Although each of the 10 games over the weekend were decided by double-digits, there was plenty to take away from the "Shootout at the Prairie" at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.
Bishop Ryan would be the first team to say they didn't play as well as they'd hoped to in wins against Thompson and New Town, but that shows just how good the Lions can be this season.
"We turned the ball over too many times and that's one thing we have to cut down on," Ryan coach Julie Stewart said. "It's mental errors and we need to work on some things to limit them."
Bishop Ryan senior Quinn Harmon drives past a Thompson defender during the ‘Shootout on the Prairie’ at the Minot Municipal Auditorium last weekend.
The top-ranked Lions defeated Thompson 66-56 in their first game of the tournament. The Tommies finished last season 19-6 and third in the Region 2 tournament, which included state-champion Grafton. Ryan followed with a 66-51 victory over New Town, which didn't lose a regular season game last season and qualified for the state tournament.
Both games had a similar feel. The Lions started slow before jumping out to big halftime leads, only to see their opponents claw back. Thompson was unable to grab the lead in its matchup with Ryan, but New Town managed to pull ahead in the third quarter of its game against the Lions. Ryan fought through the adversity and pulled away from the Tommies and Eagles down the stretch.
"There were times during the game where we had stretches of really good basketball," Stewart said. "The two teams we played made runs back at us. The game is a change of momentum and sometimes they made such a fight that they became tired and we capitalized on it."
Three other teams walked out of the Minot Municipal Auditorium on Saturday feeling good about themselves. Dickinson Trinity, Park River-Fordville-Lankin and Midway-Minto all won their first two games of the season. Kenmare, Westhope-Newburg, Bottineau and Des Lacs-Burlington lost both games.
Ryan/Trinity highlights upcoming games
Top-ranked Bishop Ryan has another pre-Christmas test in a Saturday road matchup at Dickinson Trinity, which is receiving votes in the first Class B media poll of the season.
Both teams enter the contest with unblemished records after posting a pair of victories at the "Shootout on the Prairie" event last weekend.
The Titans overwhelmed their two opponents with defense, limiting Bottineau and Des Lacs-Burlington to 25 and 31 points, respectively. Trinity runs a number of different defenses, but prefers to play man-to-man.
Trinity's Gretchen Weir, Jillian Stockert and Rachel Jahner provided the bulk of Trinity's offensive production. The trio combined for 39 of the team's 52 points in a victory over Des Lacs-Burlington. Trinity coach Alysia Barman sees Jahner's leadership as a bright spot this season.
"Rachel did a good job of getting us into what we needed to do on offense," Barman said after Friday's victory against Bottineau. "Verbally, she did some things she hasn't done in the past."
Last season, the Lions routed Trinity 78-41 at Ryan, but Stewart said it was one of Ryan's better games of the year.
"They're an aggressive, scrappy team," Ryan coach Julie Stewart said. "That's how they were last year. Last year, that was one of our best games. I'm expecting a lot of pressure. They have a lot of athletes."
Carrington wrestlers find success at Linton tournament
Three members of the Carrington wrestling team won their respective weightclasses in the Linton tournament on Saturday.
Lucas Brown (113 pounds) won his championship match by major decision over Linton's Josh Schlosser. Walker Carr (132) defeated Lamoure's Caleb Dorich in a 5-2 decision and Cordell Schroeder pinned Oakes' Micheal Kelly in one minute, 45 seconds to win the heavyweight title.
Austin Shuldheisz (220) nearly edged out Napoleon's Andrew Beine, but dropped a 4-3 decision.
The Cardinals finished third in the five-team tournament with 185 points. South Border won the event with 263 points.