When the Bishop Ryan girls basketball team needed to make plays Saturday, it wasn't always the Lions' two heralded post options that made them.
Sure, sophomore 6-foot-2 twin towers Gabbie Bohl and Hannah Stewart got their points; each scored 19 to lead the team.
But when the outcome against New Town looked its bleakest, 5-foot-4 sophomore guard Maddie Wald stood tallest.
Bishop Ryan sophomore Maddie Wald looks to pass during the Lions’ victory against New Town on Saturday at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.
Wald scored seven points, dished two assists and pulled down two rebounds in the fourth quarter to lead the Lions' 66-51 takedown.
"Teams usually focus on Hannah and Gabbie," Wald said. "Usually in the second half (opponents) will start focusing on them more and so we have more opportunities to score and play better."
Bohl and Stewart combined for 25 points in the first 16 minutes of action.
In the third stanza, though, the Eagles (1-1) shut those options down. Stewart scored the duo's only three points in the frame and New Town came back. The Eagles rallied from what was once a 10-point game to take a 45-43 lead.
Add New Town's momentum to point guard Anika Rovig's foul trouble (she picked up her fourth foul late in the third) and the Eagles had a recipe for the upset.
Then, two more Lions stepped up. Junior Laurin Leinholdt drained a jumper with 26 seconds left in the period to tie the game. In the fourth, senior Quinn Harmon nailed a 3 to give the Lions a 49-47 lead with six minutes, six seconds left. Ryan (2-0) never trailed again.
"It was just a little spark," Harmon said of her trey. "If we wouldn't have been able to play as hard on defense as we did on the other end, it really wouldn't have made a difference. The 3 was just the little ignition, but our defense is really what did it."
That defense included Harmon - nine rebounds and 10 points for the game - and Wald getting everything on the glass that the two bigs couldn't and the Ryan offense scoring on the other end.
After Harmon's 3, Stewart made a pair of foul shots, Wald made a couple from the line and Wald fed Stewart for a layup to give the Lions a 55-47 advantage.
From there, the Ryan attack found enough holes in the Eagles' zone defense to keep scoring.
"We started to find gaps, penetration and we started to reverse the ball a little better," Ryan coach Julie Stewart said. "Then they got some decent looks."
Wald, who finished with nine points and four assists and made five of six foul shots, tallied five more points the rest of the way to help the Lions clinch the statement win.
"Maddie can score," Julie Stewart said. "She's a confident kid and she's got to stay confident... because she's a player."
Bohl (10 rebounds) and Stewart (14 boards, two blocks) each recorded double-doubles.
Taylor McGrady (11) and Gabby Wilkinson (10) each had double-figure scoring totals for New Town.
Ryan plays at Dickinson Trinity at 7:15 p.m. Friday.
Thompson 54, Bottineau 29
Thompson (1-1) had little trouble with Bottineau on Saturday.
The Tommies shot and defended their way to an easy victory a night after dropping their opener to Bishop Ryan.
Thompson led 17-4 after one frame and 31-11 at the half. The Tommies, who never trailed, scored the first 13 points of the third stanza to take their biggest lead at 44-11.
From there, Thompson rested starters, allowing Bottineau (0-2) to outscore the Tommies 9-8 in the final frame.
Perhaps the most demonstrative example of Thompson's depth was the fact that nobody scored in double figures. McKenna DeMoe and Bethany Ivesdal each had nine points, Shannon Galegher and Schaice Marx added eight and Samantha Hegg finished with seven.
Katryna Hahn had a game-high 13 for the Stars.
Park River-Fordville-Lankin 58, Westhope-Newburg 47
Westhope-Newburg hung close for a while.
But a third-quarter run pushed the Park River-Fordville-Lankin girls basketball team over the top Saturday.
The Aggies (2-0) had a four-point lead with 5:07 left in the third stanza, but a Carly Myrdal basket widened the gap to 34-28. By the time the quarter ended, 14 unanswered points made a once-close contest a laugher.
Morgan Porter led the Aggies with 14 points. Bailey Tofteland had 12 to pace the Sioux (0-2).
Dickinson Trinity 52, Des Lacs-Burlington 31
Intense defense and a flurry of buckets in the first quarter helped the Dickinson Trinity Titans build a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Dickinson Trinity (2-0) led by 14 after the first stanza, 17 at halftime and cruised to a win over Des Lacs-Burlington.
The teams traded buckets for much of the second quarter, though the two squads combined to shoot 1-of-11 from the foul line in the first half.
Trinity didn't get its first third-quarter basket until nearly three-and-a-half minutes into play, but the Lakers only scored two points in that span.
Midway-Minto 55, Kenmare 39
Kenmare senior Lexie Munson had 25 points.
But her performance wasn't nearly enough to offset the play of Midway-Minto. The Mustangs never trailed and led by as much as 23.
Midway-Minto got 21 points from sophomore Mackenzie Irwin and 10 apiece from Faith Maendel and Dominique Martinez.
Kenmare (0-2) outscored the Mustangs 19-14 in the second half.