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Hillsboro-Central Valley holds off late Carrington rally to make Class B boys state title game

The shot attempt by Jack Kamrud, left, of Hillsboro-Central Valley, is blocked by Carrington's Seth Nelson in the first half of Friday's semifinal game at the North Dakota Class B state boys basketball tournament at the Bismarck Event Center. Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune1 / 2
Tyler Begstrom, left, of Hillboro-Central Valley shoots over Seth Nelson of Carrington in the first half of Friday's semifinal game at the North Dakota Class B state boys basketball tournament at the Bismarck Event Center. Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune2 / 2

BISMARCK — Hillsboro-Central Valley has a chance to do what no Class B boys basketball team in North Dakota has been able to do in 15 years: win back-to-back titles.

Carson Henningsgard had 15 points and Jack Camrud added 10 points and 18 rebounds as the Burros hung on for a 54-51 victory against Carrington in the state semifinals at the Bismarck Event Center.

Henningsgard's two free throws with 15 seconds left forced the Cardinals to try a long 3-pointer as time ran out. But Seth Nelson's shot banged off the rim.

Nelson finished with 11 points. The only other Carrington player in double figures was Garrett Bickett with 17 points.

It was a physical game from start to finish, which played into Hillsboro-CV's hands, according to Burros head coach Elliot Rotvold.

"For us it's been physical all year long because we're a big team," Rotvold said. "Teams feel like they have to play us physical to take some things away from us."

The top-seeded Burros (25-1) — winners of 18 straight games — will play Minot Ryan for the Class B title on Saturday. If Hillsboro-CV wins, it will be the first team to repeat since Mayville-Portland-CG won two in a row in 2002 and 2003.

Hillsboro pulled off the double in 1973 and 1974.

Minot Ryan last won it all in 1994.

The Cardinals (23-3) led 13-12 after a quarter before the Burros then opened the second quarter on an 11-3 run, including Ryan Troftgruben's 3-pointer for a lead they never gave up. That 3-pointer came just 25 seconds into the quarter. Troftgruben had a pair of big 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 12 points.

Henningsgard had seven points in the second quarter, including a 3-pointer that gave Hillsboro-CV a 31-22 lead at the break. Henningsgard's all-around game included five assists and six steals. But he had tough going in the second half.

Hillsboro-CV led 48-40 with 6:34 to play after Troftgruben drained a 3-point shot. But Carrington kept chipping away at the lead.

The Burros led 52-45 before Bickett made a free throw, Jayden Shipman dropped in a 3-pointer and Bickett added two more free throws to make it a one-point game with less than a minute to play.

Henningsgard missed a long shot late, but an offensive rebound and foul sent him to the line, where he helped seal the victory, with 15 seconds remaining.

"Give Carrington all the credit. We watched them play Stanley (on Thursday) and they don't give up," Rotvold said. "And they didn't give up tonight."

CHS 13 22 38 51

HCV 12 31 45 54

CHS (23-3): Bickett 5 4-6 17, Page 3 0-0 6, Shipman 1 0-0 3, Nelson 5 1-2 11, Smith 0 0-0 0, Rosenau 2 3-4 7, Vetter 2 2-2 7. Totals 18 10-14 51.

HCV (25-1): Henningsgard 4 6-8 15, Suchor 0 0-0 0, Baesler 4 1-2 9, Troftgruben 4 0-0 12, Bergstrom 4 0-0 8, Reed 0 0-0 0, Camrud 4 2-2 10. Totals 20 9-12 54.

3-point goals: Bickett 3, Shipman, Vetter, Henningsgard, Troftgruben 4. Total fouls: C 13, HCV 14. Rebounds: C 26 (Nelson 7), HCV 33 (Camrud 18). Assists: C 9 (Shipman 5), HCV 9 (Henningsgard 5). Turnovers: C 8, HCV 10.