked Lions got the message and cruised past Bottineau 98-27 in a non-district matchup.

Ryan, leading 7-5 at that time, responded with a 17-0 run and never looked back.

“It was two things,” Stewart said. “We have to get focused and then we need to get matched up. I think we just made a couple of errors that allowed them to get those shots. I was just trying to get them focused.”

The Lions (11-0 overall, 3-0 District 12) were no less formidable with sophomore forward Gabbie Bohl spending a good chunk of the game on the bench while recovering from an ailing hip injury suffered the night before against Berthold. Bohl still finished in double figures with 12 in limited action.

Ryan substituted height for a pair of 5-foot-4 guards in freshman Sheyenne Schmidt and sophomore Maddie Wald. Wald scored 14 points in the first half and finished with 18.

“Looking at the post always helps us and getting the ball inside,” Wald said. “We’ve been working on our outside shooting and they finally are dropping.”

Schmidt did all her scoring in the second quarter, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and a shot from inside the arc for an eight-point game.

“It was a fun game to play,” Schmidt said. “We just really tried to work on things that we work on in practice. It’s one of those games where you just work on things that you can get better at.”

The Lions led 60-20 at halftime and turned the ball over just once in the opening 16 minutes. With the game all but over, the only question that needed answering was whether Ryan would hit the century mark for the second time this season.

The answer was no as the Lions elected not to shoot on their final possession despite pleas from the home crowd. Senior forward Quinn Harmon scored the final bucket of the game with one minute, 11 seconds left to play in the fourth quarter. Harmon finished with eight points.

“We wanted to stay classy about it,” Wald said. “We tried to move the ball a little bit more before we took a good shot.”

The Lions shot 61 percent from the field and 89 percent from the free-throw line. The Stars (3-8, 1-2 District 11) hit just 20 percent of their shots. Bottineau finished with nine made field goals – four from behind the arc.

“I just thought we shot the ball so well from the outside,” Stewart said. “And when you do that it really creates some nice chemisty.”

Bottineau’s biggest contributor may have been the backboard as the Stars (3-8, 1-2 District 11) banked a trio of 3s off the glass. Courtney Gallagher led Bottineau with seven points.

The Lions travel to Dunseith on Monday and Bottineau hosts Rugby on Tuesday.