Beulah's 23-0 run in the second half powers Miners over Medina-Pingree/Buchanan
Freshman Braylen Schirado scores 12 to pace Beulah.
BISMARCK — Nobody on Beulah's roster had ever played in the North Dakota Class B boys basketball tournament.
And certainly not freshman guard Braylen Schirado.
"I was looking forward to it," Schirado said. "I didn't feel nerves until we got on the court close to game time. To see the first one go through the hoop, the nerves kind of go away and you kind of settle in."
Schirado and the No. 3 seed Miners settled in nicely. Beulah turned a tight game into a blowout with a 23-0 run in the second half to beat Medina-Pingree/Buchanan 48-31 in the state quarterfinals at the Bismarck Event Center.
Beulah advances to play Shiloh Christian in the first semifinal Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Schirado was the key cog in Beulah's big second-half run as he scored seven straight for the Miners.
The 5-foot-10 Schirado sped in for a layup to make it 36-27 with 1:50 left in the third quarter, then extended the lead to 39-27 on a 3-pointer in the final 15 seconds of the quarter.
Schirado then opened the fourth quarter with a tough leaner as the lead ballooned to 14.
"(Schirado) is playing off the charts right now," Beulah coach Jeremy Brandt said. "He has such good basketball sense and awareness. I would trust him with any shot as a freshman in any moment or situation. I know he's put the time in."
Beulah limited Medina-Pingree/Buchanan to 10 second-half points.
The Thunder were led by eight points each from Gage Magstadt and Rylen Wick.
The Thunder led 21-19 at halftime.
"After we got to the locker room, coach said we have to get moving in transition," Schirado said. "We knew they don't want to play fast. We also started to play better defense. Once we put in the (junior varsity), we gave up two points so we really only gave up eight points in the second half."
After Schirado, the Miners received 11 points and seven rebounds from strong 6-foot-4 senior forward Tarren Larson. Trace Beauchamp added 10 points and eight rebounds.
"We have seven guys who are starting caliber," Schirado said. "One night I can have 20 points, the next night two. It doesn't matter as long as we win."
Beulah and Shiloh Christian met in Beulah on Jan. 13, with the Miners claiming a five-point victory.
"We know they're good and have two big kids," Brandt said. "There's going to be a lot of beef in the lane with our kids and their kids. Both teams know each other well. It'll be a battle, and I think it'll be a good game tomorrow."