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Eric Peterson, Published March 22 2013

Central Cass girls advance to Class B girls state title game

FARGO – Faith Dooley made it look like she was playing volleyball at times Friday night.

On a few occasions, the Central Cass junior spiked blocked shots to the Fargodome hardwood. The 6-foot-3 center finished with 11 blocked shots as part of her triple-double that helped spark the Squirrels to a 63-52 victory against Napoleon in the North Dakota Class B state girls basketball semifinals.

“Volleyball I think it helps a lot because of footwork,” said Dooley, who has verbally committed to play volleyball at the University of North Dakota. “I’m used to seeing the ball and tipping it.”

Central Cass (24-3) plays at approximately 8 p.m. today for the state championship. The Squirrels will play in the title game for the third time in the last four seasons. Central Cass finished second at state in 2010 and 2011.

“We did it,” said Central Cass senior Hannah Breske, who scored a team-high 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the floor. “We are going to the championship again. Hopefully, we can come out with what we want to.”

Napoleon (23-2) had its 17-game winning streak snapped.

Dooley finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds to go along with her double-digit blocks. She shot 75 percent (6 of 8) from the field and also added a steal. Dooley has had three triple-doubles this season.

“She’s an amazing athlete for her size,” Napoleon head coach Darcy Lehr said. “When she blocks shots, she doesn’t leave the ground, so it’s hard to draw fouls on her. She is just a force inside, and we just don’t have an answer for somebody like that.”

Central Cass scored the game’s first 14 points and never trailed. Breske, who has committed to play basketball at North Dakota State, scored six points during that fast start. Squirrels guards Dallas Goettle and Abigail Cramer each sank a 3-pointer in that opening stretch. Breske drained a 15-foot jumper from the baseline that gave her team a 14-0 lead with 3 minutes, 8 seconds to play in the first quarter.

“To get a lead on a team like that is impressive, because they are such a dang good team,” Central Cass head coach Ryan Mears said.

“It gave us a cushion and let us be comfortable with the whole game,” Dooley added. “Our guards came out hot. I was very thankful for that.”

Napoleon rallied to cut the Central Cass lead to three points twice in the second quarter. Imperials forward Sheridon Dewald scored a layup in transition to cut the Squirrels’ lead to 28-25 with 1:55 remaining in the second quarter. That’s as close as Napoleon would get, with Central Cass taking a 33-27 lead into halftime. The Imperials weren’t able to get closer than six points of the lead after halftime.

Napoleon shot 19 percent (12 of 62) from the field with Dooley anchoring the Central Cass defense.

“You also have to look at the ones that she alters,” Mears said. “You don’t chart that one on the stat sheet.”

Senior guard Kendra Weigel finished with a game-high 24 points, including 12-for-12 shooting from the foul line.

CC 19 33 54 63

Napoleon 9 27 37 52

CENTRAL CASS (24-3): Breske 9 4-5 22, Dooley 6 1-4 13, Cramer 5 2-2 13, Camas 3 0-0 9, Goettle 1 1-2 4, Tronson 1 0-1 2, Titus 0 0-0 0, Roesler 0 0-0 0, Romsdal 0 0-0 0. Totals 25-53 8-14 63.

NAPOLEON (23-2): K. Weigel 5 12-12 24, Dewald 2 4-6 8, Jangula 2 3-4 7, Wolf 2 0-0 6, Gross 1 3-4 5, Schmidt 0 2-2 2, Young 0 0-0 0, Ellison 0 0-0 0. Totals 12-62 24-28 52.

3-point goals: Cramer, Camas 3, Goettle, K. Weigel 2, Wolf 2. Total fouls: CC 20, NHS 12. Rebounds: CC 43 (Dooley 11), NHS 39 (Dewald 13). Assists: CC 13 (Breske 4), NHS 7 (K. Weigel 3). Steals: CC 4 (four players with 1), NHS 8 (K. Weigel 4). Turnovers: CC 15, NHS 12.

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

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