The Adult Grand Am Basketball Tournament teams have a wide array of giggle-worthy names—just about matching the number of sponsor-paying, straight-laced businesses. A sure sign of players paying for their entry fees is that they use nicknames. In the Women's Open division alone at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, teams include "Reliving the Dream," "Rusty Pipes" and "Bemidji Has Beens."
CROOKSTON—In the quest for the high school version of college basketball's so-called Big Dance, Staples-Motley wanted to waltz while Roseau wanted to polka here Friday. The Cardinals' waltz prevailed early, but the Rams found the desired faster tempo to take a 68-48 win in the Section 8AA championship game. The win puts the 29-0 Rams into the Class AA state tournament Thursday at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis.
As usual, North Star's Macey Kvilvang experienced extra defensive attention on Thursday. As usual, Kvilvang sent the so-called "junk" defense to the dumpyard. And, as usual, North Star cruised behind their 6-foot-5, NCAA Division I-bound center in a 57-33 victory over Glen Ullin-Hebron in the North Dakota State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday at the Alerus Center.
When Grand Forks Red River took an 11-0 lead over crosstown rival Central Tuesday in the first four minutes, it had all the makings of a rout. And, a rout did happen, but the rout-ees became the routers as the Knights stormed back from the early double-digit deficit to claim a convincing 64-49 win over the Roughriders Tuesday in the quarterfinal round of the double-elimination format of the East Region tournament.
In homage to Samantha Roscoe on Senior Night, the Australian national anthem was played before tipoff at The Betty on Saturday. But the UND forward wasn't singing a solo; mom and dad were there, too, after a 40-hour trip on four different airplanes from Perth, Western Australia. With her parentals' appearance and singing along to the anthem, Roscoe said she was inspired. It showed on the court as she scored 14 points in just 22 minutes of playing time as UND defeated Northern Colorado 75-68 to remain alone atop the Big Sky standings.
The Thompson Tommies scored the game's first four points and ended it with a 10-1 run. But Park River/Fordville-Lankin owned everything in between—in spades—winning the Region 2 girls basketball tournament and a return trip to next week's state Class B tournament in Grand Forks. The Aggies formula in the 46-31 outcome Thursday night was a familiar one. They used a smothering defense with their height, wingspans, quickness, grit and experience, as all five starters are seniors and have been with the program for five seasons.
For basketball fans who enjoy high-scoring shootouts, the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center definitely was not the place to be early evening on Monday. In the Class B Region 2 quarterfinals, they weren't shooting blanks, but it was close. The second-seeded Thompson defeated Mayville-Portland-CG 40-22, the Tommies' lowest scoring total in a win this season. The Tommies also had only three games this season with fewer than 40 points, all of them in losses. Meanwhile, the Patriots put up a season-low points in the game.
All four top seeds in the East Region girls hockey tournament will advance to next week's state tournament, but two of them had to sweat it out Saturday in the elimination round. Both third-seeded Fargo Davies and fourth-seeded Devils Lake did just that, earning their state tournament tickets with 3-1 wins, over Fargo South-Shanley and Fargo North, respectively.
Tuesday's East Region boys hockey first-round loss to Grand Forks Red River was familiar—way, way too familiar—for West Fargo coach Tim Capouch. "The only difference is that we got 20 shots on their net this time and the other two times this season is we got only eight and nine," Capouch said after the 9-2 Roughriders' win.
It wasn't the marquee matchup of a year ago, when Thompson and East Grand Forks Sacred Heart girls basketball teams—both undefeated—met in the regular-season finale. However, in Monday's rematch, the game's drama more than made up for the environment of an overstuffed gymnasium of 1,000-plus fans of a year ago.