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Published February 26 2010

Girls basketball: Squirrels state bound

WAHPETON, N.D. – Central Cass is headed back to state for the first time in more than three decades.

The Squirrels avenged region title game losses to Hankinson in each of the last two seasons and exorcised 36 years worth of demons with a 51-42 victory against the Pirates on Thursday in the Region 1 girls basketball championship at Ed Werre Arena.

“Unbelievable,” Squirrels coach Barb Kraft said. “When we were getting ready for this game, these young ladies did whatever we asked. They just had a gut check tonight and they played their hearts out. I’m really proud.”

Central Cass used a 10-2 run to take control of the game in the third quarter. The Squirrels held a 43-35 lead heading into the fourth.

Calm and collected Central Cass turned away everything Hankinson had in the final minutes, sealing the game at the free-throw line.

The Squirrels shot 42 percent from the floor.

“We’re so excited,” Madison Gegelman said. “It’s like no words can even describe it.”

The game couldn’t have started any better for the Squirrels as they set the tone on both ends of the court.

Central Cass, which was defeated by the Pirates by 18 points during the regular season, had little trouble breaking Hankinson’s usually stifling full-court press early and often.

While the Squirrels flourished, the Pirates fizzled on both ends of the court.

Hankinson’s first field goal came at 2:48 of the first quarter.

Central Cass held a 17-9 advantage heading into the second.

That’s when the Pirates finally cut loose.

A 14-0 run late in the first and early in the second helped Hankinson take a 19-17 lead with 5:28 remaining in the first half. Senior Casey Geffre had 14 in the first half to spark the Pirates comeback.

Central Cass fended off the rally just in time to take a 29-24 lead into halftime.

Mike Sorlie of North Sargent was named Region 1 coach of the year. Hankinson’s Casey Geffre was selected region senior athlete of the year.

“You can’t even describe it,” said Central Cass junior Taylor Kraft, who finished with 14 points. “All the hard work paid off.”

Hankinson 9 24 35 42

Central Cass 17 29 43 51

HANKINSON: M. Titus 1 0-0 2, C. Titus 2 0-0 5, Stein 1 0-2 2, Wahl 2 4-6 8, Geffre 8 5-5 22, Pankow 1 1-1 3. Totals: 15 10-14 42.

CENTRAL CASS: Voss 3 2-2 8, Kraft 7 0-0 14, Gegelman 3 6-9 12, Roesler 2 0-1 4, Breske 4 1-1 9. Totals: 21 9-13 51.

3-point goals: C. Titus, Geffre. Total fouls: H 17, CC 10. Rebounds: H 29 (Geffre 10), CC 35 (Kraft 10). Assists: H 4 (Geffre 2), CC 13 (Gegelman 4). Steals: H 9 (C. Titus 4), CC 4 (4 tied with 1).

Third place

Milnor 55, North Sargent 48

Paige Tompkins finished with 23 points and eight rebounds to lift the Bison to a victory against the Bobcats in the third-place game.

Milnor shot 31 percent for the game, but drilled 21 of 31 free throws to help seal the win.

Riley Peterson had 15 points to lead North Sargent.

Milnor 10 18 36 55

North Sargent 15 26 37 48

MILNOR: Ellefson 3 1-2 8, McCloud 3 0-0 7, Weber 0 5-6 5, Tompkins 6 11-13 23, Tayer 3 2-4 8, Halvorson 1 2-6 4. Totals: 16 21-31 55.

NORTH SARGENT: Waloch 2 2-3 6, Orn 1 0-0 2, Johnson 2 0-0 4, Peterson 5 1-2 15, Wrage 2 0-0 4, Ptacnik 2 0-0 4, Bohenkamp 4 0-0 8, Drevlow 1 2-2 5. Totals: 19 5-7 48.

3-point goals: Ellefson, McCloud, Waloch 2, Peterson, Drevlow 2. Total fouls: M 13, NS 22. Fouled out: Waloch, Drevlow. Rebounds: M 38 (Tompkins 8), NS 35 (Bohenkamp, Drevlow 9). Assists: M 11 (K. Sakry 4), NS 13 (Waloch). Steals: M 11 (McCloud 4), NS 3 (3 tied with 1).


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Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562