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WATCH: Thompson girls basketball find motivation in simple phrase

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KINDRED, ND -- After motoring through a majority of it's schedule, the Thompson girls basketball team found itself in its toughest challenge of the season.

The Tommies were in a dogfight with the Kindred Vikings, a contest that would stretch to three overtimes.

The game provided a look into the fight of the road team, who survived the contest by a final of 78-76.

"Nothing is given, everything is earned," said junior forward Macy Jordheim, who notched 17 points in the win.

It's a saying that head coach Jason Brend has preached to them team since the start of the season.

"Anything that you earn, it means more," Brend said. "There's a little more depth to it and it's just a better feeling when you do earn something."

It's helped the team get off to their best start in three season, and are the top-ranked team in Class B basketball. However, don't expect the Tommies to be counting up the number until they get to tournament time.

"Remaining undefeated would be huge but it's not the most important thing," said sophomore point guard Mackenzie Hughes. "Our thing is to win games in our region and get to the big stage in regions, the region championship."

Thompson has made four of the last five state tournaments, but this year they want to raise the bar.

"We want to do some damage," Brend said. "Getting there, it's great, but we'd like to go down there and get some big wins."

The challenge to keep the undefeated season going continues on Tuesday, January 15th when Thompson takes on third-ranked Grafton-St. Thomas.