Wins keep coming
At some point, it all becomes a blur. Win No. 4 resembles win No. 14 and victories 34 through 49 are practically identical as well.
Top-ranked Bishop Ryan’s 50th consecutive win appeared as such: Junior Gabbie Bohl poured in a game-high 26 points and classmate Hannah Stewart recorded a triple-double as the No. 1-seeded Lions routed fourth-seeded Des Lacs-Burlington 70-29 in the semifinals of the District 12 tournament Saturday at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.
Stewart tallied 19 points, 19 boards and 10 blocks for Ryan, which improved to 21-0 and has won its past 16 games by 40-plus points. The Lions will meet Berthold in the championship Monday at 7:30 p.m., while DL-B plays Glenburn in a region-qualifier.
“Every game is a big game for us,” Bohl said. “There is no game that sticks out more.”
Bohl added 10 rebounds for a double-double and finished four steals shy of a triple-double.
Junior guard Maddie Wald chipped in 12 points and senior Anika Rovig dished out 10 assists for the Lions, who led 35-10 at halftime.
Ryan started slow, though, falling behind 5-2 and leading just 10-7 after three minutes. Then things began to click; on the defensive end at first and then offensively, as well. The Lions delivered a 20-0 run over the next 9:50. DL-B (9-11) scored three points – all on free throws – in the second quarter. Ryan forced 32 turnovers, including 10 in the second quarter.
Ryan coach Julie Stewart said her team lacked energy and focus out of the gate. Despite the lopsided halftime margin, the regular fire appeared absent.
“It’s not going to be perfect every time, but I just want to see more energy to rebounding the basketball, securing loose balls – the little things that really are the heart of scoring baskets,” she said.
Only senior guard Courtney Vogel scored for DL-B in the third quarter, but she torched Ryan for 14 of her team-high 22 points in that frame. She drained a 35-footer at the third-quarter buzzer to cut Ryan’s lead to 50-24 heading into the fourth.
“When you can hold a team under 30, that’s a great defensive night,” Bohl said. “But we also lost Courtney Vogel a lot. She had 22 of their 29. You got to give it to her, she’s a great player. She definitely is very respectable.”
Bohl took over in the final stanza, tallying 14 points, most of which were the result of her own steals. Bohl also had two blocks, combining with Hannah Stewart for a dozen. DL-B fed its post players, who lacked size against the 6-foot-2 Bohl and Stewart.
“It’s really, really intimidating,” DL-B coach Shawn Kuhnhenn said. “When you try to focus on one, the other one will get you. They work so well together and they’re both tremendous athletes.”
Now the Lions turn their attention to Berthold, which upended Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood in overtime. Ryan blew out the Bombers 91-19 on Jan. 24.
“I told them going into the game that we’re 0-0,” Julie Stewart said. “Every game from here on out is like we have no wins, we have no losses. Champions will play the best they can every time they get the opportunity.”
Ryan Holmgren covers Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.