Lions defeat Braves 53-47

Ashton Gerard/MDN Bishop Ryan sophomore Emma Passa (34) fights for control of the ball with Parshall's Cedar Hall (4) Saturday at Bishop Ryan.

In a game littered with fouls, jump-balls and steals, the Bishop Ryan girls basketball team was able to win its final game before tournament season. Bishop Ryan faced the Parshall Braves Saturday at home and won 53-47.

After taking a loss Friday night to Dickinson Trinity, Bishop Ryan head coach April Nakatani was happy with the effort her girls put forth Saturday.

“After a long road away yesterday, I thought we came out there and we kept our composure and we did what we had to do out there to come out with a win tonight,” she said.

After the first quarter, the game could’ve gone either way. Parshall came out strong, pressing with their defense and constantly grabbing at the ball any chance they got.

Bishop Ryan was slow from the start, having plenty of shot opportunities but not being able to find the basket.

Parshall’s Wynter Deanne was first to find the basket, throwing up a rebounded shot for two.

Soon after, some players from both sides found themselves tangled up under Parshall’s basket, which sent Emma Passa off the court to get checked out.

Parshall seemed unphased, throwing up five points with a long-range shot from Sidney Hall before the Lions could get on the scoreboard.

“We got three big girls down there on the low block so we usually get the rebound, get out and go,” Parshall head coach Dusty Olson said.

Little did Parshall know, this would be the one and only time it had the lead.

Eden Kramer drew a foul off a drive to the basket and converted her free-throws to get the Lions on the board. Long range shots from Sydney Upton and Sealy Rovig pushed the Lions ahead of the Braves, seven to five.

Passa returned to the game and became a dominating presence for the Bishop Ryan defense.

By the end of the first, the Lions and the Braves were tied, nine to nine.

Leaving the first quarter tied did not sit well with the Lions, as the scored a game-high 23 points in the second quarter alone.

The Lions saw two long-range shots from Rovig and good plays from McKinlee Harmon.

Both Rovig and Harmon exited the game for a few minutes during the second quarter. Rovig took a charge from Parshall that left her stunned and Harmon received a poke to the eye.

This, however, did not shake the Lions as they lead 32-21 going into halftime.

“Lately, we’ve been starting off a little slow and we’ve been trying to figure out what’s that little bump in there,” Nakatani said. “Getting our feet in gear and getting our feet warmed up, I think they were able to bounce back off of that.”

The third and fourth quarters seemed to be a battle of fouls. Each team tried their hardest drawing shooting fouls and getting physical.

Harmon played a big scoring role in the third, helping the team keep its lead. Parshall’s Shadlynn Severance scored some key points, but couldn’t quite get the team back into it as it trailed 45-34 going into the fourth.

Shots from Parshall’s Hall sisters helped the girls stay in the game in the fourth quarter, but a superior defensive effort from the Lions didn’t allow the Braves to take over the game.

“We didn’t play how we normally play,” Olson said. “We were kind of out of sync a little bit. We didn’t execute on defense as much as we normally do.”

Bishop Ryan saw big points from Emma Passa, who led the team with 20 points, followed by Harmon with 16 and Rovig with 11.

Parshall’s leading scorers included Sidney Hall with 14 points, Cedar Hall with 11 and Severance with 9.

The Bishop Ryan Lions return to the court February 8 for the beginning of the District 12 Tournament at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.