Stubborn Midkota pushes Langdon to limit

Ray Maloney, Sports

With an 11-11 record on the season and a No. 4 seed from District 7, few people gave Midkota much of a chance against District 8 champion Langdon.

The Mustangs simply ignored the pundits.

Midkota pushed the Cardinals to the limit — literally — before dropping a 52-50 decision to Langdon in the opening round of the Region 4 tournament Monday at the Devils Lake Sports Center.

Langdon (14-8) advanced to take on No. 2-ranked Carrington in one semifinal game on Tuesday.

“That’s the way it’s gone all year for us,” Midkota coach Kyle Frappier said. “We’ve been a resilient team and all I wanted them to do was to leave it all on the floor ... they did that.”

Breanna Mack’s shot off the glass just before the final buzzer gave the Cardinals the winning points.

“I am speechless,” said Mack, who finished with a game-high 18 points for Langdon.

Trailing by as many as 13 points midway through the final period, it appeared the Mustangs’ hopes to advance were over.

McKenzie Hart’s 3-pointer – the third of the period for the Cardinals – put Langdon in front 48-35 with 3:32 remaining in the game.

But a basket by Krista Briss and a 3-pointer from Lacey Harding brought the Mustangs to within 48-40 with 2:37 remaining.

Hart answered Harding’s trey with a put back of her own miss from underneath to regain that double digit lead with 2:16 to go in the game before the Mustangs mounted a furious comeback.

A 10-0 run, fueled by freshman Emily Berge, who scored five points during the run, brought Midkota to a 50-50 tie with 15 seconds to go and setting Langdon up for one final shot.

Midkota’s chances at the mammoth upset were sparked, in part, by Langdon’s inability to convert free throws in criticial situations. The Cardinals missed four free throws in the final 1:42 that would have sealed the win.

“We have to make those (free throws) when we have the opportunity,” Mack said.

“We played well at times and we didn’t play well at times,” Langdon coach Andy DelaBarre said. “(Midkota) is a very scrappy team and they pushed us.”

Mercedes Stein and Hart joined Mack in double figures as both scored 10 points for the Cardinals.

Shaye Ronningen led the Mustangs with 17 points, while Berge added 12 points for Midkota, which closes the season with an 11-12 record.

“We showed everyone why we deserved to be in the region tournament,” Frappier said. “We gave a good showing of ourselves and we have some good years ahead of us.”

Midkota    11     9     11     19     –     50

Langdon     7     17     13     15        –     52

Midkota (50): Shaye Ronningen 17, Emily Berge 12, Lacey Harding 7, Callie Harding 6, Krista Briss 4, Kallie Frappier 4.

Langdon (52): Breanna Mack 18, Mercedes Stein 10, McKenzie Hart 10, Julie Dinius 9, Abbey Braaten 3, Shannon Overby 2.