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Tom Mix, Published March 12 2013

Central Cass, Maple Valley advance to Region 1 girls title game

FARGO – After a somewhat sluggish start in the opening eight minutes, the Central Cass girls basketball team made its move in the second quarter.

A key run to close out the first half helped the Squirrels to a 53-40 win over Kindred in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class B, Region 1 tournament on Tuesday at the Fargo Civic Center.

Central Cass (23-3) rattled off a 9-0 run to close out the second quarter to help the Squirrels advance to their sixth straight Region 1 championship game. Central Cass plays Maple Valley for the championship and a state berth at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Fargo Civic Center.

“We had to see what they were going to give us,” said 6-foot-3 junior Faith Dooley, who finished with a team-high 19 points and nine rebounds. “We kept playing hard the whole game and never gave up.”

Despite only making one field goal in the first quarter, the Squirrels only trailed Kindred 7-6 heading into the second. Central Cass got a big break when Kindred senior standout and University of North Dakota volleyball signee Kellie Schmit picked up her second foul early in the second quarter.

Schmit – who finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds – spent the rest of the second on the Vikings’ bench.

“It was a good defensive battle at the start of the game, and we were expecting that,” Central Cass head coach Ryan Mears said. “When Schmit got in foul trouble, we were able to put together a little run to get a six-point lead at halftime.”

For a while it appeared Kindred (17-6) was going to weather the absence of Schmit, but Dooley got a layup to fall that gave Central Cass a 17-16 lead with 1:53 left in the first half. Dooley’s bucket gave Central Cass its first lead of the game, and the Squirrels never trailed the rest of the way.

“When Kellie went out, we were just trying to maintain, and we did that for the most part,” Kindred head coach Perry Piatz said. “Right at the end of the half, they made a little to go up and that was a big factor. Having her on the bench is not a good thing for us.”

Dooley, who is also headed to UND for volleyball, scored 11 of her 19 in the fourth quarter.

Kindred plays Fairmount-Campbell-Tintah in the third-place game at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The championship will be a rematch of the District 2 final, where Central Cass defeated Maple Valley 52-45.

K 7 16 29 40

CC 6 22 37 51

KINDRED (17-6): Cose 3 0-0 6, Allmaras 1 0-0 2, Graff 2 2-2 8, Erickson 2 1-2 5, Schmit 3 7-7 12, Piatz 2 0-0 5. Totals: 13-51 10-11 40.

CENTRAL CASS (21-3): Cramer 3 0-0 8, Goettle 1 0-1 2, Dooley 8 3-3 19, Camas 2 2-2 7, Breske 6 4-7 16, Romsdal 0 1-4 1. Totals: 20-55 10-17 53.

Halftime: CC 22, K 16. 3-pointers: Graff 2, Schmit, Piatz, Cramer 2, Camas. Total fouls: K 20, CC 14. Fouled out: Schmit. Rebounds: K 21 (Schmit 12), CC 24 (Dooley 9). Turnovers: K 14, CC 20.

Maple Valley 52, Fairmount-Campbell-Tintah 43

A seven-year drought ended on Tuesday night for the Maple Valley girls basketball team.

The Raiders topped Fairmount-Campbell-Tintah 52-43 in the semifinals at the Fargo Civic to clinch a spot in its first Region 1 title game since 2006.

Maple Valley (20-4) built a 28-8 halftime lead and held on the rest of the way.

“We came out clicking, and our defense was doing a good job of holding them to one shot,” Maple Valley head coach Jeff Miller said. “We were patient with our offense for the most part and built a nice lead.”

The Rebels (13-9) cut the Raiders’ lead to nine points several times in the second half.

“We knew (F-C-T) doesn’t quit,” Miller said. “They can get hot quick, and we told the girls to not let up. We just got a little tired on defense, and they just started knocking down some shots.”

Maple Valley freshman Rylee Nudell led the Raiders with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

The Raiders advance to play Central Cass in the Region 1 championship game Thursday. Maple Valley is 0-2 against the Squirrels this year.

“We have had some tough games with Central Cass,” Miller said. “The district championship game was tight back and forth. They just made one little run and pulled away at the end. They are a great team with (Hannah) Breske and (Faith) Dooley in the middle. It is a tough matchup and we are looking forward to it.”

FCT 4 8 27 43

MV 10 28 38 52

FCT (13-9): Ross 2 2-2 6, Grefsrud 1 1-2 3, Rittenour 3 2-4 8, Meyer 3 0-0 9, Kahler 8 0-1 17. Totals: 17 4-9 43.

MV (20-4): Tinjum 1 4-5 7, Punton 2 2-2 6, C. Pautz 3 4-7 11, Kasowski 3 0-1 6, Nudell 6 6-7 18, K. Pautz 1 0-0 2, Cruff 1 0-1 2. Totals: 17 16-23 52.

Halftime: MV 28, FCT 8. 3-pointers: Tinjum, C. Pautz, Meyer 3, Kahler. Total fouls: MV 9, FCT 21

Fouled out: Burns. Rebounds: MV 25 (Nudell 14), FCT 29 (Kahler 13). Turnovers: MV 11, FCT 15.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562