Cowboys end regular season with 3-game winning streak
Win or go home.
DUNN COUNTY HERALD
That’s what the Killdeer High School girls basketball team is facing when the Region 7 tournament gets underway today at Knights of Columbus Activities Center at Dickinson Trinity High School.
The Cowboys are coming in on a roll, after having won its last three games – including Glen Ullin/Hebron and Heart River. Both were contending for the regular season regional title at the time.
And in the regular-season finale on Monday, the Cowboys scored a season-high 70 points en route to a 70-55 victory over New England – a game that saw Trae Murray pump in 33 points.
“I have a lot of faith in the team and I can see they are developing faith in themselves,” said Killdeer head coach Ashlee Viveros. “They are fighting to keep the season going and our adversity that we have seen has made us stronger. We have been playing some great team basketball and our defense has been really improving.”
The Cowboys ended the regular season with a 7-4 regional record and 11-10 overall. Their late-season surge put them in position to nab the fourth seed and avoid a play-in game on Friday. They will play the winner of a play-in on Monday at 3:30 p.m.
But that is ancient history. Records don’t mean anything at this time of the year, especially in this particular tournament.
“We will approach the tournament with a ‘one-game-at-a-time’ approach,” said Viveros. Indeed. The top six teams in the region took turns knocking each other off.
Bowman County won the regular season title with a 10-1 record with the Bulldogs’ only loss coming at the hands of Hettinger/Scranton. However, four of Bowman County’s victories were by seven points or less.
It gets even more sticky after that.
Hettinger/Scranton, 8-3, beat Killdeer, Hazen and Bowman County, but lost to Glen Ullin/Hebron, Mott-Regent and Heart River.
Glen Ullin/Hebron, 8-3, beat Hettinger/Scranton, Mott-Regent and Hazen but lost to Heart River, Killdeer and Bowman County.
Heart River, 7-4, beat Dickinson Trinity, Glen Ullin/Hebron and Hettinger/Scranton but lost to Mott-regent, Hazen, Bowman County and Killdeer.
Mott Regent, 7-4, beat heart River, Dickinson and Hettinger/Scranton and lost to Hazen, Glen Ullin/Hebron, Bowman County and Killdeer.
Hazen, 6-4, beat Mott-Regent, Killdeer and Heart River but lost to Dickinson Trinity, Hettinger/Scranton, Glen Ullin/Hebron and Bowman County.
Dickinson Trinity, 6-5, beat Killdeer and Hazen but lost to Mott-Regent, Hettinger/Scranton, Heart River and Bowman County.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, beat Heart River, Glen Ullin/Hebron, Mott-Regent, but lost to Bowman County, Hazen, Dickinson Trinity and Bowman County.
“The region is up for grabs for any team, which is exciting for all of us,” Viveros said.
New England 55
Murray and Sydney Anderson each posted a double-double as the Cowboys rallied from a 19-15 first-quarter deficit in the regular-season finale at home on Monday.
Murray scored a season-high 33 points and also pulled down 14 rebounds, including 11 offensive boards, and recorded five steals. Meanwhile, Anderson chipped in a dozen points and pulled down 15 rebounds and dished out six assists.
The Tigers were paced by 26 points from Page Ehlis and 16 by Molly Rayhorn.
Killdeer outscored New England 18-4 in the second quarter to take control of the contest.
Heart River 31
The Cowboys gained a measure of revenge after they rallied on the road in the fourth quarter to stop the Cougars on Feb. 11. Killdeer outscored Heart River 19-5 in the final stanza to avenge a heart-breaking loss to the Cougars in the Roughrider Tournament in December.
In this game, Killdeer struggled early and was held to just 10 points in the first half. Heart River led 18-10 at the intermission.
The Cowboys chipped away at the lead in the third period before breaking it open in the fourth.
Murray led the way with 18 points for the Cowboys. Bailey Olson and Ashlyn Privratsky each scored 10 points for Heart River.
Glen Ullin/Hebron 41
Anderson flirted with a triple-double and the Cowboys broke away from the Bearcats in the second quarter for a crucial Region 7 road victory on Feb. 9.
Anderson scored 16 points, pulled down 13 rebounds, including six offensive boards and dished out seven assists. She also had five steals.
Murray, meanwhile, led the Cowboys with 18 points.
Kiana Schatz led the Bearcats with 20 points while Lexi Gietzen had 11.
The Cowboys held a 9-6 leading going into the second quarter and then stretched the margin to 26-14 at the intermission with a 17-8 outburst in the second stanza.
Entering the game, Glen Ullin was in second place, one game behind Bowman County and the loss eliminated any chance of the Bearcats catching the Bulldogs for the region title.