Firebirds win consecutive Lake Region Invitational

Chris Harris, DLJ Sports
Devils Lake's Rachel Dahlen takes a shot over Four Winds/Minnewaukan's Ezura Rainbow during the first half of a NDHSAA girls basketball game Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 in Devils Lake.

The roads that the two teams that competed in the Lake Region girls basketball Invitational championship game Saturday, Dec. 7 were as different as paved to cobblestones.

For the 10th ranked Class B Four Winds/Minnewaukan, the first two games were victories by a combined 67 points. For Devils Lake’s junior varsity team, its two wins were by 19 and five respectively. But for the second year in a row, the path to the title went through the Firebirds.

Juniors Karli Krogfoss and Jenna Frelich and sophomore Rachel Dahlen combined to score 42 points to lift the Firebirds JVs to the 56-54 win over the Indians to conclude the three-day tournament with their second consecutive championship.

Krogfoss, Frelich and Dahlen all finished the game with 14 points each, with both Krogfoss and Dahlen using their height advantage to tip the scales. Dahlen scored eight of her points in the second half, after Krogfoss’ scored eight across the first 16 minutes. The Firebirds ran out an early lead but the Indians rallied to tie the game after one quarter.

Four consecutive free throws by Krogfoss and Frelich pushed the Firebirds (3-0) advantage to seven, 20-13, with 5 minutes, 13 seconds remaining in the half but ahead by four, back to back baskets by Four Winds/Minnewaukan’s Riah Littleghost and Latasha Bellile tied the game again at 25 before a Dahlen buzzer beating layup gave the Firebirds the two point advantage into the locker room.

The Indians trailed by two despite shooting 10-for-27 from the field and having just five free throw attempts in the first half.

“For three quarters, we didn’t come out ready,” said Indians head coach Sean Gourd, Sr. The Indians were held to just five points in the third quarter and trailed by 18.

“It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when we started rolling, when we got after it finally.”

Down 17 with 6:11 left in regulation, the Indians (2-1) closed the game on a fruitless 19-4 run.

Myona Dauphinais scored 10 of her game high 18 points in the second half and Bellile, who was named tournament MVP, finished with 16 points. Ezura Rainbow scored 13 points for the Indians.

No. 10 Four Winds/Minnewaukan vs Devils Lake box score

Four Winds/Minnewaukan 13 12 5 24 — 54

Devils Lake JV 13 14 21 8 — 56

Four Winds/Minnewaukan (2-1)

Dauphinais 18, Bellile 16, Rainbow 13, Yankton 3, R. Littleghost 4, Alberts 0, Morin 0, N. Littleghost 0. Totals 18 14-19 54.

Devils Lake JV (3-0)

Swenson 8, Ja. Frelich 4, Je. Frelich 14, Dahlen 14, Krogfoss 14, Nelson 2, Tjelta 0, Fee 0. Totals 20 10-17 56. 

All-Tournament Team

Danielle Hagler, North Star

Dauphinais, Four Winds/Minnewaukan

Josie Brodina, Park River/Fordville-Lankin

Rozalind Strong, Dunseith

Dahlen, Devils Lake JV

Rainbow, Four Winds/Minnewaukan

Quinn Neppl, Benson County

Carly Lippert, Dakota Prairie

Avery Swenson, Devils Lake JV

MVP: Bellile, Four Winds/Minnewaukan