Lions retain district crown

The Bishop Ryan girls basketball team defeated Our Redeemer’s Christian School in last year’s District 12 championship to claim its first title since the 2007-08 season.

Fast-forward a year and the result is the same. The top-ranked Lions cruised past the second-seeded Knights 75-24 on Tuesday at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.

The district championship is Ryan’s third since being regrouped into District 12 and fifth dating back to the 1990-91 season. With the victory, the Lions will be the No. 1 seed out of the district and play Dunseith the No. 4 seed from District 11 in the first round of the region tournament.

“We work hard in practice,” junior guard Anika Rovig said. “Tournament time is the most exciting time of the year. We came out and worked hard and we won.”

Rovig finished with 12 points, seven assists and four steals.

The Lions (21-0) led 19-8 at the end of the first quarter before breaking the game wide open in the second frame. Ryan limited ORCS to four points while scoring 20 to take a 39-12 lead into in the intermission. The Lions finished with four players in double figures, led by sophomore forward Gabbie Bohl with 17 on 8-of-10 shooting.

“I loved offensively how we share the basketball,” Ryan coach Julie Stewart said. “We are averging 20 assists as a group a night. They just share the ball so well.”

The Lions compiled 20 assists against ORCS.

Ryan’s size inside with sophomore forwards Hannah Stewart and Bohl made life difficult for ORCS’ leading scorers. Eighth-grade guard Morgan Olson the Knights’ top scorer was held scoreless in the first half and didn’t record her first basket until there were six minutes, 44 seconds left in the third quarter. Stewart had a game-high four blocks and the Lions forced 32 turnovers, 26 of which were steals.

“I’m always impressed with our defensive effort,” Rovig said. “(Coach) Stewart always emphasizes on defense and your offense will fall. That’s what we rely on every game.”

Olson and senior forwards Ashley Koppinger, Billie Bangen and Emily VanLith combined for just 14 points. ORCS’ 24 points were the fewest the Knights have scored this season. Their previous low was 39 in an early-season loss to Velva.

“We’ll learn some stuff from it,” ORCS coach Kory Nelson said. “There were a few things we talked about at halftime that we weren’t doing and we didn’t make that correction at halftime. We’ll go back to the drawing board.”

The Knights will be the No. 2 seed out of the district and play Rugby the No. 3 seed from District 11 in their first-round game in the region tournament.

The Knights (16-6) struggled all night from the field and were limited to one shot most trips down the court. ORCS shot 21 percent for the game and missed all 14 of its 3-pointers. The Lions controlled the glass, outrebounding the Knights 38-21. Quinn Harmon finished with a game-high nine rebounds.

“It’s an extension of the defense,” Julie Stewart said. “If they’re going to work that hard on defense, we want to finish a rebound. Overall, the group had good energy and I got great effort from a lot of different kids.”

Kenmare 38,

Des Lacs-Burlington 36

Des Lacs-Burlington junior Courtney Mitchell’s last-second prayer from just inside halfcourt went unanswered, sending fifth-seeded Kenmare to the Region 6 tournament.

Kenmare (10-12) will be the No. 4 seed from District 12 and plays District 11 champion Velva in the first round of the region tournament.

Kenmare junior guard McKenzie Chrest netted the game-winning basket from just inside the 3-point arc with less than a minute remaining in regulation. Chrest finished with eight points.

The Honkers trailed throughout the first half and into the third quarter before Justice Brown gave Kenmare a 27-25 lead on her only basket of the contest. Kenmare led by five late in the fourth quarter before the Lakers went on a 7-2 lead to tie the game at 36.

It was Kenmare’s defense in the second half that put the Honkers over the top. Kenmare allowed just five field goals in the final 16 minutes.

“We got key stops down the stretch and key baskets late in the game,” Kenmare coach Brock Zietz said. “With those two things, I think that was the main difference in the game. Both teams battled and both teams gave everything they had.”

Kenmare’s Lexie Munson led all scorers with 19 points and was named the District 12 senior athlete of the year as well as an all-district selection.

Courtney Vogel led DL-B (9-13) with 17 points and was named to the all-district team.

Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood 73, Glenburn 41

Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood’s full-court pressure gave Glenburn fits all game long and ended with the Mavericks earning a trip to the Region 6 tournament.

The Mavericks (14-8) surrendered just seven points in the third quarter to pull away from the Panthers (10-10), earning the district’s No. 3 seed. M-L-S plays District 11 runner-up TGU in the first round of the region tournament.

M-L-S’ defensive effort led to a number of fast-break layups by junior guard Shania Brackenbury, helping the Mavericks build a 13-point halftime lead. Leading 17-16 after the first quarter, the Mavericks broke the game open with a 21-point second frame. Brackenbury finished with a game-high 22 points and was also an all-district selection.

“I knew someone had to put us on their shoulders and I think she wanted to get to the regional an awful lot,” M-L-S coach Wayne Brackenbury said. “As a dad I’m awfully proud.”

It took M-L-S less than a half to equal its point total from an 81-31 blowout loss to Bishop Ryan in the district quarterfinals. The Mavericks scored 38 in the first half and totaled 53 at the end of the third quarter.

The Panthers had three players finish in double figures, led by Payton Schumann with 13. Parker Bush and Katie Dufner each finished with 11. Dufner was an all-district selection.