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Warner holds off De Smet to capture Class B title

Posted: Wednesday, Mar 13th, 2013

De Smet’s Rylie Osthus looks for a teammate to pass the ball to as she is guarded on the perimeter by Warner’s Miranda Ristau during the championship game of the Class B State Girls’ Basketball Tournament on Saturday at Huron Arena. In the next photo, De Smet’s Maria Huntimer defends against Ristau during the title game on Saturday. PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN

HURON — Despite being held scoreless in the third quarter, the top-seeded Warner Monarchs were able to emerge with the championship in the Class B State Girls’ Basketball Tournament on Saturday at Huron Arena.

Warner outscored the De Smet Lady Bulldogs 20-10 in the opening half and pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 31-19 victory.

“It just means everything. We’ve been working so hard for this together as a team and taking it quarter by quarte,” said Miranda Ristau, a 6-foot-2 post player for the Monarchs. “It just means everything to us.”

Ristau had six points in the opening quarter, which ended with Warner holding a 12-3 lead.

De Smet was able to get some shots off during the opening eight minutes of play, but on several occasions the much taller Monarchs were able to get a hand on the ball and make it hard to find the bottom of the basket.

“We started off pretty shaky. We just could not get the ball to go in the hole tonight,” said De smet coach Doug Osthus.

“We needed shots to go down. We got some good looks, but against a team like that, with that kind of size, you have to hit shots and we didn’t do it.”

Back-to-back baskets by Rachel Rogers, the other 6-2 post player for Warner, gave the Monarch a 20-7 lead, but De Smet’s Grayson Gruenhagen got a 3-pointer to fall before the end of the half to make it 20-10 at the break.

“We didn’t box out a couple of times,” Osthus said of some of his team’s struggles in the opening half. “When you do that against a team that has five 6-footers on it, your going to have issues.”

Using a fierce full-court defense, which carried the same intensity into the half-court set, the Lady Bulldogs shut down Warner’s potent offensive attack in the second half.

The Monarchs went scoreless through the entire third quarter, but De Smet managed just a pair of field goals by Amanda Poppen to make it 20-14 in Warner’s favor heading into the final quarter.

“Of course we were concerned, we know that they are a good team,” Ristau said of her team’s scoring drought. “They were going to come out tough and we were going to have our runs. We just tried to stay together as a team, keep working hard and giving everything we had because it was our last game.”

A field goal by Gruenhagen pulled the Lady Bulldogs as close as they would get at 20-16.

The Monarchs put their first points of the second half on the board with 6:25 to play in the fourth quarter with a field goal by Ashley Rozell and then outscored De Smet 9-3 down the stretch to secure the win.

“If we knock some shots down, we’re right there,” Osthus said. “I don’t think they scored in the third quarter, that’s a credit to our girls and just one of those nights when the ball didn’t go in the hole.”

Rogers had 16 points to lead Warner, which earned its second Class B championship of the season after going undefeated en route to the state volleyball title this year. Rozell and Ristau added seven and six points, respectively.

The Monarchs concluded the season with a 25-1 record.

Gruenhagen and Poppen each finished with seven points for the Lady Bulldogs, who ended the season at 24-2.

De Smet 3 10 14 19

Warner 12 20 20 31

De Smet (24-2): Andrea Pommer 0-1 0-1 0; Taylor Schoenfelder 1-8 0-0 3; Grayson Gruenhagen 3-12 0-1 7; Rylie Osthus 1-9 0-0 2; Kelli Aughenbaugh 0-2 0-0 0; Amanda Poppen 3-3 1-1 7; Kelsey Poppen 0-1 0-0 0; Shelace Albrecht 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 8-36 1-2 19.

Warner (25-1): Emily Larson 1-5 0-1 2; Jaici Schlosser 0-1 0-0 0; Ashley Rozell 2-5 3-3 7; Rachel Rogers 7-8 2-5 16; Carley Rozell 0-2 0-0 0; Miranda Ristau 2-4 2-2 6. Totals: 12-25 7-11 31.

3-pointers: De Smet 2-20 (Pommer 0-1, Schoenfelder 1-6, Gruenhagen 1-4, Osthus 0-7, Aughenbaugh 0-2); Warner 0-7 (Larson 0-2, Schlosser 0-1, A. Rozell 0-2, C. Rozell 0-2). Rebounds: De Smet 11 (Osthus 3); Warner 32 (Rogers 11). Assists: De Smet 6 (Osthus 3); Warner 9 (C. Rozell 4). Total fouls: De Smet 17; Warner 8. Fouled out: Schoenfelder, Albrecht.

For the complete article see the 03-12-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-12-2013 paper.

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