Lions GBB falls short against Midway/Minto

Al Christianson/ Special to MDN Bishop Ryan's Sealy Rovig (12) drives to the basket while guarded by Midway/ Minto's Elizabeth Schanilec (3) during a high school girls basketball game Saturday at Minot Municipal Auditorium.

In a game plagued by missed shots and missed opportunities, the Midway/Minto Mustangs defeated the Bishop Ryan Lions, 42-37, Saturday at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.

“We learned a lot from yesterday and as the game went on we got more aggressive and (we) felt more comfortable with ourselves,” Ryan senior Sealy Rovig said.

Ryan won the tip-off and Rovig was able to score off a layup to begin the game, however the Mustangs were constantly on their tails. The teams traded shots until Ryan couldn’t seem to find the basket.

The teams were tied up 6-6 when the Mustangs went on a 6-0 run to take the lead in the first quarter.

“I felt like the game score-wise got away because we missed some close shots,” Ryan head coach Roger Coleman said. “I thought we should’ve made a lot of shots inside of four feet that we had looks at. I think just not hitting those shots is what kind of changed the scoreboard a little bit.”

A frustrated Lions’ offense tried picking up the pace to match Midway/Minto’s speed which only led to more mistakes.

As the Mustangs powered ahead, the Lions were left with two single-digit quarters to start off the game.

Going into halftime, the Mustangs led 25-15.

The conversation at halftime for Ryan concentrated on regaining control and being more aggressive.

“Control what we can control, work harder on defense and be more scrappy, go to the hoop more and finish,” Rovig said.

The Lions emerged from the locker room refocused and ready to close the gap. Early shots from junior Maya Wald and senior Abby McKay inched the Lions closer.

A breakaway layup off a steal by sophomore Nora Kramer had the Lions back within 10 points of the Mustangs.

Midway/Minto sophomore Elizabeth Schanilec sunk a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter to push the Mustangs to an 11-point lead.

In the fourth quarter, a tired Mustangs defense gave way to a 7-0 run by the Lions to bring the score to a four-point game.

“We kind of got lackadaisical on defense and we didn’t know who we were guarding,” Midway/Minto head coach Josh Zikmund said. “The physical side of things was OK, but the mental side was where we really lacked today.”

With two minutes remaining in the game, the Lions trailed 40-32. Sophomore Savanah Brintnell charged to the basket to sink a layup and draw a foul. With an additional shot opportunity, Brintnell took a deep breath and made the free throw. The Lions now trailed by five.

With one minute remaining in the game, the Lions were fouling the Mustangs at every opportunity to stop the clock. After four missed free throws from the Mustangs, the Lions were having difficulty finding the basket.

Finally, Brintnell made it to the basket with 14.2 second remaining in the game to bring the Lions within three points.

The Lions grabbed Midway/Minto’s Jamie Thorvilson as she made her way down the court, which resulted in a foul. Thorvilson made her way to the line with one shot and a bonus.

Coleman assured the girls on the court that they just needed to recover the rebound and hustle to the other end of the court for a three-point shot. Tying up the game was in reach.

Thorvilson stared down the basket as the ball made its way through the net and earned the bonus shot. After a second free throw made, the game was over.

“I thought it was a huge improvement from last night,” Coleman said. “Obviously, the last five minutes of the game we played pretty well and if we can do that for a whole four quarters, I think things will turn and we’ll get that first win.”

Brintnell led the Lions in scoring with 11 points followed by Rovig with seven. The Lions went 6-for-11 at the free throw line.

The Midway/Minot Mustangs were led in scoring by sophomores Schanilec with 18 and April Schmitz with 10. The Mustangs were 4-for-8 at the free throw line.

Though the Lions couldn’t pull off the win, Coleman was happy with the progress made by the team.

“We’re disappointed, but at the same time it’s early in the year, this is only our second game,” Coleman said. “There’s far more good than bad.”

The Lions will travel to Rugby on Friday for their third game of the season at 7:15 p.m. at Rugby High School.