Late surge carries Rugby past Langdon-Edmore-Munich in state Class B girls tournament
MINOT – All season, Langdon-Edmore-Munich quietly went about its business, taking care of business at the right time and playing its best basketball late in the year. As a result, the Cardinals reached the North Dakota state Class B girls basketball tournament for the sixth-straight year.
So, it was no surprise when Rugby looked poised to pull away in the first half against LEM on Thursday in a quarterfinal round game at the Minot State Dome.
But the Cardinals rallied, again quietly working their way back – eventually taking a one-point lead late in the third quarter.
No. 4-ranked Rugby, however, found another gear and blitzed its way past the Cardinals down the stretch, taking a 67-48 win over Langdon to advance to Friday night’s semifinal round game against Central Cass.
After Jalynn Swanson put LEM up 38-37 with 2:32 left in the third, Rugby responded with a game-changing 14-0 run to gain control. It was all Rugby the rest of the way as the Panthers shot 62 percent in the third quarter and 72 percent in the fourth.
“It’s like we ran out of steam or something,” said LEM coach Rob Scheer. “We shouldn’t have because we’ve been playing five players all year.”
Rugby, which shot 62 percent for the game, had good looks at the basket throughout. The Panthers attempted only three six three-pointers, making only one.
“Our defense is usually really solid,” said Scherr. “Teams never get to the rim; that’s the No. 1 thing about our defense. But they got to the rim every time down the floor.”
It looked as if the game would go down to the wire the way the Cardinals stayed with the twice-beaten Panthers for nearly three quarters.
“We were in a perfect position,” said Scherr. “I liked the way we were playing. And all of a sudden, they took control.”
Rugby’s pressure defense also caused a couple of damaging LEM turnovers, leading to quick Rugby points.
The late Rugby surge didn’t surprise Panthers’ coach Jen Brossart.
“We’ve been battling teams for three quarters all year,” said Brossart. “And all of the sudden we just find another gear. They don’t have fatigue in them. That’s the name of our game. We have to wear down teams and hopefully we don’t wear down first.”
Rugby, which improved to 22-2, was led by Mykell Heidlebaugh and Josephine Wolf. Both finished with 16 points as they combined to go 15-for-18 from the field. Kendyl Hager added 10 for the Panthers, who outrebounded LEM 26-20.
LEM eceived 18 points from Cora Badding while Swanson finished with 11. The Cardinals shot 46 percent from the field but also committed 19 turnovers.
Rugby, a team with considerable state experience, will meet another tourney-tested team in Central Cass in Friday’s semifinals round. Central Cass, making its third state appearance in the past four years, rolled past Bowman County 61-28 in the first quarterfinals game.
“We’re going to enjoy this one first and then try and draw up a game plan,” said Brossart.
Rugby 67, Langdon-E-M 48
Halftime: Rugby 27, LEM 26
Langdon-Edmore-Munich — Jalynn Swanson 11, Meredith Romfo 6, Cora Badding 18, Jaya Henderson 8, Halle Jabs 5
Rugby — Kendyl Hager 10, Jordan Jundt 9, Peyton Hauck 2, Mykell Heidlebaugh 16, Josepine Wolf 16, Elise Fahnestock 5, LAcie Deplazes 2, Savanna McCall 7