Lady Royals dropped in overtime by Buccaneers 92-81

Chris Harris, DLJ Sports
Lake Region State College’s Averi Ziegler (30), freshman from Devils Lake, takes a shot against Dawson Community College during the second half a NJCAA women’s basketball game Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020 in Devils Lake.

Playing its first game without sophomore center Jadyn Pollert, Lake Region State College wasn’t able to do the little things — or stop Dawson Community College’s center Ashya Klopfenstein — to carry them to a win despite forcing the game into overtime.

Klopfenstein scored 34 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and had the go-ahead basket in overtime as the Buccaneers beat the Royals 92-81 Sunday, Feb. 9.

“The key in this was that we gave up three offensive rebounds off of free throws and they scored on all of them,” said Royals head coach Danny Mertens about possessions in the second half that kept the Buccaneers close enough to eventually get them over the top. Jadyn use to get those.”

Pollert, who was averaging 11 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, suffered a knee injury against Miles Community College last Wednesday. She is sidelined for the remainder of the season.

“It’s a hangover and I told them in the locker room that we have to get over that. Jadyn isn’t going to be back so someone else is gotta find it, or we all gotta find it. Those little things that Jadyn did cost us tonight,” Mertens said.

One of those possessions where the Buccaneers turned a missed free throw into points came with 7:21 left in the fourth quarter. After Klopfenstein missed the back end of the bonus, she was able to come up with the rebound and found Haley Olson for the 3-pointer. The sequence turned the game from a four-point Royals advantage to a one point game. Consecutive baskets by Ervianne Cly and Ashley Orozco gave the Buccaneers the 70-67 lead with 5:03 left in regulation.

Trailing by three, Telesia Manumaleuga’s field goal with a 1:38 left got the Royals to within one. Dawson’s Tamiya Francis was fouled and went to the free-throw line with a chance to put the Buccaneers up three with 32.9 remaining. However, Francis made 1 of 2, and on the ensuing possession, Jordyn Worley slipped in behind the defense on the weak side, Manumaleuga found her under the basket and made the game-tying layup to send the game to overtime.

A Kayla Bryne 3 with 3:13 left in the overtime tied the game at 78 but Klopfenstein scored on the ensuing possession and the Buccaneers never trailed or tie the rest of the way, outscoring the Royals 19-8 in the extra five.

Manumaleuga finished with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists and Bryne scored 18 points to lead the Royals who has lost two straight. They fell to 16-11 overall and 6-4 in the Mon-Dak.

Averi Ziegler (Devils Lake) had 13 rebounds and Worley had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Orozco scored 18 points and had 11 assists for Dawson Community College (13-14, 5-5).

Box score can be found here.

Chris Harris can be reached at