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Larimore's 53 good for state

GRAFTON, N.D. -- Paula Pederson knows who she'd vote for. "She's Miss Basketball," the Thompson coach said. "That's what she is going to do to you." She is Tracy Morseth. And what the senior did down the stretch Thursday was help Larimore escape ...

GRAFTON, N.D. -- Paula Pederson knows who she'd vote for.

"She's Miss Basketball," the Thompson coach said. "That's what she is going to do to you."

She is Tracy Morseth. And what the senior did down the stretch Thursday was help Larimore escape with a 33-24 victory for the North Dakota Class B Region 2 crown.

Morseth scored eight fourth-quarter points to help the No. 1 Polar Bears move to 25-0 and add another win to the longest winning streak in Class B history at 53 games.

"This is why you play the game," Larimore coach Leon Carey said. "They deserve it. They have met every challenge all year."

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Thursday, was one of the most difficult yet.

Thompson clawed its way back from an 11-point first-half deficit to make it a five-point game entering the fourth quarter.

Morseth had seen enough.

"It was disappointing," said Morseth, who was named Region 2 player of the year. "It would have been more exciting to play like we did in the first half Tuesday (surrendering just three points)."

The 6-foot center scored six straight points to open the final quarter, extending a 25-20 lead back to 11 points. Morseth added a layup minutes later to provide the final margin.

"We just came out slow tonight," Morseth said. "We got it going. Our girls were making some nice passes and we pulled away."

The Tommies didn't give Morseth much room to roam all night. There was always at least two sets of hands keeping her company.

But down the stretch, Morseth found a way.

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"That's just it, she's Miss Basketball," Pederson said. "They'd be crazy not to give it to her."

Larimore shot just 31 percent from the floor, missing out on several opportunities to make it an easy win.

"Their defense had a lot to with it," said Carey, who was named Region 2 coach of the year. "I think we were a little tight and a little too tentative."

Kendra Zak paced Thompson with 12 points. Britta Hanson pulled down 11 rebounds. Both are only sophomores.

"It'll be something for us to build on," Pederson said. "We have so much potential."

Larimore will be after its second straight state championship beginning Thursday at Minot.

"We are relieved," Morseth said.

The Miss Basketball award is voted on by the media and will be given out at the Class A state tournament.

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Minto 59, Dakota Prairie 47

Hayley Schanilec scored 22 points and grabbed six rebounds to help Minto capture third place.

Schanilec hit three of Minto's seven 3-pointers. Kristina Schuster added 16 points for the Rockets, who used a 22-point fourth quarter to secure victory.

Kirstie Gillett paced Dakota Prairie with 19 points.

Championship

Larimore 33, Thompson 24

Thompson 4 9 20 24

Larimore 11 17 25 33

T: Adams 0 2-2 2, Zak 4 4-5 12, Wurtz 2 0-0 4, Hanson 3 0-1 6. Totals 9 6-8 24.

L: Rankin 1 0-0 2, Gullikson 1 0-0 3, Kaminski 2 2-2 6, King 3 0-0 6, Morseth 5 4-4 14, Klawon 1 0-2 2. Totals 13 6-8 33.

3-pointers: Gullikson. Fouls: T 12, L 11. Rebounds: T 26 (Hanson 11), L 14 (Kaminski 7).

Third place

Minto 59, Dakota Prairie 47

Minto 12 23 30 47

Dakota Prairie 15 31 37 59

M: Klutovsky 2 0-2 6, Schuster 7 1-4 16, Gerszewski 2 4-4 9, Narloch 2 2-2 6, Schanilec 8 3-5 22. Totals 21 10-17 59.

DP: Stubson 2 0-0 5, Herman 4 1-2 11, Rude 2 0-0 4, K. Gillett 7 5-8 19, Baker 2 0-0 4, J. Gillett 2 0-0 4. Totals 19 6-10 47.

3-pointers: Lutovsky 2, Schanilec 3, Schuster, Gerszewski, Herman 2, Stubson. Fouls: M 11, DP 16.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Justin Luther at (701) 241-5549

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