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Eric Peterson, Published February 17 2009

Class B, District 2 girls basketball: Central Cass claims title

When pushed, Central Cass responded Monday at the Fargo Civic Center.

Trailing by five points early in the second half, the Squirrels answered with 17 of the next 19 points.

That surge sparked Central Cass to a 46-37 victory against Northern Cass for the North Dakota Class B, District 2 girls basketball championship.

The Squirrels (19-3) won their second consecutive district title.

“When we face a challenge, we step up to a challenge,” said Central Cass sophomore Taylor Kraft, who scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. “When we saw we were down, we knew we had to step up.”

Northern Cass (13-9) scored the first five points of the second half to take a 25-20 lead after Kalai Lundquist hit a 15-footer with 5 minutes, 43 seconds to play in the third quarter.

From that point, the Jaguars went scoreless for nearly seven minutes.

“All of a sudden, Central Cass started to take it at us and we stood flat-footed,” Northern Cass coach Jodi Zieske said. “We had a stretch where the girls stood around and watched the game for a little bit.”

Squirrels senior Terese Boeder started the game-changing run, hitting a

15-footer from the left wing with 4:25 to play in the third. Senior Ashleigh Nesemeier capped the rally with a short jumper on the baseline. That shot staked Central Cass to a 37-27 lead with 5:38 to play in the fourth quarter.

“As it’s always been this year, our defense fuels our offense,” said Central Cass coach Barb Kraft, who was named District 2 coach of the year. “I think our defense started to tighten up a little bit.”

Lundquist paced the Jaguars with 10 points and nine rebounds.

“We just build on our teamwork because we had great teamwork this whole tournament,” Zieske said.

Central Cass earned a No. 1 seed for the Region 1 tournament, which starts next Monday at Fargo Civic Center. Northern Cass is the No. 2 seed.

“There is no doubt about it, this helps our confidence,” Barb Kraft said.

Northern Cass 13 20 25 37

Central Cass 10 20 27 46

NORTHERN CASS (13-9): Holmstrom 3 1-4 8, S. Lako 2 0-2 5, Olson 1 2-6 4, Lundquist 4 2-2 10, As. Lako 1 1-2 3, Am. Lako 3 0-1 7. Totals 14 6-17 37.

CENTRAL CASS (19-3): Boeder 5 0-0 11, Sprunk 1 0-0 2, Nesemeier 2 2-4 6, Nelson 0 2-2 2, Kraft 7 6-9 20, Gegelman 1 1-4 3, Dixon 1 0-0 2, Roesler 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 11-19 46.

3-point goals: Holmstrom, S. Lako, Am. Lako, Boeder. Total fouls: NC 19, CC 16. Fouled out: Sprunk, Gegelman. Rebounds: NC 35 (Lundquist 9), CC 38 (Kraft 12). Turnovers: NC 8, CC 15.

Finley-Sharon-Hope-Page 56, Richland 49

Taylor Palmer scored 13 points to help the Spartans to victory in a region-qualifying game. Finley-Sharon-Hope-Page is the No. 3 seed for the region tournament.

Shelby Kinneberg paced Richland with 21 points.

FSHP 15 32 43 56

Richland 6 17 30 49

FSHP: Keller 1 0-0 2, Krueger 1 5-8 8, Palmer 5 1-1 13, Ihry 2 0-0 4, Montag 3 5-7 11, Anderson 4 3-4 12, Erbstoesser 2 2-2 6. Totals 18 16-22 56.

RICHLAND: Casperson 0 2-2 2, S. Kinneberg 9 3-4 21, Freeberg 3 4-4 10, Julson 2 2-3 6, Hage 3 1-2 7, Johnson 1 1-2 3. Totals 18 13-17 49.

3-point goals: Krueger, Palmer 2, Anderson. Total fouls: FSHP 13, RHS 14.

Kindred 60, Maple Valley 51

Anna Bachmeier scored 25 points to help the Vikings earn a No. 4 seed for the region tournament.

Mariah Smith paced the Raiders with 23 points.

Kindred 16 35 43 60

Maple Valley 10 26 35 51

KINDRED: Rustad 5 1-1 11, Pederson 3 2-2 10, Girodat 1 2-2 4, Bindas 2 3-4 8, Bachmeier 9 7-8 25, Otterson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 15-19 60.

MAPLE VALLEY: C. Richman 4 0-1 10, Lerud 4 1-1 9, Smith 7 8-10 23, W. Richman 3 0-2 7, Kapaun 1 0-2 2. Totals: 19 9-16 51.

3-point goals: Pederson 2, Bindas, C. Richman 2, W. Richman, Smith. Total fouls: Kindred 18, MV 17.

All-District 2 team

Shelby Krueger, Hope-Page-Finley-Sharon; Taylor Kraft, Central Cass; Kalai Lundquist, Northern Cass; Shelby Kinneberg, Richland; Megan Trautman, Enderlin; Becca Conant, Fargo Oak Grove; Sam Lako, Northern Cass; Margi Ihry, Finley-Sharon-Hope-Page; Abby Sprunk, Central Cass; Jordan Rustad, Kindred; Olivia Johnson, Richland; Stephanie Anderson, Finley-Sharon-Hope-Page; Brittany Olson, Northern Cass; Terese Boeder, Central Cass; Mariah Smith, Maple Valley.

District 2 coach of the year

Barb Kraft, Central Cass

District 2 senior athlete of the year

Shelby Kinneberg, Richland


Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com