Braaten, Hancock set school records as Sioux top ORCS

The Westhope-Newburg Sioux used a couple milestone-setting performances to get past Our Redeemer’s Christian School in the first round of the Region 6 tournament Monday at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.

W-N junior Hunter Braaten scored a game-high 21 points to become the program’s all-time leading scorer, and senior Kodie Hancock contributed a 17-point, 15-rebound game to lead the Sioux to a 67-57 victory.

Braaten passed Jacob Brandt on the career scoring list and has 1,203 points. Hancock’s monster night on the glass gave him 590 career rebounds, surpassing former school record-holder Jordan Cooper.

“It means a lot because there’s been a lot of great players come through Westhope, especially rebounding-wise and scoring-wise,” said Hancock, whose team plays Berthold in a region semifinal tonight at 6.

The Sioux (17-6) needed every bit of those contributions from their two leading scorers, as ORCS had the ball and trailed by just five with 2 minutes, 45 seconds left.

But the Knights (15-8) committed back-to-back turnovers and then missed the front end of a 1-and-1 to allow W-N to take control.

“I definitely think if we executed a little better on offense and guarded the ball a little better on defense, it was a very winnable ballgame,” ORCS coach Jeremy Feller said. “I thought they wanted it a little more at the end. We talked about big-game experience. We haven’t been (to regionals). Westhope’s been there a few times and that’s just something you can’t teach.”

Junior Micah Jacobsen led ORCS with 18 points and senior Logan Sorum chipped in 15. But Tanner Strand, who led the Knights at 13.9 points per game entering the contest, finished with just seven points. W-N coach Bob Beaudrie credited Ethan Miller, a 6-foot-5 senior forward, with slowing Strand.

“I thought Ethan Miller did a heck of a job on Tanner Strand defensively,” Beaudrie said. “That took them out of their game a little bit when he couldn’t get going.”

Miller also finished with 14 points for the Sioux.

The game was tightly contested, with neither team leading by more than eight until the final stretch when ORCS unraveled.

“We were in striking distance, had the momentum, then we make one turnover and all the sudden we’re in panic mode,” Feller said.

Berthold 50, TGU 36

The top-seeded Bombers’ win over District 11 No. 4 TGU was anything but routine.

The Titans (12-11) led 20-19 at halftime, but Berthold senior post Logan Gunderson took over in the second half.

Gunderson, who finished with team highs of 14 points and 10 rebounds, scored nine of the first 11 points of the third quarter as Berthold went on a 13-0 run. The Titans hung tough, though, closing the quarter with nine straight points to trail just 32-29 entering the final frame.

But Gunderson hit the first bucket of the final stanza – a 3-pointer – and Berthold extended its lead from there.

“Their size gave us problems,” Berthold coach Brock Teets said of TGU. “They’re quick, they’re athletic. We just made enough plays to finish her out. I just told the kids, ‘When you can win this time of year not playing your best, that’s a good thing.’ “

Berthold sophomore Austin Lee, normally a proficient long-range shooter, didn’t hit a 3 but slashed to the basket for 10 of his 12 points. Cale Neshem and Jaeden Jenson added 10 points apiece for the Bombers (21-2).

TGU was led by Luke Bacon, who recorded a double-double with 14 points and 15 boards.

Rugby 74, Bishop Ryan 58

The No. 4 Panthers (23-1) pulled away once the hot-shooting Lions cooled off in the second half.

Bishop Ryan junior Austin Eggl hit three first-half 3s en route to a team-high 16 points and the Lions (13-11) trailed just 35-32 at the break.

But the second half belonged to the Panthers, who routinely got the ball inside to senior Kyle Lovcik (25 points) and sophomore Brad Heidlebaugh (17). Rugby’s productivity inside led to the Panthers shooting 61 percent for the game. They also knocked down 21 of their 26 free-throw attempts.

“We were patient,” Rugby coach Mike Santjer said. “There weren’t too many bad shots we took. We either got good, low-post shots or layups when we were pushing it.”

Chris Hamilton scored 14 points and Kyle Halvorson added 12 for Rugby, which advances to play Des Lacs-Burlington in a semifinal at approximately 7:30 tonight.

Ryan junior Brody Bosch joined Eggl in double figures with 15 points.

Des Lacs-Burlington 74, Velva 54

After Velva hung tough for a quarter, the Lakers scored 25 points in the second frame to open up a 20-point halftime lead and cruised from there.

“Our defense generated some offense,” DL-B coach Doug Wagner said. “We turned them over quite a bit and we got some transition baskets, got in the flow a little bit.”

DL-B junior Tanner Holte had four 3-pointers in the opening half and six for the game on his way to a game-high 28 points. Chris Duke (17 points) and Travis Johnson (12) also scored in double figures for the Lakers (19-4), who advance to play No. 4 Rugby in the semifinals tonight.

“They’re a good basketball team,” Wagner said of Rugby. “They’re so physical (and) strong, they defend at every position, attack the basket really well. It’s going to be a good basketball game. We’re gonna have to play well to win the game, but we think that Rugby will have to play well to win, too.”

Michael Thingstad paced Velva (8-15) with 22 points and Chris Peterson added 12.