Flasher wins District 9 title
By Michael Weber
With 24.2 seconds to play in a tight District 9 boys basketball tournament final, Flasher’s Zack Schmidt missed on an opportunity to make it a two-possession game against Shiloh Christian.
But with time winding down, the senior guard got another chance. This time, he made good.
Schmidt stepped in front of a deflected pass between the top of the key and the center stripe and drove to the basket for a layup, giving the Bulldogs a five-point lead with four seconds remaining. That capped the scoring in a 47-42 Flasher victory at the Mandan High School gym.
Ninteen seconds after a Zac Martin putback pulled the Skyhawks within three points, 45-42, Schmidt stepped up to the free-throw line in a bonus situation, but missed the charity toss. Shiloh rebounded and proceeded to work the clock down before Flasher’s Taylor Krenz got a hand on a pass and deflected it in Schmidt’s direction. Schmidt collected the ball in stride and went uncontested for his 19th and 20th points of the night.
Schmidt stumbled a bit on his way to the basket, but regained his footing and sealed Flasher’s second consecutive district tournament championship.
“I saw Taylor tip the ball my way and I took off running,” said Schmidt, the District 9 senior athlete of the year. “After I got it, all I could think about was, ‘Make the shot, make the shot. Don’t blow it.’ I stumbled a little bit, but fortunately I didn’t lose my footing or the ball.
“I really wanted to make up for the miss at the free-throw line. We really needed that,” he continued. “I was hoping for another chance to do something.”
Schmidt’s steal and layup capped off a game-ending 14-5 run by the Bulldogs, who trailed 37-33 with 4:50 to play. A Peyton Gabrielson basket and two Brandon Braun free throws evened the score at 37 with 3:57 remaining. Thirty-two seconds later, Krenz netted Flasher’s only 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs a 40-37 lead.
Shiloh answered with a Martin trey at the 2:36 mark, but the next five points went to the Bulldogs. Braun’s two free throws with 1:42 left made it 45-40.
“It was a tough game the whole way. When we got down by four, we knew we had to turn it up a notch,” Schmidt said. “We really stepped it up on defense and made things happen. It got our offense going.”
Flasher’s 45-40 and 47-42 leads were the largest for either team in this knock-down, drag-out affair. The first half ended in a 21-21 draw, and it was 29-29 heading into the fourth quarter. There were 11 lead changes and five ties.
Flasher coach Brian Nieuwsma expected as much.
“This is the third time we’ve played each other and the first two were tough, defensive games. We split those games,” said Nieuwsma, whose team improved to 17-4. “It was two teams that know each other really well, grinding it out to the end. We made some big plays down the stretch and that was the difference. Both teams played hard tonight. Both defenses were outstanding.”
Flasher forced 22 Shiloh turnovers, which Skyhawks assistant coach Brad Miller said was uncharacteristic of his team.
“We usually take better care of the ball,” he said. “Give Flasher credit. They played good pressure defense. We had trouble dealing with it all game long.”
Martin and Hartman led the Skyhawks, 18-3, with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Shiloh coach Mike Dwyer was named the district’s coach of the year.
Flasher, Shiloh, New Salem-Almont and Solen will play in the Region 5 tournament, which begins Monday at the Bismarck Civic Center. New Salem-Almont is the No. 3 team from the district and Solen is No. 4.
SC 16 21 29 42
Flasher 12 21 29 47
SC (42): Zac Martin 13, Andrew Hartman 12, Blake Emmel 7, Chad Coulter 4, Marshall Marsland 2, Josh Wood 2, Jace Ritzke 2. Totals: 14 10-11 42.
FLASHER (47): Zack Schmidt 20, Taylor Krenz 9, Brandon Braun 8, Peyton Gabrielson 6, J.W. Froelich 2, Kyle Miller 2. Totals: 18 10-17 47.
3-pointers: SC 4 (Hartman 2, Martin 1, Emmel 1), F 1 (Krenz 1). Fouls: SC 18, F 14. Fouled out: None.
Solen surprised third-seeded Grant County, and New Salem-Almont rallied late to defeat Standing Rock in Monday’s Region 5 qualifier games.
Kenneth Thunder Hawk poured in a game-high 19 points and Brayden Uses Arrow added 14 as Solen topped Grant County 56-44. The Sioux controlled the game throughout, leading 27-23 at halftime and 44-36 at the end of the third quarter.
Dylan McAlexander, Jamison Roehl and Chandler Rivinius tossed in 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Coyotes.
Later, winless Standing Rock opened the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run and led New Salem-Almont 40-34 with about five minutes to play. However, the Holsteins regrouped and went on a 14-0 run that put them up 48-40 with 40 seconds left. New Salem-Almont made 10 of 12 free-throw attempts in the final 2:14 after connecting on just 13 of their first 27 tries.
Andrew Hulm led the Holsteins with 17 points. Spencer Rebel scored six points in the 14-0 fourth-quarter run and finished with 12.
Michael Many Horses netted 14 and Taran Fox 10 for the Warriors.
Solen 56, Grant County 44
Solen 15 27 44 56
GC 12 23 36 44
SOLEN (56): Kenneth Thunder Hawk 19, Brayden Uses Arrow 14, Damon Lester 9, Kolt Grey Cloud 8, Felix Lester 2, Mark Grey Cloud 2, Samuel Stitches 2. Totals: 23 6-7 56.
GC (44): Dylan McAlexander 12, Jamison Roehl 11, Chandler Rivinius 10, Chris Fischer 5, Brett Ulrich 4, Bailey Stewart 2. Totals: 17 10-19 44.
3-pointers: S 4 (Uses Arrow 2, Thunder Hawk 1, D. Lester 1), GC 0. Fouls: S 15, GC 12. Fouled out: S, Uses Arrow.
New Salem-Almont 51, Standing Rock 43
SR 9 20 29 43
NS-A 12 24 34 51
SR (43): Michael Many Horses 14, Taran Fox 10, Jon Hodgkiss 9, Solomon Garter 6, Rashawn Archambault 2, Scottie Gates 2. Totals: 18 1-4 43.
NS-A (51): Andrew Hulm 17, Spencer Rebel 12, Zach Cofer 8, Braden Klusmann 6, Ethan Hoger 6, Luke Slag 2. Totals: 14 23-39 51.
3-pointers: SR 6 (Many Horses 4, Fox 2), NS-A 0. Fouls: SR 26, NS-A 10. Fouled out: None.
Senior athlete of the year: Zack Schmidt, Flasher.
Coach of the year: Mike Dwyer, Shiloh Christian.
Athletic director of the year: Brian Marcus, Shiloh.
Flasher: Zack Schmidt, Taylor Krenz. Shiloh Christian: Zac Martin, Blake Emmel and Andrew Hartman. Grant County: Jamison Roehl, Dylan McAlexander. New Salem-Almont: Spencer Rebel, Andrew Hulm. Solen: Kenneth Thunder Hawk, Damon Lester. Standing Rock: Jon Hodgkiss.
Flasher: Brandon Braun, J.W. Froelich. Shiloh: Jace Ritzke. Grant County: Chandler Rivinius. New Salem-Almont: Zach Cofer. Standing Rock: Michael Many Horses.