BY JIMMY HARRIS firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — BISMARCK — For the fourth year in a row, the St. Joseph-Ogden and Bismarck-Henning girls basketball teams squared off in the regional semifinals game.
And the Spartans continued their winning ways against the Blue Devils with a 41-27 win.
The game started slow for the Blue Devils as they couldn’t find the rim and during an 11-minute stretch in the first half, they could only manage to make one free throw as the Spartans went on a 21-1 run to lead 24-5 at the 2 minute, 35 second mark of the second quarter.
“We had too many turnovers early and didn’t make shots we normally make during the first half and that got us in a hole,” Bismarck-Henning coach Mike Stephens said.
The Blue Devils played good defense the rest of the half and did not allow the Spartans to score and they only trailed at halftime 24-11.
The Blue Devils kept battling and played solid defense in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to seven 29-22.
“I thought we played good defense in the second half and really got after them and made a run but couldn’t get over the hump,” Stephens said.
The Spartans had an answer for each run Bismarck-Henning could go on and pushed the lead back to double digits and got the victory and a chance to face St. Thomas More Thursday night for the regional title.
Bismarck-Henning was led in scoring by Brooke Walsh and Lindsey Andrews both with eight points.
During the third quarter, the Blue Devils held the Spartans to one basket and three free throws. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find the basket much more and only scored two field goals themselves and four free throws, to cut the lead to 29-19.
In the first game of the night, No. 1 seed St. Thomas More came out with an aggressive attack and Oakwood was no match for the No. 1 team in 2A as the Sabers beat the Comets 85-24.
The first quarter begun with St. Thomas More wanting to leave no doubt about its seeding and ran past Oakwood to a 39-0 first quarter lead.
“We wanted to come out and not turn the ball over and get good look in our set offense and we did that tonight,” Sabers coach Chris Mennig said.
Oakwood never quit battling playing hard to the final whistle throughout the game but could not overcome the big deficit early.
The Comets were no match for the size and quickness of the Sabers, as they have three NCAA Division I players starting for them.
Lexy Terry and Sadie Edwards led the Comets with five points each and Delaney Durst and Ellie Huchel had four points each.
St Thomas More had four girls in double figures and was led by their 6-foot, 4-inch sophomore Tori McCoy with 24 points, 12 rebounds and five steals.