Freshman leads top-ranked Thompson to opening round win in state Class B tournament
Tommies receive 20 points from Addison Sage to advance to semifinal round
MINOT – Thompson has been ranked No. 1 in North Dakota girls Class B basketball for a good portion of the season due to its ability to overcome size deficits, pressure defenses and just about anything else opponents throw at them.
And they also have a freshman reserve who leads them in scoring.
That’s been a tough combination for opponents.
Nothing changed Thursday night in the quarterfinal round at the state Class B tournament as Thompson methodically rolled its way past Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier 66-43, a win that moves the Tommies into Friday night’s semifinal round matchup against Garrison.
Thompson, which improved to 23-2, placed four players in double figures, led by freshman reserve Addison Sage, whose 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer gave the Tommies a 34-21 halftime lead and sent them on their way to the semifinals.
“I think early on, their length got to us, mainly in the half court,” said Thompson coach Jason Brend. “We tried to force things a bit and then we started to recognize that some of the shots that we’ve been getting all year weren’t there. We refocused, made a few little tweaks and did a better job of getting into the paint.”
E-K-M was hanging around for much of the first half until two late back-breaking 3-pointers by the Tommies put the Rebels in a big hole.
Both 3-pointers came in the final 30 seconds of the second quarter. Olivia Dick hit the first while Sage drilled the second, coming after Thompson called timeout with 17 seconds to go to plan for the last shot.
“Those two baskets were back-breakers,” said Brend. “At the time, it was a seven-point game and that stretched it to double digits. I can’t say that stretched it to a comfortable lead but enough of one where we thought we could try a few different things.”
Sage, a 5-foot-3 guard, was 8-for-14 from the field, including a 4-for-6 showing on 3-pointers.
“She’s a gamer,” said Brend. “I don’t know if many players put more time in than she does during the offseason. She plays with a lot of confidence.”
Sage passed the praise on to her teammates.
“My teammates are so good to me,” she said. “I love being on this team. We work really well as a team and we have a good time.”
Clara Stevens added 13 points for the Tommies while Olivia Dick and Kya Hurst added 10. Thompson shot 52 percent and outrebounded the taller Rebels 33-22.
E-K-M, which dropped to 19-6, was led by Mataeya Mathern’s 15 points. The Rebels shot 38 percent.
Thompson 66, Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier 43
Halftime: Thompson 34, E-K-M 21
Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier – Reagan Teske 8, Kiara Janugla 8, Mataeya Mathern 15, Norah Entzi 6, Libby Mathern 6
Thompson – Olivia Dick 12, Sydney Schwabe 4, Clara Stevens 13, Kya Hurst 10, Brenna Martin 7, Addison Sage 20