« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Eric Peterson, Published March 13 2014

Central Cass earns trip to North Dakota Class B girls state tournament

WAHPETON, N.D. – A little encouragement helped calm Abigail Cramer in the hectic closing seconds Thursday night at Ed Werre Arena.

The Central Cass senior drained two free throws with 4 seconds remaining. Those points capped her 19-point performance and sealed a 56-51 victory against Fairmount-Campbell-Tintah for the North Dakota Class B, Region 1 girls basketball championship.

“My teammates really helped me pull through it,” Cramer said of those final foul shots.

“I told her, ‘Don’t be scared of your free throws. Put them in,’ ” added Central Cass senior center Faith Dooley.

The Squirrels (22-3) won their second consecutive region crown to earn a repeat trip to the Class B state tournament, which starts next Thursday in Fargo. Central Cass has won four of the past five Region 1 championships.

“It’s a testament to the girls,” Squirrel head coach Ryan Mears said. “They put the time in.”

The Rebels (22-3) were playing in their first region title game since 2007. The program last made a state appearance in 1975 as Fairmount.

“We clawed our way back, but we got so tired at the end that it just wasn’t quite enough,” said F-C-T head coach Brenda Dahlgren, who was named Region 1 coach of the year.

“I have to give (F-C-T) a lot of credit,” Mears added. “They are a great team.”

Central Cass built a 33-23 halftime lead, riding the hot hand of senior Kirby Camas. The 5-foot-3 guard scored 12 points in the first half, including three 3-pointers. All three of her 3-point shots came during a 20-2 run that vaulted Central Cass to a double-digit lead.

“Kirby hit some big shots for us because we were down there. She hit some timely 3s for us,” Mears said.

Junior forward Jessie Roesler capped that surge with two foul shots that gave the Squirrels a 28-16 lead with 2 minutes, 58 seconds to play in the first half.

The Rebels answered with a strong third quarter. F-C-T scored the final six points in the third. Sophomore guard Jayden Rittenour capped that surge with a 3-point play that tied the score at 38-38 with 2:18 to play in the third quarter. The scored stayed that way until the final quarter.

Cramer started the fourth quarter with a short jumper in the lane that gave Central Cass the lead for good. Camas followed with a 3-pointer to give the Squirrels a 43-38 lead with 6:40 remaining. Camas finished with 15 points.

“That’s two seniors there that have been in big games, and they rely on that experience,” Mears said of Cramer and Camas.

The Rebels cut the Central Cass lead to three points on four occasions in the final seven minutes of the game, but could get no closer. Cramer had eight points in the fourth quarter. Dooley had a critical basket off a rebound that gave the Squirrels a 51-44 lead with 2:08 remaining.

The 6-foot-3 Dooley finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocked shots.

“It was our goal the whole time to get back there,” said Dooley, who was named Region 1 senior athlete of the year. “We worked hard all year.”

After the final buzzer sounded, the Squirrels were swarmed by their fans who stormed the court.

“It’s the best feeling ever,” Cramer said. “It is kind of like surreal.”

Sophomore center Madison Kaehler paced the Rebels with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

CC 10 33 38 56

FCT 14 23 38 51

CENTRAL CASS (22-3): Erickson 0 0-0 0, Cramer 8 3-7 15, Goettle 0 0-2 0, Dooley 6 2-7 14, Roesler 1 5-6 7, Camas 5 1-4 15, Romsdal 0 1-2 1. Totals 20-44 12-28 56.

FCT (22-3): Ross 1 0-0 2, Grefsrud 1 0-0 2, Burns 4 1-1 9, Rittenour 5 2-3 13, Meyer 5 0-0 11, Luick 0 0-0 0, Kaehler 7 0-0 14. Totals 23-58 3-4 51.

3-point goals: Camas 4, Rittenour, Meyer. Total fouls: CC 10, FCT 23. Fouled out: Burns. Rebounds: CC 34 (Dooley 14), FCT 34 (Kaehler 10). Turnovers: CC 15, FCT 16.

Third place

Maple Valley 49, Fargo Oak Grove 43

OG 9 18 34 43

MV 12 25 36 49

OAK GROVE (16-9): T. Holt 4 0-0 10, Osmundson 1 3-4 5, Card 0 0-0 0, Cain 3 1-6 7, Muir 0 0-0 0, Bokinskie 4 4-4 12, Kelley 2 0-0 4, Sharpe 2 0-0 5, M. Holt 0 0-0 0. Totals 16-46 8-15 43.

MAPLE VALLEY (22-3): Tinjum 2 4-7 9, Punton 1 0-0 2, Kasowski 6 1-2 13, Nudell 4 5-7 14, Pautz 2 0-0 5, Wendt 0 0-0 0, McGuire 0 0-0 0, Ja. Von Bank 3 0-2 6, Je. Von Bank 0 0-0 0. Totals 18-50 10-18 49.

3-point goals: T. Holt 2, Sharpe, Tinjum, Nudell, Pautz. Total fouls: OG 15, MV 12. Rebounds: OG 25 (three players with 5), MV 47 (Nudell 14). Turnovers: OG 9, MV 13.


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

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