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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Tommies defeat Hillsboro-Central Valley 46-38

Shaice Marx (10) of Thompson leaps over Kennedy Henningsgard (20) of Hillsboro-Central Valley as they chase down a loose ball in Thompson's 46-38 win in the championship game of the Region 2 girl's basketball tournament in Mayville Thursday.JOHN STENNES/GRAND FORKS HERALD1 / 2
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MAYVILLE, N.D. — Emily Overby was getting a little frustrated with her own performance here Thursday night.

With a berth in the North Dakota Class B girls high school basketball tournament on the line, Overby was just 2-of-7 shooting in the first half. “It was a struggle,” the Thompson sophomore said. “I wasn’t taking good shots. But I knew I had to keep shooting. Hopefully, they’d start falling for me.”

If the first two quarters were a struggle, the final two minutes were Overby in the clutch. Her two field goals in the late going gave Thompson a cushion and the Tommies went on to defeat Hillsboro-Central Valley 46-38 in the Region 2 championship game.

The Burros, down seven midway through the fourth quarter, pulled to within 40-36 with 2:11 left when Rachel Murphy converted an offensive rebound.

But the 5-foot-9 Overby answered with two straight field goals. On the first, she backed down a defender on the right side and turned around to bank in a 5-footer. With 1:05 remaining, Shannon Galegher fed Overby for a layup and a 44-36 advantage.

“I just had to keep my composure,” Overby said. “The backdown was a hard shot. I went to my left first, but turned and shot right-handed. On the second, Shannon’s pass was right there.”

Said Thompson coach Jason Brend: “We have confidence in Emily. We thought they would key on Galegher defensively at the end. We got Emily the ball and she did the rest.”

Thompson won despite the struggles of its top two scorers. Galegher finished with a team-high 13 points, with Overby adding 11. But Galegher sat out more than eight minutes in the second half with four fouls. Karleigh Weber, meanwhile, had a rare scoreless game.

“This one was a true team effort,” Brend said. “With Shannon on the bench for that long and Karleigh held scoreless — if anybody had told me before the game that we’d win in that situation, I’d have told them they were crazy.

“We expected a close game. And it was a close, gritty game.”

Thompson held narrow 13-11, 19-15 and 29-27 leads at the quarter breaks. Thompson got some breathing room when, in the first 30 seconds of the fourth quarter, H-CV turned the ball over three times and Thompson scored four quick points.

“I thought we were turning it on at the start of the fourth,” Brend said. “But, to Hillsboro-Central Valley’s credit, they didn’t quit.”

Hillsboro-CV got a big game from Murphy, who had a game-high 22 points while shooting 10-of-14 from the field. Kennedy Henningsgard added eight, but no other Burro had more than four points.

Hillsboro-CV coach Keith Meyer said the key stretch for the Burros was when Galegher picked up her fourth foul with 4:12 left in the third quarter. The Tommies led 25-21 at the time. But H-CV could get no closer than a 27-27 tie as Galegher didn’t return until 4:07 remained in the game.

“I thought we had a chance to make a move when Galegher sat,” Meyer said. “We wanted to pound the ball inside. But Thompson scrambles around on defense so much. We’d get the ball to the post and they had three girls guarding our player. Their defense makes it miserable for you.”

Thompson, which repeated as region champion, improved to 23-1. Hillsboro-CV finished 17-8, with four of the losses to the Tommies.