Tuesday’s hoops clash between Bowman County and visiting Killdeer wound up being a game both teams could benefit from.
By EDDIE HIBBS III
For the Herald
Posted Feb. 15, 2013
BOWMAN — Tuesday’s hoops clash between Bowman County and visiting Killdeer wound up being a game both teams could benefit from.
The Lady Bulldogs escaped with a 53-48 win, handing Bowman County head coach Pam Fisher her 200th career win.
“It was a good game for us right before the showdown with Trinity,” Killdeer head coach Sarah Doe said. “We can use this as a learning experience. It is a big district game.”
Thursday’s contest with Trinity will be for the district championship. Killdeer is undefeated in district play at 4-0, but fell to 8-8 with Tuesday’s loss.
The Cowgirls made five of their first six shots, including a pair of treys on Killdeer’s first two possessions by sophomore Jessica Starr. Sophomore Keauna Fox’s basket at 5:13 completed the run, giving Killdeer a 12-6 advantage.
“We had a great first quarter,” said Doe. “It is something we have been working on, getting off to fast starts. We just need to learn to sustain it.”
Bowman County battled back and closed the gap to three (14-11) on a trey by junior Kaitlyn Dix with 2:36 left in the opening quarter. A pair of free throws from junior Morgan LeMieux increased the lead to five for Killdeer. Bowman County junior Morgan Woodley hit the quarter’s last basket with a three-pointer, closing the gap to 16-14 entering the second quarter.
Turnovers on Killdeer’s first three possessions of the second allowed the Lady Bulldogs to score the first six points of the period and take a 20-16 lead. Killdeer responded with six unanswered, capped by a fastbreak basket from junior Ashley Brew.
A pair of free throws from senior Haley Sabe and an offensive putback from sophomore Kaylee Heinrich returned the lead to Bowman County 24-22.
Brew scored two quick baskets, both on fastbreaks.
“Ashley is definitely a sparkplug for us,” Doe said. “She has both speed and spunk and is a great leader for our team.”
At halftime, Killdeer held a 26-25 lead.
As fast as the Cowgirls started the first half, the squad struggled offensively after the break. Killdeer only had one free throw in the first 3 ½ minutes of the third quarter, allowing Bowman County to build a 31-27 lead on a pair of free throws by senior Kit Miller.
Killdeer’s first basket of the second half didn’t happen until LeMieux connected on an inside spin move at 4:21, cutting Bowman County’s lead to 31-29. The Lady Bulldogs went on an 8-2 run, building a 39-31 lead on a three-pointer off the glass from Dix with 1:49 left in the third.
Killdeer answered with an 8-0 run, sparked by a pair of treys from Starr, the second of which gave the Cowgirls a 41-40 cushion with 15 seconds left. The Lady Bulldogs would sink one of two free throws to send the game tied to start the final frame.
“One of Jessica’s strengths is shooting the ball,” Doe said. “She had been holding back, but in the last three games, she has been making big threes for us. She has speed, too.”
Killdeer sophomore Jurnee Murray hit the first basket of the fourth on an assist from Fox to give the Cowgirls the lead. Three possessions later, Fox’s basket put Killdeer in front 45-41.
Bowman County answered with yet another run, scoring seven straight this time, including a trey from Woodley.
The game remained a one-possession battle the rest of the way until Miller hit two free throws with 26.2 seconds left, giving Bowman County a 51-46 lead. Doe called time out, and LeMieux’s basket fell, dropping the deficit back to three.
A whistle with 6.5 seconds for an intentional foul sent Heinrich to the charity stripe. The sophomore sank both shots and the Lady Bulldogs retained possession and captured the win.
Fisher agreed that the contest could be a stepping stone for both teams.
“We lost the eight-point lead, which is so typical of this team,” Bowman County’s coach said. “We just seem to play in waves. It’s a pattern we play and it’s nothing new.
“This was a big win for us against a very good and big team. They were picked to win their district.”
Neither team shot the ball particularly well. Killdeer made only 19-of-62 shots (30.6 percent) while the Lady Bulldogs converted 17-of-53 shots (32.1 percent). Bowman County, though, made a much higher percentage of shots from the charity stripe, sinking 13-of-20 free throws (65 percent) while Killdeer made only 6-of-14 (42.9 percent).
Killdeer fell despite four players scoring in double digits. Starr led all scorers with 13 points while Brew followed with 12. LeMieux and Fox followed with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Bowman County was paced by Woodley and Dix with 12 points apiece.