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MLS advances to region semis; beats Bottineau 47-38

Robert Brewer/MDN Mavericks junior Kylie Abernathy (left) drives to the hoop in the first half of the regional tournament contest against Bottineau on Monday.

By virtue of their 47-38 victory over Bottineau, the Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood Mavericks (18-5) will move on to face the Rugby Panthers in the Region 6 semifinals on Tuesday night.

The first period was a hotly contested battle with both teams displaying hustle and grit defensively. Points were at a premium as the score was tied up at 8-8 after the first eight minutes of play. In the second, MLS began to build a sizeable lead. A basket by Kylie Abernathy followed by a three-point play from Allison Undlin gave the Mavericks a 13-8 edge to begin the quarter.

Leading 13-10, MLS reeled off 11 unanswered points with superior offensive execution in the half court. Abernathy, Undlin, as well as Madison Moberg all contributed with points during the Mavericks run. With about 90 seconds to go before intermission, a pair of free throws from Bottineau’s Sabra Peterson finally broke a scoring drought for the Stars to make the score 24-12 in favor of MLS. Another bucket from Abernathy off an assist by Lauren Steeves gave the Mavericks a 26-12 lead at the half. Abernathy finished the first two quarters leading all scorers with 13 points.

Despite being down by as many as 15 in the third, Bottineau remained competitive. A steal and fastbreak layup from freshman Kylie Simpson trimmed the MLS lead to 34-24 late in the period. However, the Mavericks finished the quarter strong with another bucket from Abernathy, followed by a buzzer beating baseline three from Undlin to give MLS a 39-24 advantage after three.

Midway through the final period, MLS held a 41-30 edge, until a Mya Troska three cut the Mavericks lead to 41-33. Bottineau inched closer down the stretch as a Simpson three-pointer cut the MLS lead to 45-38 with 48.8 seconds remaining. Following an MLS turnover, Abernathy came up big defensively with a block on a deep shot attempt by Bottineau. The Mavericks recovered the loose ball to effectively close out the game.

While Abernathy led all scorers with 19, Undlin posted 16 points in the win for MLS. Meanwhile, Simpson led Bottineau with 13 points in defeat. Peterson and Troska recorded 12 and 10 points respectively for the Stars.

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