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Dakota Prairie found its defense in overtime.
THIEF RIVER FALLS -- Zane Gothberg made coaching decisions a little easier for Tim Bergland. For three seasons, Bergland could count on Gothberg as his starting goaltender. Gothberg was a standout, the senior goalie of the year in Minnesota last season and an all-state pick. But Gothberg graduated last spring, and now Bergland has a choice to make before every game. Josh Koop or Jon Narverud? Who is in goal for Bergland's Thief River Falls High School boys hockey team. Both have been successful in helping the Prowlers win the Section 8A championship.
Bench time doesn't sit well with Taylor Henningsgard. The Central Valley sophomore picked up her fourth foul with 3:42 left in the first half Monday. She went to the sideline and remained there until the start of the fourth quarter. Then Henningsgard sparked a huge comeback as the Valiants beat Fordville-Lankin/Park River 56-55 in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B Region 2 girls high school basketball tournament at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
MINOT -- After beating every opponent this season by 16 or more points, North Star found itself in an uncharacteristic spot of being in a close game Saturday. And it was with a state title on the line. Nervous? No, Jake Hagler relished the situation. "It was fun," the North Star sophomore point guard said. "Sure, I'd rather have a blowout, to be honest. But you're not a competitor if you don't like that (close score).
MINOT -- On paper, it looked like a mismatch. New Town entered the semifinal game of the North Dakota Class B boys high school basketball tournament with a 76.3 scoring average. On the other hand, opponent Grafton had a 55.1 offensive average. "We've seen that all year -- on paper it is a mismatch," Grafton coach Mike Hanson said. "But our guys seem to know how to win." And the Spoilers know how to play defense.
MINOT -- In more than half of its games this winter, the North Star boys basketball team has scored more than 67 points. But it didn't get any better than that total for the Bearcats on Friday night. North Star ran past Dickinson Trinity 67-43 in the semifinals of the North Dakota state Class B tournament.
MINOT -- Streaky has been the word for Jake Hanson's offense this season. "I've struggled some," the Grafton junior said of his shooting. "It's been kind of on and off. I didn't have much for baskets tonight. But I hit free throws at the end." Hanson came up big down the stretch Thursday.
MINOT -- Grant Lindahl rediscovered his shooting touch. The senior erupted for 26 points Thursday, leading North Star past Standing Rock 69-36 in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B boys high school basketball tournament. Top-ranked and undefeated North Star (25-0) meets Dickinson Trinity (18-6), a 37-36 quarterfinal winner against Minot Ryan, in tonight's semifinal round. Lindahl entered the tournament averaging 20.5 points.
MINOT -- Jesse Kubik's basket with 29 seconds left gave Dickinson Trinity a 37-36 win against Minot Ryan here Thursday in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class B boys high school basketball tournament. Ryan had taken a 36-35 lead when Ben Magnuson hit a 3-point shot with 1:01 left from the left wing. Trinity answered by working the ball to Kubik in the low post.
Tim Bergland summed it up best: "Here we go again." For the third straight year, and the seventh time in the last nine seasons, Bergland's Thief River Falls boys hockey team plays Warroad in the Section 8A championship. The teams meet at 7 tonight in Thief River Falls, with the winner advancing to the Minnesota state tournament. Warroad has beaten the Prowlers in four of the last six section finals. Routinely, the games are close -- Warroad's 4-1 win in the 2005 final was the biggest margin of victory. Last season, Warroad won 2-0; the season before, it was 3-2.