Minot to Marauders
Bohl, Askvig making the most out of their time at UMary
While former North Dakota Miss Basketball finalists Gabbie Bohl (2015) and Cassie Askvig (2016) shared the Magic City when they were in high school, they never shared the same court.
The Minot natives finally put the two together in Bismarck. Bohl, out of Bishop Ryan, and Minot High product Askvig teamed up for the first time at the University of Mary last season.
“We didn’t talk and didn’t really know each other except for watching each other play ball,” Askvig said. “After watching each other for all that time, we figured each other out. It’s crazy how much a difference that makes. It didn’t take long for us to figure each other out because we had picked up on each other’s tendencies and habits.”
It was a connection so natural that they had to remind people they didn’t go to the same high school.
“Honestly, when she first got here. People were like, “Oh, you guys went to the same high school.’ But, no. We really didn’t talk that much when both of us were in high school,” Bohl said. “Coming to college, we really got to know each other, as surprising as that may sound. We are definitely pretty good friends now. We kind of think alike and we know where each other are at, mentally and physically on the court.”
As a redshirt freshman, Bohl started every game last season and led the Marauders (17-10, 14-8 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) in scoring with 15.3 points per game in just 25.1 minutes of action. She also averaged 5.9 rebounds per contest and swatted away 25 shots.
Bohl didn’t think she was going to have such an immediate impact after a discouraging start. In her first two collegiate games, she went 2-for-20 from the floor for just five points in 48 minutes of playing time.
“I wasn’t doing so hot my first couple of games,” Bohl said. “It took a while for me to get over that hump, but I continued to work hard and had my teammates support.”
By the time that first conference game came around three weeks later, the two-time Class B state champion at Bishop Ryan (2013 and 2014) had regained her confidence.
It just so happened that NSIC opponent was Minot State, a program she once watched and rooted for. Bohl came a rebound shy of a double-double and posted a season-best 29 points on 11-for-14 shooting.
“Our dads are really big Minot State guys, so we sat kind of close to each other at Minot State games when we grew up,” Bohl said about herself and Askvig.
With Minot High being in Class A and Bishop Ryan in Class B, the only times Bohl and Askvig played against each other in high school were the rare summer league matchups.
“We played each other maybe once each summer,” Bohl said. “We mostly grew up watching each other.”
In her final season as a Majette during the 2015-16 season, Askvig was named to the Class A All-State Team after averaging 17.6 points and 9.5 rebounds. She then jumped right into the fold at UMary.
Askvig slotted in as a true freshman last year by coming off the bench in all 31 games. The 6-foot-2 forward put up eight points per game, 4.4 rebounds and led the team in free throw percentage at 84.8 percent (39-for-46).
“It was new for me,” Askvig said about not starting. “I think it was a good thing for me. I sometimes struggled with starting just because I’d be so excited and ready to play that I’d be a little out of control to start the game. So, it was good to come off the bench. You get a good feel for what the other team is like, how we are playing and what will work against the other team.”
Askvig expects to earn a more expanded role this upcoming season. She has high individual aspirations of being named to the NSIC all-conference team.
Getting the most out of herself and others is what Askvig does best.
“It’s been really fun to play with her,” Bohl said. “She is already kicking my butt in the post during the open gyms, so it’s been really competitive. She is someone that really pushes you. Holds you to a standard, but also wants to be pushed and held to that same standard.”
Bohl helps provide the playfulness banter in their working relationship.
“She is an absolute goofball, but she always brings light to the room,” Askvig said, which prompted Bohl to start laughing. “We have so much fun when we play together.”
While they play the same position, they go about it in two different ways. Bohl is more of a brute force power forward.
“Gabbie (Bohl) is a beat up, push people around player,” Askvig said. “It goes both ways with her getting pushed around and she is a bully too. But, in a good way. She is just a beast. She is going to the hole every time. She has great post moves, bodies up and has no problems finishing against big, huge, tough girls.”
Askvig, on the other hand, would rather stretch the floor with her shooting stroke.
“I have to be a little more crafty because I’m not as big as her, or as strong,” she said. “I like to shoot the outside three. Gabbie can, but she is not exactly comfortable with that [Bohl laughs]… I don’t mind playing outside, and sometimes I prefer it actually. Especially in the NSIC where there is some big post players and bodies out there.”
Putting their unique chemistry on display, now-sophomores Bohl and Askvig have their sights on taking the Marauders to at least the Sanford Pentagon, which hosts the NSIC tournament after the first round, for the first time since 2014.
“Next season, our biggest team goal is to get to the Pentagon,” Bohl said. “We got cut short again by Winona last year and that was a heartbreaker. But, I think with the squad that we have back now, we are really competitive and hungry to get where we want. And we want to go further than just the Pentagon. I think we have the team to do that this year.”
Alex Eisen covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.