Trenton takes home third at state Class B
All season long, Trenton has prepared for the possibility of high-scoring point guard Kaity Hove fouling out of a basketball game.
It happened for the first time Saturday. And the Tigers survived, pulling out a 46-36 win against Central Cass in the third-place game of the North Dakota Class B girls high school basketball tournament at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Hove fouled out with 5:04 remaining and Trenton holding a 34-25 lead. Four straight Trenton turnovers allowed the Squirrels to pull within 34-30. But then Trenton found its offense at the free-throw line.
Trenton went back up 36-30 when the Tigers beat the press on a long inbounds baseball pass that Alexa St. Pierre turned into a layup. “That settled us down. After that, we just had to make free throws,’’ Trenton coach Bob Turcotte said.
That became the Tigers’ offense. They scored their next eight points on 8-of-12 free-throw shooting, extending their lead from six to 10 points.
“We’re a good free-throw shooting team,’’ Turcotte said. “We’re 70 percent from the line for the season.
“We knew they were going to have to be aggressive on defense because they were behind. We knew our offense had to be free throws.’’
While Trenton shot near its season percentage from the line down the stretch, Central Cass struggled with its shooting.
The Squirrels were 13-of-65 (20 percent) from the field for the game. In the second half, they were 7-of-40.
“That’s not going to win basketball games,’’ Central Cass coach Jay Bachman said. “They just wouldn’t fall for us tonight, not even our layups.
“We had 20 offensive rebounds. On a normal night that’s 35 points for us. We’re usually a pretty good shooting team.’’
Alyssa St. Pierre led Trenton with 14 points. Hove and Raquel Archer added nine apiece for the 23-1 Tigers. The third-place finish was the highest the program has achieved at state.
Isabelle Linnard had nine points to lead 20-6 Central Cass.