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Lisbon rallies in fourth quarter to reach Region 1 title game

Elizabeth Lyons of Lisbon performs a layup against Central Cass during their semifinal Region 1 girls basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at North Dakota State. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor1 / 6
Carlie Kieffer of Central Cass shoots on Lisbon during their semifinal Region 1 girls basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at North Dakota State. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor2 / 6
Kaitlin Geyer, center, of Lisbon is challenged by Kailey McKinnon of Central Cass during their semifinal Region 1 girls basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at North Dakota State. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor3 / 6
Brianna Nielsen, right, of Lisbon is intercepted by Halie Holzer of Central Cass during their semifinal Region 1 girls basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at North Dakota State. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor4 / 6
Kailey McKinnon of Central Cass shoots on Lisbon during their semifinal Region 1 girls basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at North Dakota State. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor5 / 6
Brianna Nielsen of Lisbon hugs the ball in front of Lexi Buhr of Central Cass during their semifinal Region 1 girls basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at North Dakota State. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor6 / 6

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.

Jeff Kolpack

Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.

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