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Pirates slip past H-M-B for third

MINOT, N.D. - Hankinson junior Courtney Titus had been waiting for this game. The 5-foot-7 junior ended her North Dakota Girls Class B state girls basketball tournament scoring drought by pouring in a game-high 18 points to help the Pirates to a ...

Hankinson's Amanda Mauch shoots a running jumper

MINOT, N.D. - Hankinson junior Courtney Titus had been waiting for this game.

The 5-foot-7 junior ended her North Dakota Girls Class B state girls basketball tournament scoring drought by pouring in a game-high 18 points to help the Pirates to a third-place finish with a 53-51 win over Hazelton-Moffitt-Braddock Saturday at the Minot State University Dome.

"After we lost (on Friday), I was really upset," Titus said. "I was totally off the first two games."

Titus struck early and often, hitting a pair of

3-pointers to bring her team within three at the end of the first quarter. She drained another trey late in the second half to give her team a

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48-47 lead.

Though Titus' threes were big, Hankinson coach Shawn Gravalin said defense has been her calling card all tournament long.

"She was finally there on the offensive end," Gravalin said. "Defensively, she's been there all weekend."

Coming off a heartbreaking semifinal loss to Bowman County on Friday, the Pirates showed signs of tournament fatigue early on but settled in after a 9-0 second-quarter run put them up 16-15. H-M-B led 32-27 going into halftime.

"We weren't communicating, but we were playing good defense," Gravalin said. "The key to our defense is communicating."

The talk as well as the tempo picked up in the second half for Hankinson, as the Pirates held the Tigers to just three points in the third quarter. The Tigers made up the deficit and led 51-50 with 22 seconds remaining when Titus found junior Cody Geffre on a lob pass next to the basket, where Gefre's basket gave her team its final lead.

Sister Casey Geffre went 1 of 2 from the free throw line with 8 seconds, giving the Pirates a two-point cushion. Casey Geffre finished with 10 points.

H-M-B senior Valerie Scherr shot a jumper in the lane in the waning seconds, but it went off the side of the rim, preserving Hankinson's third-place finish.

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Hankinson 12 27 39 53

H-M-B 15 32 35 51

HANKINSON (21-7): Co. Titus 6-11 3-3 18, Co. Geffre 4-14 1-2 9, Mauch 1-5 0-0 2, Stein 1-6 2-4 4, Ca. Titus 0-0 0-0 0, Wahl 3-7 0-1 6, Cal. Geffre 3-16 4-6 10, E. Pankow 0-0 0-0 0, M. Pankow 1-2 2-2 4. Totals 19-61 12-18 53.

H-M-B (22-4): Fettig 5-10 5-7 15, Brindle 2-8 5-6 9, Sheets 3-7 3-8 9, Kalberer 3-4 1-2 9, Weiser 0-1 0-0 0, Scherr 3-7 3-3 9. Totals 16-37 17-26 51.

3-point goals: Hankinson 3 (Co. Titus 3), H-M-B 2 (Kalberer 2). Rebounds: Hankinson 34 (Ca. Geffre 9), H-M-B 40 (Fettig 14). Assists: Hankinson 8 (Co. Titus 3), H-M-B 13 (Scherr 5). Total fouls: Hankinson 21, H-M-B 19.

The Dickinson Press and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.

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