Sweet revenge

Cardinals outduel Knights in home opener, 50-42

Justin Martinez/MDN Nedrose sophomore Donald Girod towers over the Our Redeemer's defense for a putback during the Cardinals' 50-42 win Tuesday at home.

The Cardinals had this one marked on their calendar.

It was just five days ago when the Nedrose High School boys basketball team got handled by Our Redeemer’s in the opening round of the Velva Invitational Tournament. Every Cardinal bucket was like pulling teeth from a stingy Knights defense en route to a 57-30 blowout loss.

But the Cardinals got their revenge on Tuesday, narrowly defeating the Knights at home by a score of 50-42, much to the delight of a rowdy Nedrose crowd.

“We wanted to prove that first game wasn’t us,” Nedrose head coach Matt Norby said. “We wanted to show that we’re better than that 27-point loss. It was a little extra motivation, and the home crowd was great tonight.”

Nedrose came out scorching from deep in the opening quarter, as three different Cardinals sank a triple to help give the home team a 17-9 lead at the first quarter break.

The lead broke double digits in the second quarter when Cardinals big man Donald Girod delivered a putback to give Nedrose a 21-10 advantage.

On the defensive end, Nedrose junior Jethro Lauron locked up Knights sharpshooter Zachary Hendrickson, holding the freshman guard scoreless through one and a half quarters.

But things hit a snag with just over three minutes left in the first half when Lauron barreled down the lane and picked up his third foul on a charge call, forcing him to head to the bench until halftime.

Zach Hendrickson took advantage, scoring seven points in Lauron’s absence as part of a 12-3 Knights run to close out the half. Just like that, the two teams found themselves deadlocked at 24 apiece.

“We have to work on not getting in foul trouble,” Norby said. “We need (Lauron) on the court because he’s our floor general, so it’s just a matter of being smarter with our hands. It’s a learning experience.”

With the game up for grabs, Girod took over.

The Knights had no answer for the 6-foot-5 center as he bullied anyone who challenged him in the paint. Girod totaled eight points and an emphatic block on Our Redeemer’s Matt Hendrickson in the third quarter to help restore order and give the Cardinals a 42-37 lead.

“It was all teamwork,” Girod said. “We were passing the ball, cutting, screening and looking for the open guy.”

That dominance seeped into the fourth quarter as Girod scored the first four points for the Cardinals to push the lead to nine points. The Knights didn’t find the bottom of the rim until three minutes remained, but it was too late by then.

The Cardinals secured the 50-42 win, walking off the court to the sound of cheers from the home crowd. Girod finished with a game-high 22 points, while Duncan Pryor totaled 11 points.

Three Our Redeemer’s players finished with double-digit points in the loss: Landon Lang (14), Matt Hendrickson (10) and Zach Hendrickson (10).

For Nedrose, the win serves as proof that the team is making strides, and it’ll look to continue improving when it takes on South Prairie Thursday on the road at 7:15 p.m.

“(The win) helps us a lot,” Girod said. “Now all of us are so confident. We’re ready to just move on to the next game.”

Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.