Kings of District 12
Bishop Ryan boys claim district crown
No team from District 12 could take down the Bishop Ryan boys basketball team in the regular season.
That trend continued at the District 12 Tournament.
The Lions survived a furious fourth quarter rally from Des Lacs-Burlington Monday en route to winning a district championship 62-58 at the Minot Auditorium. Ryan will be the No. 1 seed from District 12 in the Region 6 Tournament next week, while DLB is the No. 2 seed.
“There’s a lot of good teams in this district,” Bishop Ryan coach Jeremy Feller said. “We knew it was going to be a dogfight, obviously the games were much closer in the tournament than in the regular season. DLB got hot down the stretch and made the championship a lot closer than we would have liked. We just have to work on executing down the stretch at regionals.”
In the first half, it appeared the matchup was going to be more of the same from Ryan’s 76-52 win the last time these teams met on Feb. 2 at the Minot Auditorium. The Lions were up 33-19 at the break and led by as many as 17 points. Ryan senior guard Caden Shean was unstoppable in the first two quarters, scoring 15 of his 16 points before halftime.
“Caden came up big for us in the first half,” Feller said. “Not only because of the 15 points, but he took two charges. That’s a game changer there in itself. He picked us up right away.”
The Lakers entered the fourth quarter down 46-36, but cut the lead to five at the 1:57 mark after sophomore guard Dante Gunville converted two free throws. Senior guard Josh Knutson made 1 of 2 free throws to bring DLB within 4, then Arron Grandy converted a fastbreak layup off a steal to reduce the deficit to 57-55 with less than a minute left.
Ryan guard Chinaza Udekwe made two free throws on the Lions’ next possession and DLB came up empty offensively a play later to seal a victory for Ryan.
“Considering we had a lot of good shots go in and out early in the first half, keeping the game within striking distance was the minimum we were able to do there,” DLB coach Tyler Ystaas said. “I’m proud of our guys’ effort at the end. We showed grit and gave ourselves and opportunity. That’s all we can ask for.”
Mason Hedberg had 11 points for Bishop Ryan, while Ben Bohl chipped in 10. Gunville had a game-high 21 points for the Lakers, while Knutson had 16 and Grandy contributed 14.
Ryan faces Towner-Granville-Upham in the first round of the Region 6 Tournament next week.
“We’re going to be back to work (Tuesday),” Feller said. “We’re going to be geared up for regionals.”
Meanwhile, DLB draws Bottineau in its first matchup.
“We need to keep moving the ball, we’re 10 times better when we keep moving the ball quickly,” Ystaas said. “We attack using all facets of our offense and we’ll refine a few things here and there, but we’re up and onward.”
Garrick Hodge covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @Garrick_Hodge