Thanks to a 23-point effort from senior Bree Friedt, the Wildfire pulled out a narrow 48-43 victory over visiting Killdeer in the friendly confines of Mott Armory.
By Brad Mosher
After holding a 23-17 halftime lead, the Wildfire watched the visiting Cowboys come back to tie and take the lead in the third quarter.
Through most of the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter the two teams battled with neither squad building more that a temporary narrow lead.
Both teams were tied at 40-40 late in the fourth quarter when the Wildfire went on an 8-3 run to close out the win.
According to Mott-Regent coach Adam Hill, the Wildfire got a strong challenge in the second half of Thursday’s game. “We had a strong handle on the game and all of a sudden, boom-boom, a couple of three-pointers later… We knew she (Melayna Four Bear) was a really good three-point shooter. For whatever reason, we have those little lapses and leave them open. But, I was really happy with the way we countered that,” he said. “We didn’t pout about it or blame it on anybody. We just kept playing.We stuck in there and played good defense and we managed to pull out a really big regional win for us,” he said.
The visitors hit five three-pointers to zero for the Wildfire, giving the Cowboys a 15-0 scoring edge from long range.
For the visiting Cowboys, the Killdeer squad got a jump start early in the third quarter when Shawnee Hansen hit a basket to start a 8-0 run that tied the game at 25-25 after Four Bear added a pair of three-pointers in less than a minute.
Steena Larsen gave the Cowboys their first lead of the second half with a free throw, but the Wildfire came back to grab the lead with an 8-0 run and forced Killdeer to take a time out late in the quarter, down by a 33-26 score.
Killdeer came back in the final minute with a three-pointer and a basket at the buzzer cutting the Mott-Regent lead to 33-31.
Four Bear’s basket early in the fourth quarter tied the game again, 31-31. Then she added another three-pointer to give Killdeer a 36-33 lead with 6:36 on the clock.
After Mott-Regent got a free trow and basket to tie the game again, Myranda Reiss got a basket and foul for a three-point play which put the Cowboys back in the lead.
Bree Friedt got that right back with a basket and free throw of her own for the Wildfire, putting the teams back in a tie at 39-39 with just over four minutes on the clock.
To Killdeer coach Chad Dahlen, Four Bear was able to re-ignite the team in the second half with her long-range scoring.
“When Melayna fouled out, we were just getting a good flow going. When we lost her to foul trouble, that kind of turned it. We lost that offense that she was giving us,” he said.
“It was a good game. Both teams were pretty well matched,” Dahlen said after the game.”We can’t complain. It was a good battle all the way..
“Sometimes the shots just don’t fall. I’m happy with the balance we had offensively with our team. We have a lot of players who can score at different times and in different ways. That really helps, but I just wish we had a couple of more drop in, Dahlen said. “The free throws kind of killed us too. We missed a bunch and got to the free throw line a lot. We just didn’t capitalize on it.”
In a game where both of the top scorers fouled out, Four Bear was the first forced to bench after scoring 13 points, while Friedt got her fifth foul with 2.6 seconds left in the game after dominating inside for 23 points.
Hansen finished with eight points, followed by Shyanne Oversen’s seven and Larsen with five points for the Cowboys. Both Tyra Dahlen and Reiss scoered three points while Kylee Boltz had two points Karly Bang and Chelsey Morlock each finished with one point.
At the free throw line, the Cowboys hit 10 of 27 attempts, with Larsen getting half the free throws.
For the Wildfire, Rafferty scored 10 points, followed by Karagan Friedt with five before fouling outand Koepllin with four. Meier added three, with Hill putting in two and Hailee Olson adding one. The Wildfire were eight for 17 at the free throw line.
KILLDEER 9 8 14 12 43
MOTT-REGENT 12 11 10 15 48
Halftime: Mott-Regent 23, Killdeer 17
Melayna Four Bear 2 3 0-0 13; Shawnee Hansen 2 1 1-3 8; Shyanne Oversen 2 1 0-1 7; Steena Larsen 0 0 5-12 5; Tyra Dahlen 1 0 1-2 3; Myranda Reiss 1 0 1-1 3; Kylee Boltz 1 0 0-0 2; Karly Bang 0 0 1-2 1; Chelsey Morlock 0 0 1-4 1.
Killdeer 9 5 10-27 43
Bree Friedt 9 0 5-7 23; Madison Rafferty 5 0 0-1 10; Karagan Friedt 2 0 1-2 5; Kiara Koepplin 2 0 0-1 4; Madison Meier 1 0 1-2 3; Megan Hill 1 0 0-0 2; Hailee Olson 0 0 1-4 1