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Balanced scoring, defense lifts ORCS GBB over crosstown rival Ryan

Alex Eisen/MDN Our Redeemer's guard Kendal Braun (34) and Bishop Ryan forward Sydney Upton (right) battle for the basketball in a Class B District 12 girls basketball game Monday evening at Bishop Ryan in Minot.

Flashy offense makes highlight reels, but hard-nose defense wins games.

Trailing by five points at halftime, the Our Redeemer’s girls basketball team locked down inner-city rival Bishop Ryan to four points in the third quarter.

That proved to be the difference, as the multi-faceted Knights (9-2, 2-0 District 12) defeated Ryan (3-6, 1-1 District 12) for a 61-50 road victory inside the Lions’ Den.

Four ORCS players finished with double-digits in points: Eighth-grader Maya Vibeto (17), senior Téa Boeckel (13), junior Kendal Braun (13) and senior Hailey Roberts (12).

“Defensively, in the second half, we locked in and shut things down,” ORCS head coach Scott Peterson said. “Offensively, I thought we moved the ball and got reversals… Good things happen when you reverse the basketball.”

A made 3-pointer by Vibeto that swirled around the rim, plus a pair of floating runners in the lane by Braun, gave ORCS an early 7-1 lead.

Ryan roared back and was within a point at the end of the first quarter following a triple by sophomore forward Sydney Upton.

“(Upton) has been huge for us,” Ryan head coach Roger Coleman said. “We want to work the ball through her, inside-out, and depend on her to crash the boards hard. The other girls are confident shooting because if they aren’t going to make the shot, she is usually there to rebound it.”

The Lions regained the lead for the first time since being up 1-0 on another 3-pointer made by Nora Kramer, 18-16.

Kramer was deadly from behind the arc. She made six 3-pointers for a game-high 19 points.

Foul trouble started to plague both sides as the second quarter winded down. Ryan, nonetheless, was able to extend its lead out to 29-24 going into halftime, in large part due to the bonus free throws.

As expected in a rivalry affair, things got physical at times. The two teams combined to shoot 50 free throws in the game (31-for-50).

“The first half they were pushing us around and getting rebounds, and that’s why we didn’t have the lead at halftime,” Peterson said. “To me, it was the rebounds and defense that was the key to this ball game.”

Ryan’s advantage was gone two minutes into the third quarter. The Knights scored six straight points to open the second half.

“I don’t know if offensively we put our girls in good positions to score or not,” Coleman said. “Our Redeemer’s came out with fire in the second half and stuck it us really. We take our lumps and try to get better tomorrow.”

ORCS closed out the third quarter on a 12-0 run. Vibeto provided 9 points in the frame, and fellow eighth-grader Meadow Roberts made her only field goal of the night — a running floater in the lane to beat the end-of-quarter buzzer.

“Everybody stepped up,” Peterson said.

The fourth and final frame was by far the highest-scoring with the Knights outscoring the Lions, 19-17, to stay in front for good.

Nothing sweeter than a rivalry win on the road.

“Big-time emotions,” Peterson said. “This is a big district game, and it means a lot to win a game like this — for positioning and everything else.”

Next up, ORCS travels to Surrey for a 7:15 p.m. contest Thursday against the Mustangs. Ryan will host District 12 power Mohall/Lansford/Sherwood (9-1, 2-0 District 12) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Minot.

Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.

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