Off to the races
District 12 boys basketball tournament kicks off
Let the race to the region tournament begin.
Day 1 of the District 12 boys basketball tournament kicked off Friday at the Minot Municipal Auditorium. With the regular season in the books, all eight teams begin their postseason journey with hopes of securing one of the four available spots in the Region 6 tournament.
Here’s a look at how the opening round played out:
Bishop Ryan 66,
South Prairie 20
The No. 1-seeded Bishop Ryan Lions got straight to business in their 66-20 win over No. 8-seeded South Prairie to kick off the tournament.
Seniors Ben Bohl and Mason Hedberg got the ball rolling on the first two possessions, as each one splashed a triple from the left shoulder.
Fellow senior Rubensky Lormejuste got on the board next with a sweet turnaround shot down low to give his team an 8-2 lead. Now up 13-4, senior Chinaza Udekwe soared toward the paint and contorted his body for the acrobatic layup to push Ryan’s lead to 15-4 with three minutes left.
The Royals never recovered from the early deficit, as the Lions took a commanding 38-13 lead into halftime and ultimately claimed the 66-20 victory.
“(South Prairie) is a good team, so we knew we had to come out and play,” Udekwe said. “I think it’s all about the way we start at the end of the day. That really sets the tone for the rest of the game and the rest of the tournament.”
South Prairie’s Hayden Gibney and Micah Bagwell each had a team-high four points in the loss. Bohl led the Lions with 22 points, while Hedberg totaled 21 points and Udekwe added 12 points.
Ryan will look to continue to get more players involved as it advances to the semifinals to face No. 5 seeded Our Redeemer’s today at 6 p.m.
“We need other guys to step up,” Ryan head coach Jeremy Feller said. “We know Ben (Bohl) and Mason (Hedberg) are going to score some for us, but what wins championships are those role guys.”
Our Redeemer’s 70,
Des Lacs-Burlington 65
The rim might as well have been the size of the ocean for Matthew Hendrickson and No. 5-seeded Our Redeemer’s in the second game of the day, as the Knights knocked off No. 4-seeded Des Lacs-Burlington with a 70-65 victory.
Trailing 27-21 at the midway point of the second quarter, Our Redeemer’s closed out the half on an epic 17-2 run to take a 38-29 lead at the break.
The highlight came in the final minute when Hendrickson drilled a contested triple from the right shoulder. But the senior wasn’t done as he pressed on the next defensive play, stole the ball and went up strong for the and-one layup to give his team a 36-29 edge.
“Our guys are so much better when they play freely,” ORCS head coach Brody Bosch said. “They got on a run, got turnovers and just had fun.”
Hendrickson kept rolling in the second half as the Knights took a convincing 57-41 lead into the final frame and fended off a DLB comeback for the 70-65 win. The senior finished with a game-high 30 points that featured four triples and a fastbreak dunk for good measure.
“I was getting screens from my (teammates), and I was feeling hot,” Hendrickson said. “Our energy sort of started to die down in the fourth, but we finished strong and came out with the win. I’m super happy that we did.”
The Lakers had four players reach double-digit points in the loss: junior Dante Gunville (24), senior Scott Drovdal (14), junior Jacob Burleson (12) and junior Will Pearson (11). ORCS junior Landon Lang totaled 16 points, while freshman Zachary Hendrickson recorded 15 points.
The Knights will take on Ryan today at 6 p.m. in the semifinals, while DLB will play South Prairie at 3 p.m. in a loser-out match.
Lewis & Clark-Berthold 46
This one meant a little more to the Panthers.
After suffering a 76-36 loss to the Bombers on Jan. 22, the No. 7-seeded Glenburn Panthers got their revenge and completed the upset with a 60-46 win over No. 2-seeded Lewis & Clark-Berthold.
“(The loss) made the kids hungry,” Glenburn head coach Larry Derr said. “That wasn’t the real Glenburn team that showed up in Berthold that night, and we knew that. We just wanted to prove that to everybody.”
Glenburn’s Trey Welstad led the charge in the opening quarter by scoring five quick points to give his team an early 9-2 lead and eventually an 11-10 lead at the end of the frame. After briefly falling behind in the second quarter, the Panthers rallied to take a slim 23-20 advantage into halftime.
Now leading 40-38 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Panthers turned to Jalyn Derr for some long-range support. The sophomore delivered by drilling two consecutive three-pointers to push Glenburn’s lead to 46-38.
The dagger came three minutes later when Glenburn’s Clayton Stucki attacked the rim for an and-one layup that gave the Panthers a 52-43 edge with 2:05 left to play.
Glenburn kept its composure in the final two minutes and went 8-for-10 from the charity stripe. Each made freebie brought an uproar from the Panthers’ electric student section as they eventually earned the 60-46 win.
“We shoot probably like 30 free throws every day,” Welstad said. “And we have the best fans in the world. It was crazy.”
Berthold’s Tommy Burke finished with a game-high 26 points in the losing effort, while fellow senior Cole Erickson recorded 10 points.
Meanwhile, the Panthers had four players break double-digit scoring: Welstad (17), Blaine Stevens (14), Derr (10) and Stucki (10).
With the win, Glenburn advances to the semifinals to take on No. 3-seeded MLS today at 7:30 p.m. Berthold will play No. 6-seeded Surrey at 4:30 p.m. in a loser-out match.
Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood 53, Surrey 42
The No. 6-seeded Surrey Mustangs didn’t make it easy on No. 3-seeded MLS in Friday’s final game.
Surrey fought tooth and nail for a full four quarters, but the Mavericks had an answer for every Mustang push and claimed a hard-earned 53-42 victory.
“(Surrey) did a really good job of just being in attack mode early,” MLS head coach Brian Olson said. “But we made a few adjustments, and our kids really responded well. It seems like, come tournament time, everyone is ready to go and is playing at their best.”
The first test came with seven minutes left in the second quarter as MLS found itself trailing 18-16. That’s when the Mavericks caught fire and launched a 12-0 run to take a comfortable 26-18 lead and ultimately a 31-23 lead heading into halftime.
The second test came with 2:45 left in the third quarter as Surrey junior Cody Fuchs splashed a triple to trim MLS’s lead to 36-32. Once again, the Mavericks responded by ending the quarter on a 9-2 run to take a 45-34 advantage into the final frame.
Surrey got the deficit down to as few as nine points in the fourth quarter, but MLS held its ground for the 53-42 win.
Surrey had three players reach double digits in scoring: Fuchs (13), sophomore Cole Horner (12) and junior Kolby Nelsen (10). Sophomore Lucas Undlin led the charge for the Mavericks with 15 points, while senior Isaac Undlin recorded 12 points.
Surrey will face Berthold today at 4:30 p.m. in a loser-out match, while the Mavericks have a date with Glenburn today at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals.
“You have to come out with your A game (in the tournament) because if you don’t you’re going home,” Isaac Undlin said. “We have to play hard (against Glenburn), bring effort and energy and see what happens.”
Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.