ND Class A girls basketball: South cruises to win to reach state final

BISMARCK - Grand Forks Red River starters Emily Evers and Megan Haaven could only watch from the bench as Fargo South's girls basketball team rolled into its second straight state championship game.

Fargo South's Raquel Wellentin
Fargo South's Raquel Wellentin (40) and Siri Burck battle for a rebound against Grand Forks Red River's Megan Haaven in the North Dakota Class A state tournament Friday.David Samson / The Forum

BISMARCK - Grand Forks Red River starters Emily Evers and Megan Haaven could only watch from the bench as Fargo South's girls basketball team rolled into its second straight state championship game.

With both Evers and Haaven sidelined in the first half with foot and ankle injuries, South took advantage as it claimed a convincing 75-49 semifinal win over Red River at the North Dakota Class A state tournament being played in the Bismarck Civic Center.

South will now get a chance to avenge last year's devastating championship loss to Bismarck when it plays a 6 p.m. title game today against Bismarck Century.

"This was our goal to get back to that title game and finish what we didn't do last year," said South junior center Raquel Wellentin, who had 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

For South, which split with Red River this season, the game plan was to have Wellentin attack Red River's matchup zone that has been limiting opponents to 42 points per game. That plan got even easier when Evers, Red River's 6-foot-3 center who is heading to the University of North Dakota next season, injured her right foot four minutes into the game.


By the time she returned to the bench with ice on her foot, South had a 25-18 lead. To make matters worse for the Roughriders, Haaven left the game late in the first half with an ankle injury.

"The one big thing we have on South is size," said Red River coach Justin Schommer, whose 21-3 Roughriders will play Fargo North in today's 1:30 p.m. third-place game. "To make them shoot over a 6-3 girl is a big difference."

Wellentin took advantage of Evers' absence. She had eight points, three rebounds and two assists in the first half. Her dump pass to fellow post Jasmine Moffett gave South a 36-23 halftime lead - ending an 11-5 run during the final 3½ minutes.

South put the game away with an 11-0 run early in the second half.

"Raquel Wellentin had the game of her life," said South head coach Craig Flaagan. "Obviously, Evers is a big part of their offense and defense. You hate to see something like that happen. But to be honest, we were clicking tonight no matter what happened."

Meghan Roehrich, who as a junior became South's all-time leading scorer in Thursday's quarterfinal win over Mandan, led the Bruins with 21 points. Alley Fisher added 18 points.

Now the Bruins are hoping to avenge last year's 60-52 state championship loss to Bismarck, their only loss of the season. The 21-3 Bruins will take on a 22-2 Century team.

"Century is very athletic, much like us," Flaagan said. "They are very, very good. It will be a tough matchup. But we are looking forward to it."


South will make its fourth state title appearance since 2004, losing the previous three championship games. South's last title came in 1994 with a 41-34 win over West Fargo.

Red River will be without Evers in today's third-place game, according to Schommer. Haaven could play.

RED RIVER: Ronkowski 0 0-0 0, Azure 0 0-0 0, Carroll 3 0-0 7, Marhula 1 0-0 3, Borg 3 1-2 7, Asche 4 1-2 9, Conneran 0 2-2 2, Knudson 0 0-0 0, Haaven 1 2-2 4, Wheeler 0 0-0 0, Ferry 2 0-0 4, Christian 0 0-0 0, Knecht 2 0-0 4, Evers 0-0 1-2 1, Carlson 3 0-0 8. Totals: 19-57 (FG), 7-10 (FT).

SOUTH: Roehrich 7 4-5 21, Masseth 0 0-0 0, Burck 4- 0-0 9, Sampson 0 0-0 0, Koenig 0 0-2 0, Boisjolie 0 0-0 0, Felch 0 0-0 0, Fisher 6 4-5 18, Everson 0 0-0 0, Diederich 0 1-2 1, Rydell 0 1-2 1, Weston 0 0-0 0, Wellentin 6 4-4 16, Moffett 4 1-1 9. Totals: 27-52 (FG), 15-21 (FT).

Halftime: South 36, Red River 23. Total fouls: Red River 16, South 8. Fouled out: none. 3-point goals: Red River 4-11 (Carroll 1, Marhula 1, Carlson 2), South 6-13 (Roehrich 3, Burck 1, Fisher 2). Rebounds: Red River 31 (Haaven 5, Borg 4, Asche 4, Knecht 4), South 37 (Wellentin 7, Roehrich 5, Burck 5, Fisher 5). Assists: Red River 10 (Christian 2, Carlson 2), South 15 (Roehrich 5,Wellentin 3). Steals: Red River 5 (Carroll 2, Asche 2), South 2 (Roehrich 2). Turnovers: Red River 13, South 14.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549

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