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Tom Mix, Published January 09 2014

Nudell scores 24 as Maple Valley tops Oak Grove

FARGO – Maple Valley guard Rylee Nudell doesn’t sneak up on teams any longer.

Scoring 1,000 career points by her freshman season ensured the 5-foot-10 sophomore would be accounted for by opposing defenses on a nightly basis the rest of her prep career.

Teams have thrown double teams and in some cases triple teams at Nudell, but the crafty scorer has managed to begin the season on a hot streak.

Nudell scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to help Maple Valley to a 51-41 North Dakota Class B, District 2 girls basketball win over Fargo Oak Grove on Thursday at Gorder Gymnasium.

“She has started the season off well,” Maple Valley head coach Jeff Miller said of Nudell, who is averaging 25.5 points per game. “Teams have been trying to slow her down with double teams, but she has been able to work around that. It also has opened up a lot of shots for the other players on the team, and they have stepped up.”

Nudell started out slow, but scored 16 points in the second half, fueling a key 13-2 run that allowed the Raiders to pull away early in the fourth quarter.

“It’s not fun,” Nudell said of the extra attention defenses have been giving her. “My teammates help me out.”

Nudell has eclipsed 1,600 points and is closing in on the school record of 1,800 points held by her mother Rhonda Nudell (Schneekloth).

“Our team made some goals at the beginning of the year, and I’m more worried about those than the points,” Nudell said.

One of the team goals the Raiders (5-1, 2-0 District 2) have is to win the Region 1 tournament and qualify for state. Maple Valley finished second to Central Cass last season.

Thursday, Maple Valley was more than content picking up a road win against the Grovers (2-4, 1-1).

“It’s good to get a district win on the road against Oak Grove,” Miller said. “No district game we play this season will be easy.”

Oak Grove suffered several cold stretches on offense, including one in the first quarter. The Grovers didn’t score their first points of the game until 1 minute, 55 seconds left in the first.

“We had some dry spells,” Oak Grove head coach Mike Forsberg said. “We continued to look for our shot, which was nice to see, but (Maple Valley) converted on their end and we didn’t.”

Maple Valley led 22-16 at halftime, but Oak Grove made a push in the third quarter behind the efforts of senior Tatum Holt.

Holt poured in 11 of her team-high 19 points in the third quarter and finished with three 3-pointers.

The Grovers tied the game 27-27 when senior Jordan Cain hit a jump shot with 4:10 left to play in the third, but Oak Grove never took a lead on the Raiders.

MV 9 22 40 51

OG 5 16 32 41

MAPLE VALLEY (5-1): Nudell 6 10-12 24, Tinjum 3 0-1 8, Punton 1 3-6 5, Pautz 2 0-0 4, Kasowski 3 4-4 10. Totals: 15 17-23 51.

OAK GROVE (2-4): T. Holt 6 4-4 19, Osmundson 2 0-0 5, Cain 4 1-1 10, Bokinskie 2 0-0 5, Kelley 1 0-0 2. Totals: 15 5-5 41.

3-pointers: Nudell 2, Tinjum 2, T. Holt 3, Osmundson, Cain, Bokinskie. Team fouls: MV 11, OG 15. Rebounds: MV 20 (Nudell 17), OG 23 (Cain 7). Turnovers: MV 10, OG 16.


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