BISMARCK – Before Thursday, only one team had beaten Mandan this season. That is unbeaten and top-ranked Bismarck Century.
West Fargo Sheyenne joined that exclusive club with a 75-61 win over the Braves at North Dakota Class A girls state tournament at the Bismarck Event Center. The Mustangs dominated the second half to move into today’s semifinals against Devils Lake.
“They just play so hard and so tough,” Sheyenne coach Brent Hintz said. “After losing that first game at the EDC tournament, we talked about having our backs to the wall. We had to fight our way to get here and that has battled-hardened us. That’s what allowed us to get down 20-5 and still believe.”
For the second straight game dating back to the West Region championship game, the Braves (21-4) imploded in the second half. This time, Sheyenne used a 29-5 run to deny Mandan a chance to reach a second straight championship game.
Yasmina Dokara hd 22 points for the Mustangs (18-7). Maggie Manson added 17 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and five steals.
Mandan’s Megan Zander had a double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds) by halftime. She finished with 24 points and 17 rebounds. Kennedy Harris chipped in 12 points.
The Braves led 25-9 before Jadyn Feist scored three quick baskets for the Mustangs, starting a 16-4 run that carved the Braves’ lead to 29-25 with 1:24 before halftime.
Mandan scored the last seven points of the half to go into the break leading 36-25.
Lauren Gangl opened the second half with jumper that made it 38-25 before Olivia Dobrenz answered with three straight baskets. From that point on, it was all Sheyenne. Over the next seven minutes, the Braves were 1-for-11 shooting with six turnovers.
“We talked about how important the first five minutes of the second half would be. If we were in the game, we would have a chance,” Hintz said.
Sheyenne shot 43 percent while holding Mandan to just 31 percent. Mandan also turned the ball over 20 times, leading to 22 points.
The game was a rematch of the season opener won by Mandan 73-50.
Half: Mandan 36, WF Sheyenne 25
Sheyenne: Manson 17, Huseth 4, Johnson 4, Weber 6, Dokra 22, Blasczyk 2, Dobrinz 12, Feist 8.
Mandan: Harris 12, Zander 24, Darras 7, Gangl 9, Berger 7, Gustavsson 2.