North Star, Langdon-Munich to meet in Region 4 championship game
By Sam Herder
Journal Sports Editor
Cardinals stuff Comets in second half
When having a big lead at halftime, a typical locker room speech from the head coach consists of saying to not let up and finish the game strong. Sometimes it works. And sometimes a team lifts the foot off the gas.
In second-seeded Langdon-Munich’s case, the Cardinals kicked it into overdrive in their 58-23 win against fourth-seeded Rolette-Wolford in the Region 4 semifinals.
With a 37-19 lead at halftime, the Cardinals allowed just four points in the second half.
The first two came with 27 seconds left in the third quarter. The other two came midway through the fourth quarter.
“We challenged them at half and offense was going to be what it was, but we wanted to continue playing defense,” Cardinals head coach Ethen Askvig said. “You challenge the girls and they stepped up and so we’re happy about that.
While the defense was getting the job done, Langdon-Munich’s offense saw another balanced effort. Madison Hart led the Cardinals with 16 points. Jordyn Worley scored 15 and Krystal Ratzlaff contributed eight points.
Six other players had at least two points.
“People look at Jordyn and Madi as our two, but Krystal has been huge inside,” Askvig said. “Anybody that we bring off the bench is a threat. That’s a benefit we have. When we put girls on the floor, its five girls who are willing and able to shoot the ball and knock some down.”
The Cardinals now have a shot at state. But they’ll have to go through North Star, the No. 2 ranked team in the state.
It’ll be a rematch of the District 8 title game, where North Star won 63-52.
“You come into a region semifinal game, you just have to get to the next one,” Askvig said. “The girls played great defense and that led to everything else. We accomplished that goal to get to Thursday night and get a shot at the state tournament.
Tipoff is around 7:30 p.m., or 20 minutes after the 6 p.m. game, Thursday in the Devils Lake Sports Center.
No. 2 North Star too much for Wildcats
The North Star Bearcats have gotten a lot of love this season in the Class B girls basketball state polls. They were ranked No. 2 in the last poll. Now, North Star is one game away from playing at the state level, but have rival Langdon-Munich standing in the way.
In Tuesday’s Region 4 semifinal game, the Bearcats used all four quarters to slowly pull away from Benson County in a 64-33 win.
“We knew Benson County would give us a hard-fought match,” North Star head coach Jill Vote said. “I thought our girls gutted through some times where maybe we had some turnovers and the physicality of play. I thought they came ready and focused, so we’re happy with the effort.”
A steady dose of Macey Kvilvang in the paint and Stephanie Miller on the outside proved tough to stop for the Wildcats. Miller had a game-high 22 points while Kvilvang added 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
Dani Schwanke scored 10 points for Benson County and Erin Jorgenson added eight, but North Star’s defense proved tough to find open shots.
“One thing we really utilize is our speed out there,” Vote said. “We feel we’re fast at all five positions. We focus on that, moving our feet, and that helps us game in and game out.”
North Star and Langdon-Munich met in the District 8 championship game, with the Bearcats winning 63-52.
The two teams played once in the regular season with another North Star win, 73-53.
“It’s a huge rivalry game,” Vote said. “We’re excited to play them. What happened in the past doesn’t matter. We know it will be a hard-fought game. We’re going to come in focused and be prepared and work hard to try and get things to go our way.”
Tipoff will come around 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Devils Lake.