Langdon/Edmore/Munich takes care of Mohall/Lansford/Sherwood early in 59-21 quarterfinal win
Jaya Hendrickson picks up 17 points in the first half as the Cardinals shut down the Mavericks quickly.
GRAND FORKS – A hot 13-1 start for No. 3 Langon/Edmore/Munich was a preview to four quarters of dominating basketball in the Cardinals' 59-21 quarterfinal win over Mohall/Lansford/Sherwood on Thursday in the North Dakota state Class B girls basketball tournament at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
The Cardinals pushed the pace off the opening tip against MLS. A high-pressure transition game led to separate 13-1 and 11-0 runs to start the game and a comfortable position in the driver’s seat for the second half.
Jaya Henderson and Jalynn Swanson raced out to 11 and eight points, respectively, in the first quarter when LEM began to establish its inside game. While the Mavericks struggled to keep Langdon-E-M to the outside, they did their best to keep up on offense with timely 3-pointers from Jamie Thompson and Kylie Abernathey in the first half.
“It was important to set the tone right away. We played amazing so it continued throughout the whole game for us,” Hendrickson said after her 24-point performance.
Unfortunately, the turnover differential would be too costly. The Cardinals cashed in 14 points off turnovers and converted three 3-point plays on fastbreaks.
“Even if we don’t score, we’re doing a lot of good by making them work back up the court. We did three different presses today and switched it up but that’s who we are,” Cardinals head coach Rob Scherr said.
Cardinals regular-season leading scorer Morgan Freije didn’t put up the same numbers as Henderson and Swanson in the first half with just six points, but was the force behind Langdon’s quick and forceful transition game.
“She has really stepped up her game this year as far as dominating the paint. Her just doing that is special. She was getting doubled a lot today, but stayed patient in her doubles and moved the ball,” Sherr said.
She had four of the team’s 12 rebounds and four of the team’s 11 steals in the first half.
The second half went just as well for LEM, with Henderson eclipsing 21 points just under halfway into the third quarter while Freije continued to leave her mark in the paint, racking up five points and four offensive rebounds.
“We need that to continue against Grafton in order to flow into our offense. We’ll need to pick our defense up at some point,” said Hendrickson, referring to Friday night's semifinal round matchup against the defending state Class B champion. “Throwing the ball around and getting open shots for our teammates really helped us out tonight. Hopefully, that continues as well.”
Deep into the fourth quarter, Henderson became the facilitator and pushed her statline to a game total of 24 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
The 24 points from Henderson, 14 points from Swanson and 11 points from Freije act as a reminder of the depth that is needed to continue deep into this tournament. Especially with No. 2 Grafton right around the corner.
“Through the season what made us special was we made teams play harder than they are used to. Then in the fourth quarter, usually, they get worn out. With TV timeouts it's not as great of a theory, but we want to get in your face and we want to push the tempo even if it turns into half-court,” Scherr said.
You have to be that way when you're smaller than your opponent. We’re going to see if they work tomorrow. We played (Grafton) half-court during the regular season and ended up winning, but we prefer to play the full-court defensive game.”
For M-L-S, its lone bright spot in the second half came in the form of eight bench points with Lauren Steeves, Lainey Schmidt, Isabell Buynak and Jasmine Undlin each scoring. The team’s regular-season leading scorer Allison Undlin left the game with an injury two minutes into the game and did not return.
Halftime: LEM 35, MLS 11
MLS: Madison Moberg 4, Jamie Thompson 3, Kylie Abernathey 3, Lauren Steeves 2, Lainey Schmidt 2, Emma Southam 2, Isabell Buynak 2, Jasmine Undlin 2, Allison Undlin 1
LEM: Jaya Hendrickson 24, Jalynn Swanson 14, Morgan Freije 11, Marlee Hetletved 4, Meredith Romfo 2, Halle Jabs 2, Olivia Christianson 2