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Tom Mix, Published March 20 2013

North DAkota Class B girls state basketball preview

1 P.M.


Napoleon Imperials

Head coach: Darcy Lehr

Record: 22-1, Region 3 champions

Starters Pts. Reb.

G: Kendra Weigel, 5-6, Sr. 15.6 4

G: Brenna Schmidt, 5-6, Sr. 5.1 2.1

F: Sheridon Dewald, 5-7, Sr. 19.5 5.9

F: Mariah Jangula, 5-8, Jr. 10.1 3

F: Mikayla Young, 5-6, Sr. 6.7 3.5

Key reserves

G: Brianna Wolf, 5-6, Sr. 3.3 2.1

G: Shania Gross, 5-3 Soph. 3.1 2.5

C: Kecia Ellison, 5-9, Sr. 2 2

Lehr’s comments

“Our team is a transition team that looks to get the ball up the court at a quick pace,” Lehr said. “It all starts with our defense. We try to get the other team’s ball handlers into a hurry-up situation with pressure defense. On offense, we are led by our big three: Kendra Weigel, Sheridon Dewald and Mariah Jangula.”

Facts and stats

The No. 3-ranked Imperials average 65 points per game. ... Napoleon is making its fourth state tournament appearance and first since 1983. ... The Imperials have never won a state championship.

Beach Buccaneers

Head coach: Bob Waldal

Record: 19-5, Region 7 champions

Starters Pts. Reb.

G: Bailey Waldal, 5-7, Soph. 14.3 6.6

F: Cydni Stedman, 5-7, Jr. 16.8 6.1

F: Brooklyn Zachmann, 5-9, Soph. 6 4.1

F: Morgan Nunberg, 5-9, Sr. 2.3 4.5

C: Hailee Farstveet, 5-8, Jr. 15.4 5.6

Key reserves

G: Ashlynn Dietz, 5-5, Sr. 3.7 1

F: Kari Schmeling, 5-9, Jr. 3.3 1.3

F: Chantel Fulton, 5-7, Sr. 1.2 1.1

Waldal’s comments

“Last year, a big portion of this team gained a lot of varsity experience,” Waldal said. “This year, everybody is a year older and that has helped add a lot of depth to the team. It will be fun to see how it all plays out at the state tournament this week

in Fargo.”

Facts and stats

Beach, unranked, is making its fourth consecutive state tournament appearance and eighth overall. ... The Buccaneers have won three state championships (1989, 1990 and 2010). ... Beach averages 56.1 points and 32.4 rebounds per game.

3 P.M.


Central Cass Squirrels

Head coach: Ryan Mears

Record: 22-3, Region 1 champions

Starters Pts. Reb.

G: Hannah Breske, 5-11, Sr. 17.9 6.2

G: Dallas Goettle, 5-5, Jr. 5.1 2.4

F: Abby Cramer, 5-9, Jr. 5 2.7

F: Ally Tronson, 5-10, Sr. 4 4.8

C: Faith Dooley, 6-3, Jr. 13.8 9.7

Key reserves

G: Kirby Camas, 5-3, Jr. 4.3 1.5

G: Morgan Titus, 5-7, Sr. 3.3 3

F: Jessie Roesler, 5-9, Soph. 1.7 1.4

F: Macie Romsdal, 5-10, Soph. 2 1

Mears’ comments

“I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into this season,” Mears said. “We had one starter returning from last year’s regional runner-up team and another starter began the year recovering from an ACL injury. Our defense has been our strength this year and we have kept improving each game.”

Facts and stats

The No. 8-ranked Squirrels are making their fourth state appearance. ... Central Cass has played in two of the last three state championship games, losing to Beach in 2010 and Carrington in 2011.

Grant County Coyotes

Head coach: Nicole Bentz

Record: 20-5, Region 5 champions

Pts. Reb.

G: Elesha Tatro, 5-6, Sr. 8 2

F/G: Ashley Werner, 5-11, Jr. 12 6

F/G: Sydney Bentz, 5-11, Soph. 14 8

F: Autumn Alt, 5-11, Fr. 5 4

G/F: Ashley Bentz, 5-10, Sr. 21 10

Key reserves

F: Brandy Koepplin, 5-8, Jr. 4 5

F: Breanna Nehl, 5-10, Jr. 3 3

F: Kaci Levorsen, 5-9, Jr. 4 3

Bentz’s comments

“We have been playing our best basketball the last several weeks and that is when you want to play your best,” Bentz said. “We have played in the Region 5 championship game the last three years and this year we finally broke through. The girls are excited to be at state and to finally get over that hump.”

Facts and stats

The Grant County co-op of Carson, Elgin and New Leipzig is making its first appearance at the state tournament. ... The Coyotes, unranked, defeated Bismarck Shiloh Christian 60-57 in overtime in the

Region 5 championship game to earn a state tournament berth.

6:30 P.M.


Thompson Tommies

Head coach: Jason Brend

Record: 23-2, Region 2 champions

Starters Pts. Reb.

G: Karleigh Weber, 5-4, Jr. 12 4.5

G: McKenna DeMoe, 5-6, Jr. 9.3 4

F: Bethany Ivesdal, 5-7, Jr. 9.4 3.7

F: Averi Olson, 5-10, Jr. 4.2 5.1

F: Shannon Galegher, 5-10, Jr. 12.6 8.4

Key reserves

F: Samantha Hegg, 5-9, Soph. 4.6 3.3

F: Emily Overby, 5-8, Fr. 3.5 2.5

G: Shaice Marx, 5-7, Fr. 4.6 6.6

Brend’s comments

“Coming into this season we knew we had a pretty good opportunity to have success returning everyone from last year’s team,” Brend said. “As the season has gone on, we have really come together as a team and elevated our game to the next level.”

Facts and stats

The No. 4-ranked Tommies are making their fourth state tournament appearance and first since 2010. ... Thompson has never won a state title. ... The Tommies average 60.7 points per game.

New Town Eagles

Head coach: Orville Drosdal

Record: 23-1, Region 8 champions

Starters Pts. Reb.

G: Jaye Two Bears, 5-8, Fr. 11.2 3.1

G: Taylor McGrady, 5-9, Sr. 8.6 2.2

G: Baeleigh Brady, 5-7, Jr. 12.6 3.1

F: Gabrielle Wilkinson, 5-9, Jr. 15.5 4.8

C: Mia Wilkinson, 5-11, Soph. 9 4

Key reserves

G: Jasmyne Big Crow, 5-9, Jr. 7.7 5.2

G: Viola Wise Spirit, 5-9, Sr. 3.4 2.8

G: Chelsey Quick Bear, 5-6, Soph. 2.8 1

Drosdal’s comments

“We played up to expectations this year and we progressed as a team as the season went along,” Drosdal said. “We are excited to see where we stack up with some of the best teams in the state. We are a balanced team on the offensive end of the ball. ... We have three girls who average double figures and haven’t had to rely on one girl to score all our points.”

Facts and stats

The No. 2-ranked Eagles are making their second straight trip to the state tournament and eighth overall. ... New Town averages 71 points and 26.8 rebounds per game. ... The Eagles shoot 47 percent from the field.

8:30 P.M.


Benson County Wildcats

Head coach: Kent Neppl

Record: 24-1, Region 4 champions

Starters Pts. Reb.

G: Katelynn Engh, 5-5, Sr. 9.2 3.6

F: Sara Schwanke, 5-6, Sr. 15.6 6.2

F: Andrea Jorgenson, 5-8, Soph. 7.6 5.9

F: Becca Eberle, 6-0, Sr. 12.5 7.7

C: Meghan Jorgenson, 5-11, Sr. 7.7 6.8

Key reserves

G: Katie Rice, 5-6, Sr. 1 1.4

C: Katherine Sears, 5-7, Sr. 3.5 3.1

Neppl’s comments

“We are a very balanced team on the court and have seven ladies who are capable of scoring for us,” Neppl said. “We have a very tough task ahead of us in the game at state playing Minot Ryan. I hope we are competitive and don’t get caught up in all the hype of the state tournament.”

Facts and stats

The No. 6-ranked Wildcats are making their first state tournament appearance as the Benson County co-op of Leeds and Maddock. ... Maddock qualified for the 1977 state tournament. ... Benson County averages 59.3 points and 36.2 rebounds per game.

Minot Ryan Lions

Head coach: Julie Stewart

Record: 24-0, Region 6 champions

Starters Pts. Reb.

F: Hannah Stewart, 6-2, Soph. 21.5 10.5

G: Anika Rovig, 5-10, Jr. 11.2 2.6

G: Laurin Leidholt, 5-7, Jr. 4.5 3.5

G: Quinn Harmon, 5-9, Sr. 8.5 4.8

F: Gabbie Bohl, 6-2, Soph. 15.1 5.8

Key reserves

G: Maddie Wald, 5-5, Soph. 10.1 2.5

G: Maddie Lipp, 5-4, Jr. 1.3 1

G: Sheyenne Schmidt, 5-4, Fr. 1.9 1.1

Stewart’s comments

“At the beginning of the season, we set out to be one of the best defensive teams in the state, and we have played good defense all season,” Stewart said. “We are virtually the same team that we were a year ago and the girls are excited to be back at the state tournament.”

Facts and stats

The No. 1-ranked Lions own the longest active winning streak in the state (26 games) dating back to last season when they placed fifth at state. ... Minot Ryan averages 74.6 points per game, 33.2 rebounds per game and 20 assists per game. ... The Lions are making their third appearance at state. ... Minot Ryan won a state title in 1993.