Mackenzie Hughes is the second-leading scorer on the Thompson girls basketball team. But she considers that a secondary part of her game. "My role is ballhandling and defense,'' the freshman point guard said. "Defense is my go-to thing.'' On Thursday, all phases of Hughes' game were on as she led the Tommies to the North Dakota Class B Region 2 title. Thompson beat Finley-Sharon/Hope-Page 51-25 in the region championship game at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
In her first six seasons as the Grand Forks high school gymnastics coach, Courtney Engel hasn't had an athlete achieve a top-10 finish at the state meet. That dry spell could end this weekend in Jamestown. Grand Forks qualified for the state team competition Friday. Individual competition is Saturday, and Sydnee Spivey and Rebekah Kauffman both enter with high rankings. "To make the top 15, that's the big thing,'' Engel said. "To get in the top 10, that would be phenomenal.''
WARROAD, Minn.—David Marvin received a big pre-Christmas surprise. Shortly before the holidays, former Grand Forks all-state goaltender Quinn Kuntz transferred to Warroad. The junior has made a strong team even stronger as Warroad takes a 22-3-2 record and the No. 1 seed into today's quarterfinals of the Class A state tournament.
The fourth quarter was Cierra Jacobson's time. The senior scored nine of Finley-Sharon/Hope-Page's 11 points in a late stretch. That helped the Spartans hold off Grafton 43-38 on Tuesday in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class B Region 2 girls high school basketball tournament at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. "I like pressure,'' Jacobson said. "I like pushing myself because I know I can handle it.''
All those bank shots weren't by design by Taylor Zak. "I never do that,'' Zak said. "I was sort of shocked when they went in. But I'll take them.'' Zak's 15 points led Thompson past Drayton/Valley-Edinburg 52-29 on Tuesday in the semifinals of the North Dakota Class B Region 2 girls high school basketball tournament at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Zak's points included three bank shots from the free-throw line and another off the glass from close range. While the bank shots weren't planned, Zak's prominent role in the offense was by design.
Finley-Sharon/Hope-Page saw a string of 16 consecutive games in which it had scored 43 or more points snapped Monday. "But I don't care,'' Spartans coach Laura Ihry said. "We won.'' Despite scoring its third-lowest total of the season, the Spartans handed Hillsboro-Central Valley a 35-32 setback in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B Region 2 girls high school basketball game at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. "I figured it would take at least 50, 55 points to win,'' Ihry said. "Hillsboro can put up a lot of points.''
The scouting report was incomplete for Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg. Grafton sank 11 three-point baskets Monday. That helped the Spoilers pull away to a 61-35 win against May-Port-CG in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B girls high school basketball tournament. Grafton beat the Patriots 54-47 during the regular season. "We went in (Monday) wanting to have them shoot outside shots,'' Patriots coach Ben McClenahen said. "The first time we played, they only made three from the outside. "I knew they were capable of this, though.''
The focus of the Drayton/Valley-Edinburg offense is geared inside toward Taylor Reilly and Laiken Larson. But the Titans relied on the long ball Monday in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B Region 2 girls high school basketball tournament. Drayton/Valley-Edinburg hit seven 3-pointers in beating Park River/Fordville-Lankin 49-44. "We're primarily an inside team,'' D/V-E coach Wayne Stegman said. "But if teams pack their defenses in, we can shoot. We've hit five or six (treys) in games before.''
Had Josh Zikmund been told ahead of time that his team would hold Thompson to 40 points, the Midway-Minto girls basketball coach would have been smiling. "We have an athletic group of kids,'' Zikmund said. "If we hold them to 40, I like our chances.'' Midway-Minto did its part defensively Monday in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B Region 2 girls high school basketball tournament. But Thompson's defense was even better, as the Tommies claimed a 40-31 win at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
FARGO—It took a couple of close calls, but Tanner Urlaub maintained his perfect record and, in the process, claimed a state championship. Urlaub of Pembina County North and Mark Hastings of Hillsboro-Central Valley won titles Saturday as the North Dakota Class B high school wrestling tournament concluded. Urlaub capped a 34-0 season by edging Josh Irwin of New Salem-Almont 6-5 in the championship. That came after the sophomore won 6-4 in Friday's semifinals.