Lady Raiders Sail Into State
Published: Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
Right from the opening scrum, the Hinsdale and Westby/Grenora fans knew this would be a great game with two really good teams fighting for the Division Championship. There could be just one winner and one non-winner. (There are no losers at divisionals.)
The last persons to leave Westby and Grenora turned out the lights, as did the faithful followers of the Hinsdale Lady Raiders. The west stands were packed with the Black and Gold of the MonDak Lady Thunder. The east side of the Wolf Point High School gymnasium was awash with the Maroon and White of Hinsdale.
For MonDak, this would be the final division tournament for seniors Kori Gunlikson, Kayla Rust, Makayla Westgard and Makenzie Westgard.
The Hinsdale Lady Raiders will be without the very capable services Bailey Remmich and Hannah Jones after graduation. It's hard to believe these young ladies grow up so fast. I swear, it was just two years ago they were both on my school bus route and in the third grade!! Now they're playing for the divisional championship.
Okay, okay, I'll quit rambling and get to the game.
The start was delayed about two hours due to some exciting OT games earlier in the day but both teams were ready for the opening tip-off, which was controlled by MonDak. Sabrina Carter scored the first of her dozen Lady Thunder points on a drive to the bucket and a lay up.
Whitney Molina drove the key and laid up a nice deuce. Carter tallied a downtown threebie, followed by Molina with another drive and PB.
Molina stole a MonDak pass and took the “A Train” coast-to-coast for two. Bethany Lacock grabbed a missed Hinsdale shot and put it right back up and in where she thought it belonged. A little later Bailey Remmich scored a PB.
MonDak's Kayla Rust scored the first of her 23 points when she picked off an errant Hinsdale pass and took it to the barn and the first eight minutes were in the books, MonDak 15, Hinsdale 12.
The second quarter showed both teams trading buckets and playing really good defense. The "defense" part is the part that Hinsdale Head Coach Ralph Ellsworth likes.
“Intense, smothering defense is what wins games," he has said to me many times.
Hannah Jones let fly a long-range missile that frightened a nest of barn owls roosting in the rafters, before descending through that little hoop thingie for the triple. Chadaya Christen took a pass from Molina and scored a deuce. The Lady Thunder answered when Carter hit a three and Rust drove the key for yet another PB.
Hinsdale's last five points of the half came on five free throws. MonDak's sophomore Carter scored the last bucket of the first half hitting a charity shot. MonDak increased their lead from three to five in the second set, MonDak 36, Hinsdale 31.
Coach Ralph set out a plate of raw possum liver and gopher chitlins for the girls at halftime, which they declined with a promise to play better in the second half if they didn't have to eat “that stuff.”
And play better they did, outscoring the Lady Thunder 14-4 in the third period.
Remmich picked a Lady Thunder pocket at half-court and drove to about eight feet when she heard the herd behind her. She pulled up and let them pass, then hit a lazy 8-foot floater for the pernts. Yikes. Good thinking, Bailey.
The quarter ended with Hinsdale in the ahead 45-40.
The fourth period saw all five Hinsdale starters scoring in the key, inside the three point arc, from behind the three point arc and Molina hit a three from the southeast corner of the parking lot.
The Lady Thunder got a bit "discombobulationed," but they fought to the very end with Sophia Ekness scoring last for the Lady Thunder, hitting a nice 14-foot shot for two points.
The final tally was Hinsdale 58 and MonDak 44.
There was some very good bassitball in this tourney, with MonDak scoring 50 against Saco/WW, who turned around and hit for 52 against Scobey. Hinsdale's Lady Raiders scored the tourney-high, tallying 58 points in the championship game and a three-game total of 141 points, for an average of 47 points per game. MonDak averaged 46.3 PPG in three games and Saco/WW averaged 45.5 PPG for four games.
For the Lady Thunder, Kayla Rust scored a game-high 23 points on 7-for-17 and 9-for-10 on free throws. Great game, Kayla. Sabrina “Shoes” Carter had an almost perfect night, hitting 5-for-6 and 2-for-2 from three point range. She also grabbed four rebounds. Kori Gunlikson added six points and four rebounds to the Thunder totals. Makayla Westgard had one point and Sophia Ekness hit a deuce.
Hinsdale's Molina scored a double-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Very nice, Whitney. Lacock hit 6-for-7 from the charity stripe and added four field goals for 14 points and five rebounds. Jones had 11 points, Remmich added eight, Christensen hit for six points and Courtney Capdeville hit 1-for-2 from the line.
Twas a bittersweet game for this writer. As most of my 11.6 readers know, after the Hinsdale Lady Raiders, my most favorite team is the MonDak Lady Thunder, coached by Tony Holecek and assisted by Lexi Leininger. I am absolutely thrilled that my mid-season prediction came true and that I get to watch both of my favorites at the 2013 Class C State Tournament this weekend in Belgrade. I'm hitch-hiking, so please watch out for me as you pass by.
That's it for now, folks. Thanks for listening.
Click Here To See More Stories Like This