Ryan girls basketball falls on Senior Day, 51-47
After holding off Dickinson Trinity nearly all afternoon, the Titans finally got the best of the Lions.
The Bishop Ryan girls basketball (7-11, 4-3 District 12) team fell a few shots short of a happy ending on Saturday’s Senior Day game against the Titans (12-5, 7-1 District 7). The Lions contained Trinity’s offense for three full quarter only to watch the road team launch a comeback in the final frame and escape the Lions’ Den with a 51-47 win.
“I thought we played hard and had good energy,” Ryan head coach Roger Coleman said. “Although we lost, it was down to the last shot. I feel like these sorts of battles will help us get ready for the district tournament.”
The Titans set the tone in the early moments of the game by launching a 7-0 run to take a 9-4 lead with just under three minutes left in the opening quarter.
But the Lions licked their wounds and roared back with a 9-2 run of their own. Senior Sidney Lovelace led the charge, scoring five points to help give her team a 13-11 edge at the end of the first frame. The Lions didn’t look back as they held that lead all the way to halftime and took a 22-19 edge into the break.
Senior Sealy Rovig kept the Lions in front in the third quarter, attacking the rim and cashing in on three layups in what was a 15-point quarter for Ryan.
Despite the Lions finding their rhythm offensively, the Titans refused to let the game get out of hand. Trinity never allowed Ryan’s lead grow to more than five points, and the resilient road team only trailed by three points, 37-34, entering the final frame.
That’s when Abbigail Kubas took over. The 5-foot-11 sophomore kicked off the fourth quarter with a pair of and-one layups and made one of the two free throws to give the Titans a 39-37 edge – their first lead since the score was 9-4.
“We knew going in that (Kubas) was going to be a big threat,” Coleman said. “She’s a good basketball player that can finish down low, and she has a good mid-range jumper. I didn’t think we defended her as well as we should have.”
With the game in danger of slipping away from them, the Lions turned to Rovig once more. The senior delivered with an acrobatic layup in the lane and sank a clutch triple that was nothing but net to bring Ryan to within one, 45-44, with two minutes left.
Ryan’s seniors weren’t the only ones stepping up to the plate, though. Now trailing by three with one minute remaining, freshman Sydney Upton pulled up from deep and knocked down the clutch 3-pointer to tie the score at 47-47.
The swing in momentum only last about 30 seconds, though, as Trinity’s Amaya Willer silenced the crowd with a mid-range jumper that gave her team two-point edge with 25 seconds left.
After a Ryan turnover, the Lions’ last hope was for Kubas to miss her one-and-one free throw with six seconds remaining. But the sophomore stayed composed and calmly knocked down both freebies to secure the Titans’ 51-47 victory.
Kubas scored 13 of Trinity’s last 17 points and finished with a game-high 29 points, while Rovig led the Lions with 17 points.
Although the nail-biting loss wasn’t the way Rovig and her fellow seniors hoped their final home game would end, the veteran guard still looked back on her time at the Lions’ Den with a smile on her face after the contest.
“I love playing with this team,” Rovig said. “Playing here has been the best time of my life, and I wouldn’t change anything about my time here.”
Ryan must now shift its focus to the upcoming District 12 tournament at the Minot Municipal Auditorium. The Lions, who are the No. 3 seed, will take on sixth-seeded Our Redeemer’s on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.