Lady Royals slug past Northland 74-50

Ray Maloney, Sports
Northland’s Jodi Berdahl (12) tries to dribble past Lake Region State College’s Shelby Krueger (4) during Wednesday’s game at the Devils Lake Sports Center. Berdahl is a former Lady Royal and finished with a team-high 10 points for the Pioneers, but Krueger and the Lady Royals won the game 74-50.

Balanced scoring is always a plus in basketball.

It’s a good thing Lake Region State College had that in its game Wednesday against Northland Community and Technical College. There were few other highlights in an otherwise lackluster game.

“A win is a win,” said LRSC coach Duane Schwab after watching his team notch a 74-50 win over the Pioneers at the Devils Lake Sports Center.

Jenna Gillett led three Lady Royals in double figures and two other were close behind as LRSC improved its record to 16-5 on the year with the non-conference triumph.

“We beat (NCTC) pretty handedly earlier this season and I think that sort of carried over,” said Schwab in looking back to his team’s 81-50 win earlier this month between the two teams in Thief River Falls.

Although Lake Region never trailed in the game, the Lady Royals were never able to put the Pioneers away throughout the first half.

Leonie De Jonge opened things up with a traditional 3-point play just 41 seconds into the game to put LRSC in front 3-0. The Lady Royals extended that advantage to six points moments later when Gillett added a free throw after being fouled on her successful field goal to put LRSC in front 8-2.

Haley Luond matched that advantage with a field goal at 16:33 that put the Lady Royals in front 10-4.

That was when the Lady Royals began to slowly increase their lead over the visiting Pioneers.

Katie Ralston began an 8-2 spurt by the Lady Royals that culminated in an 18-9 lead with 13:28 remaining in the first half.

Despite shooting 67 percent (16-24) from the floor in the first half, LRSC managed to build just a 41-24 lead at halftime over the Pioneers who connected on just 10 of 29 (.345) shots from the floor in the first 20 minutes of play.

The game was virtually sealed in the first few moments of the second half as the Lady Royals used a 6-0 burst to push their lead to 23 points.

Freshman Shelby Krueger delivered a picture-perfect pass inside to Gillett for an easy basket in the first minute of the half. Bobbi Grann followed 25 seconds later with a pass down low to Gillett as she streaked to the basket for her second field goal in as many tries in the half.

Grann ended the spurt by stealing the ball near midcourt and driving for a layup. That put the Lady Royals in front 47-24 with 17:53 left to go in the game.

Gillett finished the contest with a game-high 17 points, De Jonge added 15 points. Lexi Erickson joined them in double figures by scoring 10 points for the Lady Royals.

Krueger and Ralston added nine and seven points, respectively.

The game was a homecoming of sorts for Red Lake Falls (Minn.) native Jodi Berdahl. A former Lady Royal a year ago, Berdahl led the Pioneers with 10 points against her former team.

“We knew (Berdahl) was a good player,” Schwab said, “and she did some really nice things for (NCTC).”

Lake Region takes to the road for its next two games in Bismarck. The Lady Royals play at United Tribes on Sunday and play at Bismarck State the following day.

NCTC?(50): Hailey Peterson 2-4 0-0 5, Jodi Berdahl 3-7 3-4 10, Cassie Gunderson 4-10 0-0 8, Asya Nelson 1-2 0-0 2, Lacey Stennes 1-5 0-3 2, Eley Berg 2-4 0-3 4, Jessica Fontes 3-9 2-2 8, Brittany Wiseth 2-4 2-2 7, Beth Tvedt 1-4 1-2 4. Totals: 19-49 8-18 50.

LRSC (74): Katie Ralston 3-4 1-3 7, Shelby Krueger 4-6 0-0 9, Lianne Miller 1-3 0-0 2, Mariah Smith 2-5 0-0 4, Lexi Erickson 4-9 2-2 10, Bobbi Grann 2-4 0-0 4, Leonie De Jonge 4-5 5-5 15, Jenna Gillett 8-15 1-1 17, Haley Luond 3-4 0-0 6. Totals: 31-59 9-11 74.

3-pointers: NCTC 4 (Peterson 1-1, Wiseth 1-1, Tvedt 1-1, Berdahl 1-4), LRSC 3 (De Jonge 2-2, Krueger 1-2). Rebounds: NCTC 31 (Wiseth 6), LRSC 34 (Gillett 6). Fouls: NCTC 11, LRSC 16. Fouled out: none. Assists: NCTC 10 (Berdahl 3), LRSC 20 (Krueger 7). Steals: NCTC 7 (Wiseth 2), LRSC 15 (Grann 4). Blocked shots: NCTC 1, LRSC 5 (Gillett 2).

Halftime: Lake Region 41-24