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Kevin Schnepf, Published March 08 2014

Davies edges Red River to make Class A girls state tournament

FARGO – Carly Kottsick, a 5-foot-8 eighth-grader, took a deep breath at the free-throw line with 12 seconds left of Saturday’s state-tournament qualifying game at the Bison Sports Arena.

She sank two free throws, securing a 61-57 win over Grand Forks Red River at the East Region girls basketball tournament. The win sends Davies to the state tournament that begins Thursday in Minot.

“Oh man,” said Kottsick, who scored nine points. “I just didn’t want to let my teammates down.”

Mission accomplished.

Two minutes earlier, Kottsick came up with a steal at midcourt, drove in for a layup, was fouled and sank a free throw to give Davies a 54-51 lead.

“That was a huge play,” said Davies coach Tonah Safranski. “Carly is just a hustler. She’s been that way all season.”

Davies, which split the two regular-season games with Red River, had to endure a 7½-minute stretch in the second half without 6-foot-1 senior starter Katelyn Olson. She had to sit with four fouls.

“We were able to weather that stretch,” Safranski said, referring to her team outscoring Red River 8-6 to maintain a 50-47 lead. “That was huge because Katelyn hardly ever comes off the floor for us.”

Davies also withstood Allison Hillebrand’s four 3-pointers, one that tied the score 54-54 and another that cut the Davies lead to 58-57 with 13.6 seconds remaining.

That’s when Kottsick made her free throws.

After a Red River turnover, Alexis Klabo made one of two free throws to ice the win with 2 seconds remaining.

Klabo, a 6-2 junior, had 19 points and nine rebounds. Olson, despite all the bench time, had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

RED RIVER (7-16): Hillebrand 4 2-2 14, Robson 3 0-0 8, Carlson 2 0-0 6, Bohm 2 2-2 6, Arason 1 3-4 5, Burr 4 2-2 10, Rustebakke 0 0-0 0, Trader 3 2-3 8. Totals: 19-60 (FG), 11-13 (FT).

DAVIES (16-6): Olson 4 2-5 10, Erickson 1 1-4 3, Papachek 1 0-0 2, Klabo 7 5-6 19, Bergantine 0 2-2 2, Kottsick 2 4-5 9, Malmanger 2 6-8 10, Hildre 3 0-0 6. Totals: 20-47 (FG), 20-30 (FT).

Halftime: Davies 34, Red River 34. 3-point goals: Hillebrand 4, Robson 2, Carlson 2, Kottsick. Total fouls: RR 26, FD 17. Fouled out: Arason. Rebounds: RR 28 (Arason 6, Burr 5, Trader 5), FD 40 (Olson 10, Klabo 9). Turnovers: RR 17, FD 20.

Valley City 57, Wahpeton 50

Dierra Diegel remembers it like it was yesterday, when a Valley City girls team last qualified for state in 2005.

“I remember they had to have a comeback in the state-qualifier game,” Diegel said.

Valley City needed no comeback Saturday. Diegel scored 28 points to help the Hi-Liners advance to the state tournament that starts Thursday in Minot.

“It’s indescribable,” said Diegel, who had 31 points in a game earlier this season. “All that pressure to make it to state is finally off our backs.”

Diegel, the third-leading scorer in the Eastern Dakota Conference, scored 18 of her points in the first half. Her driving basket with 3 minutes, 30 seconds remaining gave Valley City a 53-40 lead.

“I wouldn’t have guessed she scored 28,” said Valley City head coach Waylon Starr. “That was a quiet 28.”

Hi-Liners point guard Clarissa Olson scored all 12 of her points in the final 7½ minutes. Olson is the daughter of Al Olson, who coached Starr on the 1989 Class B state championship team from Bisbee-Egeland.

Starr, who coached the Kindred girls to state tournaments in 2006 and 2007, headed to the Class B boys tournament in Grand Forks Saturday night as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Bisbee-Egeland team.

“I’m glad I got a chance to go up there,” Starr said. “But I’m happier we’re going to state.”

Wahpeton, led by the 22 points of senior Lachelle Bumgarner, saw its season end with a 9-14 record.

VALLEY CITY (15-7): Da. Diegel 2 0-0 4, Klingenberg 0 0-0 0, Olson 3 6-11 12, Denholm 3 0-1 7, Dieterle 1 0-0 2, Peterson 0 0-0 0, Di. Diegel 12 3-7 28, Madison 2 0-0 4. Totals: 23-46 (FG), 9-19 (FT).

WAHPETON (9-14): Irwin 6 0-1 13, Hibl 0 0-0 0, Weisz 0 0-1 0, Differding 1 2-5 4, Cookman 0 0-0 0, Bumgarner 6 7-13 22, Matejcek 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-48 (FG), 10-22 (FT).

Halftime: Valley City 27, Wahpeton 23. 3-point goals: Denholm, Di. Diegel, Irwin, Bumgarner 3. Total fouls: VC 18, W 19. Rebounds: VC 31 (Da. Diegel 6, Olson 6, Madison 6), W 28 (Irwin 7, Bumgarner 6). Turnovers: VC 15, W 12.


Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549

Schnepf’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com