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Tom Mix, Published March 20 2014

No. 8 Central Cass triumphs at ND Class B state girls basketball

FARGO – Central Cass did not have to answer many field goals from Watford City in the first half Thursday.

Once the third quarter started, that all changed.

The Squirrels responded to every Wolves challenge in the final 16 minutes and hung on for a 47-38 win in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B state girls basketball tournament at the Fargodome.

Watford City shot 12 percent from the field (3-for-25) in the first half, but only trailed the No. 8-ranked Squirrels 19-7 at halftime.

The Wolves opened the second half by getting field goals on five of their first six possessions, but Central Cass responded to every one of the buckets with one of its own.

“We are not the best third-quarter team, and teams have been able to get some shots that we have not always been able to answer,” Central Cass head coach Ryan Mears said. “We were able to answer and it was good to see that.”

Watford City got as close as 32-28 with 2 minutes, 29 seconds left in the third quarter. Central Cass rattled off a 6-0 run to cool that rally and led 38-33 heading into the fourth quarter.

“Since our outside game wasn’t going so well, we knew we had to keep it up on the defensive end,” Central Cass senior Kirby Camas said. “We had to make sure to answer.”

Central Cass (23-3) plays top-ranked Minot Ryan at 8:15 p.m. today in the semifinals – a rematch of last year’s title game that the Lions won 54-50.

“They are a great team,” Central Cass senior Abigail Cramer said of Ryan. “We are going to give it all we have, and it should be a great game.”

“We had to take care of a very good Watford City team, and that was the biggest thing for us,” Mears added. “Now we can break down some film on Minot Ryan.”

Senior center Faith Dooley scored 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Squirrels. Cramer added 11 points for Central Cass.

Sophomore center Katie Mogen led the Wolves with 19 points.

Watford City (20-6) plays Lakota-Edmore in the consolation semifinals at 2:45 p.m. today.

“Offensively we struggled in the first half, but only being down 12 at halftime, we were never out of it,” Watford City head coach John Zenz said. “Defensively, we were playing well, but we struggled with their man-to-man defense. We haven’t seen much of that this year and we were rusty at times.”

Watford City 4 7 33 38

Central Cass 11 19 38 47

WATFORD CITY (20-6): Kara Langerud 2 0-0 5, Jeanna Zenz 3 0-0 7, Amanda Mogen 1 0-1 2, Ricki Lindley 1 0-0 2, Lea Arndt 1 0-2 3, Katie Mogen 7 5-9 19. Totals: 15 5-12 38.

CENTRAL CASS (23-3): Abigail Cramer 4 2-6 11, Dallas Goettle 1 1-2 3, Alissa Erickson 1 0-0 2, Faith Dooley 6 1-2 13, Jessie Roesler 3 0-1 6, Macie Romsdal 1 2-5 4, Kirby Camas 3 2-4 8. Totals: 19 8-20 47.

3-point point goals: Langerud, Zenz, Arndt, Cramer. Total fouls: WC 20, CC 13. Fouled out: Lindley, K. Mogen. Rebounds: WC 35 (A. Mogen 11), CC 38 (Dooley 13). Assists: WC 7 (A. Mogen 3), CC 9 (Cramer, Roesler 4). Turnovers: WC 18, CC 24.

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