West Fargo Sheyenne's quarterfinal comeback falls short against Minot in state girls basketball
Minot picked up a 71-63 win over West Fargo Sheyenne on Thursday in the North Dakota Class A state quarterfinals
BISMARCK — West Fargo Sheyenne clawed its way back from an 18-point deficit in the first half to get within striking distance of the up-tempo Minot Magicians going into the second half of the Class A girls basketball state quarterfinal matchup.
The Mustangs went down by 13 points in the second half, and again, dug itself out of the deficit to come within four points with 90 seconds remaining. But their valiant comeback effort ultimately fell short, as Minot scored five of the game’s final six points to earn a 71-63 quarterfinal victory.
“These girls have fought and fought back all season,” Sheyenne head coach Kenyon Wingenbach said. “We got within striking distance in the second half, which is exactly what we wanted.They hit some incredible shots at timely spots, and you have to give them credit today.”
The Mustangs knew what they were up against in the second-seeded Majettes, who had the best scoring offense in the Western Dakota Association. Third-seeded Sheyenne (20-6) was back in the state tournament after a two-year absence and entered Thursday’s quarterfinal at the Bismarck Event Center with one loss in its previous 18 games.
Junior forward Maya Metcalf poured in a season-high 28 points to go along with six rebounds to fuel the comeback effort. Junior guard Peyton Breidenbach finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for the Mustangs.
Minot (21-4) was led by a pair of eighth-grade phenoms who combined for 43 points, more than half of the team’s scoring. Five-foot-7 guard Maggie Fricke erupted for 29 points and 6-foot wing Leelee Bell added 14, 11 of which came in the second half.
Minot turned a one-point advantage into an 18-point lead when it put together a monster scoring run. The Majettes put together the 21-6 scoring run with buckets from four different players.
Down 32-14, the Mustangs got some momentum after a big defensive stop and used it to fuel a massive surge of their own. Sheyenne closed out the opening half on a 21-6 run to cut the deficit to 38-35 heading into the second half.
"What we wanted to do was just keep running with them," Wingenbach said. "And I thought when we got down, we pushed the pace even more. Which is risky, because if it doesn’t work then you're out of gas, and you're probably in a deep hole."
Minot made timely shots down the stretch as it ran up the margin again in the second half. The Majettes held leads of 10 or more points multiple times in the second half. Behind a stellar performance from Metcalf, Sheyenne came roaring back to make it a two-possession game in the final minutes.
The Mustangs chipped away at the deficit and made it a two-possession game in the final
The Majettes will play top-seeded Fargo Davies in the semifinals at 3 p.m. Friday. Sheyenne will face fourth-seeded Bismarck Legacy in the consolation semis at 6 p.m.