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Eric Peterson, Published March 21 2013

Napoleon edges Beach in first round of North Dakota Class B girls tournament

FARGO – Sheridon Dewald was at her best when it mattered most Thursday at the Fargodome.

The Napoleon senior scored nine points in the final seven minutes and finished with 17. Her effort helped the Imperials earn a 61-55 victory against Beach in the first round of the North Dakota Class B state girls basketball tournament.

“She’s a good player,” Beach head coach Bob Waldal said of Dewald. “They’re here for a reason and they won that game for a reason.”

Napoleon (23-1) plays Central Cass (23-3) at 6:30 p.m. today in the state semifinals. The No. 3-ranked Imperials have won 17 consecutive games.

“It’s really overwhelming for all of us,” said Dewald, who also grabbed eight rebounds. “We count on each other. Whoever had the ball in this last quarter we trusted them.”

Napoleon led by as many as 11 points in the third quarter before Beach rallied. The Buccaneers took a 49-46 lead after junior Cydni Stedman scored a

3-point play with 7 minutes, 6 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.

“We just told ourselves, ‘We need to stop them,’” Dewald said. “We needed to get our run back and start out fresh the fourth quarter, and that’s what really helped us.”

Senior guard Brenna Schmidt gave Napoleon the lead for good, sinking a foul-line jumper that gave the Imperials a 56-54 edge with 1:22 remaining. Dewald netted another important basket moments later. She scored on a baseline spin move to give Napoleon a 58-54 lead with 44 seconds to play. There was 1 second remaining on the shot clock.

“That was huge,” Napoleon head coach Darcy Lehr said. “She was able to do her patented baseline move and got by her. She is such a fantastic finisher. I knew once she got by her, she was going to make it.”

Stedman paced Beach with a game-high 22 points, including 15 points in the second half. The 5-foot-9 junior sank three 3-pointers and also grabbed six rebounds.

“The frustrating thing of the whole night was really giving up easy baskets,” Waldal said. “They are a hard team to defend. … We were fine on one end of the floor. It was just trying to correct that defense.”

Beach 14 23 46 55

Napoleon 15 33 44 61

BEACH (23-1): Stedman 9 1-1 22, Zachmann 5 2-6 14, Farstveet 4 0-1 11, Waldal 3 1-2 8, Nunberg 0 0-0 0, Schmeling 0 0-0 0, Dietz 0 0-0 0, Nielsen 0 0-0 0. Totals 21-60 4-10 55.

NAPOLEON (19-6): K. Weigel 7 0-0 17, Dewald 5 7-8 17, Jangula 5 3-5 13, Young 2 4-4 8, Schmidt 1 2-2 4, Wolf 1 0-0 2, Gross 0 0-0 0, Ellison 0 0-0 0. Totals 21-44 16-19 61.

3-point goals: Stedman 3, Zachmann 2, Farstveet 3, Waldal, K. Weigel 3. Total fouls: BHS 18, NHS 13. Fouled out: Waldal, K. Weigel. Rebounds: BHS 29 (Waldal 7), NHS 29 (Dewald 8). Assists: BHS 9 (Farstveet 4), NHS 8 (Dewald 3). Steals: BHS 2 (Stedman, Schmeling), NHS 3 (three players with 1). Turnovers: BHS 6, NHS 10.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com