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Eric Peterson, Published February 02 2011

No. 2 Central Cass tops No. 3 Carrington in Class B girls basketball

CASSELTON, N.D. – Winning was nice, but that wasn’t the sole focus for Central Cass coach Barb Kraft on Tuesday night.

Behind 18 points from Taylor Kraft and 17 points from Hannah Breske, the No. 2-ranked Squirrels earned a 50-39 victory against No. 3-ranked Carrington in North Dakota Class B girls basketball.

“All we wanted to get out of it is playing at a higher level,” Barb Kraft said. “Their defense was really tough and sticky and caused some trouble for us. This is the kind of defense we need to play against, and I wish we would play against it a lot more.”

Central Cass (14-0) remained unbeaten, while the Cardinals (9-2) had their nine-game winning streak snapped.

“Any time you play a good team, you are going to figure out some of your deficiencies,” Carrington coach Andy Braaten said. “We played pretty good ‘D’ to hold them to 50 points, we just need to hit a few more shots.”

Central Cass took control with a strong defensive second quarter, holding the Cardinals to two points during that eight-minute stretch.

“We always talk about, ‘You can control your defense if your shots don’t go in,’ so we always focus on that,” Barb Kraft said.

The Squirrels ended the half on a 14-2 run, which started late in the first quarter. Breske played a key role during that span, scoring eight points. The 5-foot-11 sophomore had 10 points in the first half.

“Our first quarter we had to get the jitters out of us, and the second quarter we settled back and played our kind of defense and our offense feeds off of that,” said Taylor Kraft, who also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

Junior Courtney Dixon drained a 15-footer with 45 seconds remaining in the second quarter that staked Central Cass to a 22-12 lead, which the Squirrels would take into halftime.

“That was kind of the difference in the game,” Braaten said. “They were able to hold that lead the rest of the night.”

Central Cass never trailed in the final three quarters. Carrington pulled within five points early in the fourth quarter. Cardinals guard Sierra Rosenau hit two foul shots to cut the Squirrels lead to 36-31 with 5 minutes, 53 seconds remaining.

Rosenau paced Carrington with 17 points.

Central Cass countered Rosenau’s foul shots, however, with the next five points to push the lead back into double digits. Breske swished a 15-footer from the left wing. Dixon sank a 3-pointer to give the Squirrels a 41-31 lead with 3:05 remaining.

“These are the fun games,” Taylor Kraft said. “You wish all the games were like this.”

Carrington 10 12 27 39

CC 12 22 34 50

CARRINGTON (9-2): Scherr 2 2-2 7, Rosenau 6 5-8 17, Indergaard 1 0-0 2, Braaten 1 0-0 2, Thompson 4 0-3 8, Roundy 1 0-0 3, Harrington 0 0-0 0, Barton 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 7-13 39.

CENTRAL CASS (14-0): Camas 0 0-0 0, Voss 2 0-0 4, Breske 8 1-1 17, Kraft 7 3-4 18, Dixon 3 2-2 9, Weber 0 0-0 0, C. Titus 0 2-2 2. Totals 20 8-9 50.

3-point goals: Scherr, Roundy, Kraft, Dixon. Total fouls: Carrington 12, CC 11. Rebounds: Carrington 27 (Thompson 9), CC 26 (Kraft 7). Turnovers: Carrington 17, CC 18.

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

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com