Bismarck Century survives Devils Lake comeback bid in state girls basketball quarterfinals
Devils Lake pulls within a point in second half, but Patriots weather the storm
BISMARCK — Bismarck Century weathered the storm as it defeated Devils Lake 74-62 in the North Dakota Class A state girls basketball tournament quarterfinals on Friday at Bismarck Event Center.
The Firebirds refused to go away quietly, pulling within a possession multiple times in the second half. But Century answered each time its lead was threatened, never yielded control and pulled away late.
The Patriots advance to the semifinals at 3 p.m. Saturday where they will meet East No. 2 seed Fargo Shanley.
“That’s what you get when you have composure,” Century coach Ron Metz said. “We have seniors who have seen this before, they’ve done it before. They’ve got composure and that composure is contagious with the other players.”
Devils Lake’s Jaylin Martinson fueled the Firebirds’ comeback bid. She scored 21 of her 23 points in the second half, including 11 during a 14-2 run early in the second. She made baskets to pull her team within a possession at 49-47 and again at 51-50.
“The type of player she is, we knew that was going to come,” Metz said. “She really adjusted well to what we were doing against her. We had to put some different people on her and shift the zone a little bit to prevent her from getting those easy looks. It was huge to be able to slow that down.”
Century sophomore guard Logan Nissley scored a game-high 25 points and was key to her team hanging on down the stretch. She scored 16 in the second half and scored six points in a 10-4 Patriots run to close out the game. Nissley was 8-for-13 from the field, 3-for-8 from 3 and made all six of her free-throw attempts.
“Logan has come along so far from her freshman year,” Metz said. “She was a dynamic player as a freshman, but she is just such a player now. She knows the defense. She sees things that are happening before they’re happening. And she is a pure shooter, which you can see every time she shoots it.”
The Patriots effectively broke down the Firebirds’ full-court press early in the game as they built their first-half lead. The pressure got to Century in the second half as they forced turnovers to fuel their comeback.
“We started to get a little bit hesitant. We were unsure of the things we wanted to do,” Metz said. “We were unsure with our cuts and unsure with our passes. We were hesitating and thinking about whether we should throw it or not instead of reacting and throwing the passes. Once you hesitate, their speed and quickness can get you.”
Half: Bismarck Century 36, Devils Lake 23
DL: Barendt 7, Gourd 7, Dahlen 10, Fritel 6, Lebrun 3, Martinson 23, Krogfoss 6.
BC: Julson 2, B. Kinnebrew 9, Fletcher , Anderson 10, Fitterer 15, Nissley 25, Klein 4, A. Kinnebrew 7.