Area high school games to watch this week: Langdon girls add some depth
The bench has gotten crowded for the Langdon girls basketball team. After playing its first three games with seven players -- the total number of high school students who went out for the team -- Langdon recently added five eighth-graders to its ...
The bench has gotten crowded for the Langdon girls basketball team.
After playing its first three games with seven players -- the total number of high school students who went out for the team -- Langdon recently added five eighth-graders to its varsity roster.
"They're there to make our bench look bigger," Cardinals coach Andy DelaBarre said. "For now, they'll only play if we're up by a lot, down by a lot or we're getting in a lot of foul trouble.
"But it will help us at practices. We'll be able to go five-on-five, and it gives me a chance to coach rather than be an extra player."
Langdon, the preseason favorite in District 8, has won its last two games after an 0-2 start. That streak is on the line tonight when the Cardinals host Valley-Edinburg, which is 4-0 and one of the top teams in District 4.
Low numbers aren't new for Langdon. The Cardinals had only eight players on last season's team, which won the District 8 tournament and finished third in the Region 4 tournament. Not only has the team been low in numbers; it also is short in stature, with no player taller than 5 feet, 9 inches.
"We're vertically challenged," DelaBarre said. "But we're athletic. We have to make up for (the lack of height) in other areas.
"We have to use the full court. We press. We run up and down the floor. We look for quick transition points. We prefer not playing a halfcourt game."
That fast-paced style would be easier to do with more depth.
"We still want to play hard, to be aggressive," DelaBarre said. "But we have to play smart. Fouls haven't been a problem for us yet. And we can see at the end of the first half and the fourth quarter that we're not in the shape we need to be. There have been times when it's looked like we've run out of gas. Since we can't sub as much as we'd like, we have to get in better shape."
Langdon's offense has been led by the trio of McKenzie Hart, Breanna Mack and Julie Dinius. Hart averages 19.5 points, hitting the 20-point mark three times. Mack averages 12.8 points and Dinius 9.0.
Valley-Edinburg has the height to give Langdon matchup problems. Senior 5-10 forward Briana Barclay paces the Titans with a 13.8 scoring average. She has the only 20-point game of the year for the balanced team. Abby Niemann and 5-11 Kadee Gullickson both average 10.3 points.
Other area games to watch this week include:
n Valley-Edinburg at Cavalier, Thursday: Valley-Edinburg is off to a 5-1 start, its lone loss going to an undefeated North Star team that is tied for first in the latest Class B state poll. Now the Titans face a key District 4 game against an undefeated (7-0) Cavalier team that is ranked third in the latest Class B state poll.
n Bagley at Fosston, Thursday: High-scoring Bagley is off the a 4-1 start. The veteran team is averaging 71.4 points with an athletic lineup that lacks size. The Greyhounds have what Bagley lacks -- a dominant big man, as 6-foot-6 senior Garrett Carlin is the leader of a Fosston team that is off to a 5-0 start.
n Central Valley at Grafton, tonight: Two of North Dakota's Class B teams will meet. Grafton is 4-0 and ranked eighth in the latest Class B state poll; Central Valley is 4-1 and ranked 10th. Both teams have veteran lineups back from teams that competed in the Region 2 tournament last season.
n Northern Freeze at Warren-Alvarado-Oslo, tonight: These are two of the top teams in Minnesota's West Subsection 8A. The Freeze have one of the section's top one-two punches in Liza Hoglo and Tori Davidson. Warren-A-O has a 50-47 win against the Freeze.
DeVillers reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 128; or send e-mail to email@example.com .