Freijie score 18 points, Ronningen adds 17 as Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich wins on opening night for the first time in three tries.

GRAND FORKS — Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich coach Rob Scherr admitted that his girls heard the noise.

“There was so much talk that you have to win the first game that it got into their heads. They heard it from everybody that you have to win that first game that it put pressure on themselves,” he said.

After losing the two previous years on opening day of the North Dakota High School Activities Association Class B girls state tournament, the Cardinals came out looking as if a three-peat was imminent. But the Cardinals found themselves at halftime and dominated the second 16 minutes to beat Hettinger-Scranton 56-35 Thursday night to advance to Friday’s semifinals.

“Hettinger-Scranton is a tough team and we knew that coming in and they gave us a tough matchup I thought so we had to really adjust defensively and move,” Scherr said.

The Cardinals (25-0) adjusted and found their own matchup problem in the form of Morgan Freije. Freije scored 18 points, 12 coming in the second half and forced 22 Night Hawks turnovers in the win, outscoring the Night Hawks 32-15 in the second half after only leading by four at the intermission.

“Our halftime was sitting down, relax and I asked them if this is who we are and they said ‘no.’ So relax, we have to go and earn this game,” said Scherr. “And we thought we went to the game instead of the game come to us.”

When asked if the strategy was to go to Freije more in the second half, Scherr answered quickly, “Yes.”

“They had their best defender on Callie (Ronningen) so we were going to run an offense where we get Morgan to the low block and we’re going to be patient and our goal was to go to Morgan and she answered that challenge,” Scherr said.

Ronningen finished with 17 points and six rebounds, Kaylee Lowery had six points and seven rebounds and Lexis Olson scored six points, had three assists and four steals for the Cardinals who will play Central Cass in Friday’s semis.

The Cardinals opened the second half with an 8-0 run, capped by a Freije basket from inside that gave Langdon-E-M the 12 point lead. The Cardinals then closed out the third on a 7-2 spurt to head into the final period ahead by 15. 

Alyssa Andress scored 14 points and Samantha Oase had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Night Hawks (18-7).

Chris Harris can be reached at charris@devilslakejournal.com.

Hettinger-Scranton vs. Langdon-Edmore-Munich box score

Hettinger-Scranton 16 4 6 9 — 35

Langdon-Edmore-Munich 16 8 17 15 — 56

HETTINGER-SCRANTON (18-7)

Andress 14, Oase 12, Pierce 3, Schultz 3, Mellmer 3, Miller 0, Jensen 0, Lien 0, Sadowsky 0. Totals 13 6-9 35.

LANGDON-EDMORE-MUNICH (25-0)

Freije 18, Ronningen 17, Lowery 6, Olson 6, Scherr 5, Henderson 2, Badding 2, Hetletved 0. Totals 23 8-10 56.