Lady Tigers rally to win District 11A title
Mobridge-Pollock trailed Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 50-47 with less than one minute left to play. Kady Pinney got the Lady Tigers back to within one point, scoring off an offensive rebound with 37 seconds left. After the Lady Tigers forced a Braves’ turnovers, Pinney drove to the hoop again and was fouled with 19.5 seconds left. Pinney missed both free throws, but Heil found room between two Braves to corral the offensive rebound. Nine seconds later, Heil was fouled by Kaleb Shepherd of Cheyenne-Eagle Butte. Heil snapped the twine on both shots to put the Lady Tigers ahead 51-50.
The game was still not decided when Brave Chloe Gunville was fouled with 6.2 seconds left. Cass Ulmer grabbed the rebound before it was knocked out of bounds. Heil was fouled again on the inbounds play. She sank two more charity shots to put the final points on the board.
“We knew we would need our experience and conditioning to pull it off,” said Konold.
The game did not start like the Lady Tigers would have liked. Calby Pearman went off for 11 points as the Braves jumped out to a 15-12 lead in the first quarter. A 5-2 run to start the second quarter gave the Braves a 20-14 lead. The Lady Tigers clawed their way back to 24-22, only to have Gunville drill a three-pointer that snapped the net as the second-quarter clocked expired.
Mobridge-Pollock started the second half with an 11-4 run to take a 33-31 lead and led 38-37 after three quarters.
The Braves opened the final quarter with an 8-3 run to retake the lead and set up the dramatic finish.
Konold said her Lady Tigers simply came out and played an excellent second half of basketball.
“We did a good job of getting in their heads. We tired them out physically and mentally,” said Konold. “In the first half I was unhappy with us not getting any transition points. We stressed that at halftime and did a good job in the second half.”
Konold also said that this was a true team win, exemplified by some telling contributions from eight players.
• Heil had the key offensive rebound and hit the game-winning shots, while scoring nine points and grabbing five rebounds.
• Cass Ulmer led the Lady Tigers with 15 points and nine rebounds. Her ninth rebound clinched the game.
• Kylee Kettering hit four straight free throws down the stretch, while scoring 12 points and playing tough defense on Gunville.
• Michelle McClellan ran the Lady Tiger offense. With McClellan running the points and being hounded by Pearman, Gunville and Cindy Farlee, the Lady Tigers committed just 12 turnovers.
• Keshia Milliken was four-for-four from the field in her first career start and hit a driving basket to pull the Lady Tigers to within one point with 2:28 to go.
• Kady Pinney provided a huge offensive spark with four points in the last two minutes, and shut Pearman down after the Braves’ guard had scored 11 points in the first quarter.
• Lauren Brekke stepped to the line and sank two straight free throws to draw the Lady Tigers to within 24-22 late in the second quarter.
• Aundrea Kramer used her turn in the rotation to play staunch defense against the taller Cheyenne-Eagle Butte players.
“A lot of little things changed the game,” said Konold.
Pearman led the Braves with a game-high 16 points, but scored just five after the first quarter. Gunville finished with 14 points. Marquel Shepherd added seven points and four rebounds.
The Lady Tigers will take on Miller in the Region 6A championship game in Gettysburg on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Rustlers are 19-2 and have won 12 straight games. Miller beat Mobridge-Pollock 54-47 in early January.
“I’m excited about our chances,” said Konold. “We missed free throws and had a lot of turnovers in that game (10-22 free throws, 25 turnovers). We’re a lot better team than that now.”
Mobridge-Pollock (15-7) 12 22 38 53
Cheyenne-Eagle Butte (13-8) 15 27 37 50
Mobridge-Pollock: Michelle McClellan 0 0-0 0, Keshia Milliken 4 0-0 8, Cass Ulmer 5 5-7 15, Katie Heil 2 5-6 9, Kylee Kettering 3 5-6 12, Kady Pinney 2 3-7 7, Lauren Brekke 0 2-2 2, Totals 16 20-28 53.
Cheyenne-Eagle Butte: Cindy Farlee 1 4-4 5, Calby Pearman 4 7-8 16, Nelly Dupris 0 0-0 0, Chloe Gunville 5 3-5 14, Jessica Buffalo 0 0-0 0, Kaleb Shepherd 1 3-4 5, Kassidy Pesicka 1 0-0 2, Marquel Shepherd 3 1-2 7, Totals 15 18-23 50.
3-point field goals: Mobridge-Pollock 1 (Kettering); Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 2 (Pearman, Gunville). Rebounds: Mobridge-Pollock 18 (Ulmer 8, Heil 5); Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 18 (Farlee 4, M. Shepherd 4). Assists: Mobridge-Pollock 11 (Ulmer 3, Heil 3). Steals: Mobridge-Pollock 11. Total fouls: Mobridge-Pollock 17 (Pinney out); Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 23. Turnovers: Mobridge-Pollock 12; Cheyenne-Eagle Butte 15.