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Tom Mix, Published March 21 2013

Central Cass tops Grant County in Class B girls BB state quarterfinals

FARGO – Central Cass seized control early on Thursday and never let up.

The Squirrels got off to an explosive start in their 70-37 win over Grant County during the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B state girls basketball tournament at the Fargodome.

Central Cass rattled off a 12-0 run midway through the first quarter and built a 24-8 lead after the opening eight minutes.

“That calmed everyone down,” Central Cass head coach Ryan Mears said. “It settled all of the girls’ nerves if they had any. We were relaxed from that point on.”

The No. 8-ranked Squirrels (23-3) advance to play No. 3-ranked Napoleon at 6:30 p.m. today in the semifinals.

Hannah Breske scored 25 points to lead Central Cass. She had the Squirrels’ first 10 points.

“Right off the tip we wanted to get control of the game right away instead of reacting,” said Breske, who also finished with six rebounds. “We wanted to be the team that started out quick and not get behind.”

Central Cass never trailed during regulation. Faith Dooley added 19 points and nine rebounds for the Squirrels.

Grant County – a co-op of Carson, Elgin and New Leipzig – trailed 39-17 at halftime and shot 22 percent (13 of 59) from the field for the game.

“When you come out and you can’t start quick, plus getting behind like that, it is so hard to play,” Grant County head coach Nicole Bentz said. “Faith Dooley is a great inside player, and we were not able to defend her the way we wanted to.”

Senior Ashley Bentz of Grant County scored 25 points and surpassed the 2,000-point milestone. Bentz needed 11 points to reach 2,000 entering Thursday and now sits at 2,014 career points.

Grant County plays Beach in the consolation semifinals at 1 p.m.

Breske scored 18 of her 25 in the first half and was 6 of 9 from the field in the opening 16 minutes.

“It was a huge spark for our team too,” Breske said of the Squirrels’ efficient first half. “We started playing harder on defense and started hitting all of our shots. It was huge.”

CC 24 39 55 70

GC 8 17 31 37

CENTRAL CASS (23-3): Breske 9-18 5-7 25, Dooley 8-14 3-10 19, Cramer 3-6 1-2 8, Titus 3 0-0 8, Tronson 1 1-3 3, Sweep 1 0-0 3, Goettle 1 0-0 2, Romsdal 0 2-4 2. Totals: 26-56 12-26 70.

GRANT COUNTY (20-6): A. Bentz 8-29 4-4 25, Tatro 3 0-0 7, Koepplin 1 0-0 2, S. Bentz 1 0-0 2, Wetzel 0 1-2 1. Totals: 13-59 5-8 37.

3-pointers: Breske 2, Cramer, Titus 2, Sweep, Bentz 5, Tatro. Total fouls: CC 12, GC 14. Rebounds: CC 40 (Dooley 9), GC 32 (Werner 8). Assists: CC 13 (Goettle 5), GC 3 (Koepplin 2). Steals: CC 11 (Cramer, Titus, Tronson, Erickson 2), GC 6 (Bentz 3). Turnovers: CC 13, GC 17.

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