With three starters sitting much of the first half with fouls, ninth ranked New Rockford-Sheyenne used strong second half to advance to Class B Region 4 Tournament championship game.

No. 9 New Rockford-Sheyenne found itself a little hamstrung in the first half of its Class B Region 4 Tournament boys basketball semifinal game Tuesday night against Dunseith.

“We had three starters sitting on the bench the whole second quarter with two fouls,” said New Rockford-Sheyenne’s head coach Tyler Cook.

Regardless, the Rockets found a way defeating the Dragons 53-48.

“We knew coming in that they’re a heck of a good team and they match up well with us, we’re both athletic, like to get up and down and it came down to a couple of possessions there,” Cook said.

Dunseith opened the final eight minutes of the game with a 3-pointer by Gabe Davis that gave them a one point lead. After the Rockets regained the lead behind a Parker Granger basket, Ethan Morin’s made shot put the Dragons (17-6) ahead 43-42. But a Bo Belquist basket, followed by another Granger basket, followed by a Belquist 3 and the Rockets led by four with 3:41 left.

A Teddy Allmaras 3 two possessions later became the dagger.

The Rockets, who after leading 13-11 after the first quarter, managed just nine points in the second period with both Belquist, who finished with 10 points but only had two the entire first half and Hunter Thompson sitting alongside of Cook on the bench during the second eight minutes with foul trouble. Belquist got two quick fouls in the first quarter and was done until after halftime. Thompson scored 10 first half points before he picked up his second foul.

Thompson’s last points of the first half, a 3-pointer, put the Rockets (21-3) ahead by six. Dunseith outscored the Rockets 12-2 over the final four minutes of the second period to go into the locker room up 26-22.

“To go into halftime down four with Bo, who is the guy who gets us going, sitting out the whole second quarter we felt pretty good,” Cook began. “I told them (at halftime) to use this to our advantage. You have fresh legs now. You guys sat a whole quarter let’s go.

“You got your legs underneath you so let’s make things happen.”

Thirty seconds into the third period, Thompson made two free throws that began an 18 point quarter for the Rockets who led by two when the quarter ended.

Thompson finished with 17 points and Allmaras scored 16 points, including his 1,000th career point on a basket with 16 seconds left in the third.

The victory set up the anticipated rubber match between the Rockets and Indians Thursday night for a ticket to Minot for next week’s Class B state championship tournament. The Rockets fell to the Indians back on Feb. 25 in the District 7 title game. For New Rockford-Sheyenne, it’s a chance for guys like Allmaras, Belquist, Thompson, Tucker Longnecker and the rest of the football players to make amends for falling short of their goal in October.

“It was a great win for these kids. They came up a little short in football when we thought we had a chance and now in basketball, we give ourselves another chance,” Cook said.

Hunter Gladue led the Dragons with 17 points.

Chris Harris can be reached at charris@devilslakejournal.com and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ

Dunseith vs New Rockford-S box score

Dunseith 11 15 12 10 — 48

New Rockford-Sheyenne 13 9 18 13 — 53

DUNSEITH (17-6)

Gladue 17, Two Hearts 9, Poitra 6, Morin 5, Azure 4, Williams 4, Davis 3, Peltier 0, Grant 0. Totals 15 13-19 48.

NEW ROCKFORD-SHEYENNE (21-3)

Thompson 17, Allmaras 16, Belquist 10, Granger 6, Longnecker 2, Holzwarth 2, Ystaas 0, Ulrich 0. Totals 22 3-8 53.