Lisbon rallies in fourth quarter to reach Region 1 title game
FARGO—It was just two weeks ago when Lisbon defeated Central Cass by 18 points. But this is postseason and the North Dakota Class B Region 1 girls basketball tournament offers anybody a second chance.
Central Cass gave it a run but couldn't quite cash in. The Broncos made a decisive move in the fourth quarter to take a 58-51 victory in the region semifinals at Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex.
Twelve straight points did the trick.
Lisbon will take on Kindred on Friday night at 7:30 at Scheels Center for a trip to the Class B state tournament. It's been 20 years since the Broncos have been to the show.
"We have a chance," said Lisbon head coach Barb Sweet. "We have to play better than we did tonight but we have a chance."
The Broncos may want to find a good relaxer before the opening tip against the Vikings. Sweet said her team had a case of the nerves against Central Cass.
"That's what happens when you come out tight," she said.
Central Cass' Maddy Sweep served notice early this was going to be a different night than the 70-52 Lisbon win on Feb. 9 in Lisbon. She hit three 3-pointers in the first half, which ended with the Squirrels taking a 27-23 lead. It was a first two quarters where Cass had more 3-pointers (five) than two-point field goals (four).
The Broncos, meanwhile, who hit 10 treys in their opening-round win on Monday, had trouble finding the range.
Still, Lisbon got within a point midway through the third quarter, but the Squirrels responded to take an eight-point advantage. Freshman Jaylin Cotton's six points to end the quarter for Central Cass gave the Squirrels 42-38 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Trailing by six, the Broncos mounted a rally, doing most of the damage at the foul line until Karly Schultz's 3-pointer from the top of the key. That shot with 5 minutes, 7 seconds to play gave Lisbon a 47-44 lead, its first advantage since early in the game.
Schultz canned another 3-pointer from the wing with 3:50 left and it was 50-44.
"Those two were huge for her," Sweet said. "She was tight, too. You could just see the light click back on."
Central Cass got within 50-46, but had several possessions in the last few minutes that weren't productive.
Two free throws by Schultz, the last with 59 seconds left, made it 53-46. It was game, set, match in the fourth quarter for the Broncos, who got a couple of big defensive plays from senior forward Grace Elijah that ignited the rally.
"She played a nice defensive game," Sweet said.
Central Cass 7 27 42 51
Lisbon 7 23 38 58
CENTRAL CASS: Sweep 13, Kieffer 4, Buhr 5, H. Holzer 7, Cotton 9, McKinnon 2, Linnard 7.
LISBON: Schultz 12, Geyer 11, Lyons 12, Elijah 4, Reinke 5, Ercink 2, Nielsen 9.