After a productive first quarter, the Lady Tiger offense struggled in Ellendale, N.D. Timely points late lifted Mobridge-Pollock to a 31-28 win over Ellendale on Saturday.
After starting the game by outscoring Ellendale 14-9 in the first quarter, the Lady Tigers managed just seven points in the second quarter, five in the third and six in the fourth, but it turned out to be enough.
The Lady Tigers led 25-20 entering the fourth quarter, but Ellendale scored the quarter’s first five points to tie the game. Megan Zahn hit two free throws to give the Lady Tigers a 27-25 lead with 3:01 to play, but back came Ellendale. Morgan Barton tied the game with a basket before Abigail Molen gave the Lady Cardinals their first lead at 28-27 with 2:30 left. The Tigers retook the lead one minute later when TyRel Thompson swished a baseline jumper to make it 29-28 in favor of the Lady Tigers with 1:30 left on the clock. The Lady Tigers forced two Ellendale turnovers down the stretch, leading to Maya Nobles getting fouled with 12 seconds left. Nobles sank both charity shots to give the Lady Tigers a three-point lead. A desperation three-pointer by Ellendale was off the mark and the Lady Tigers ran their road regular season winning streak to four games, dating back to last year.
“TyRel’s shot on the baseline late in the game was huge,” said coach Lindsey Bachman. “Then a freshman comes in and hits two monster free throws to put us up by three. That was clutch.”
It looked early on like the Lady Tigers were going to put some points on the board. Hannah Stroeder scored six points leading to the Lady Tigers opening a 14-9 lead in the first quarter. Thompson hit a three and Zahn a two as the Lady Tiger lead quickly grew to 19-9 early in the second quarter. But then Landyn Henderson went to the bench with foul trouble and the offense dried up. They did not score again until Thompson hit a shot late in the second quarter. Hayley Borah made two straight shots to start the second half, but when Henderson picked up her fourth foul, the Lady Tigers went eight minutes without scoring.
“Scoring was difficult for us in the second half,” said Bachman. “We had some good looks under the basket. We just didn’t make them. Having Landyn in foul trouble didn’t help, but we finished strong.”
With the offense struggling, the defense took the forefront, creating 25 Ellendale turnovers and holding the Lady Cardinals to 11 field goals, which included no three-pointers.
“I thought our defensive effort and hustle were good,” said Bachman. “We are hustling and working very hard and that makes me happy.”
On the road
The Lady Tigers start the new year with the middle two games of a four-game road trip. The Lady Tigers travel to Miller on Thursday and Fort Yates, N.D., to play Standing Rock on Monday.
The Lady Tigers tip-off the first game of the double header in Miller on Thursday with the game starting around 6:30 p.m. The Lady Tigers and Rustlers are playing for the 48th time since the series began during the 1977 season. The Rustlers hold a 28-19 edge in the series. They have won the last two, including a 42-20 win in Mobridge last season. The Rustlers are 2-1 on the season.
Junior varsity action starts at 6:30 p.m. on Monday in Fort Yates. The Lady Tigers and Warriors are set to tip-off at 8 p.m. In a series that started in 1986, the Lady Tigers and Warriors are meeting on the court for the 30th time. The Lady Tigers are 17-12 all time against the Warriors, but the Warriors won a 43-24 game in Mobridge last year. The visiting team has won the last four games. The Warriors are 2-5 so far this season.
Mobridge-Pollock (3-5) 14 21 25 31
Ellendale (4-6) 9 15 20 28
Mobridge-Pollock: Landyn Henderson 0 2-2 2, Hayley Borah 2 0-0 4, TyRel Thompson 4 0-2 9, Hannah Stroeder 3 0-0 6, Megan Zahn 2 2-2 6, Jadin Monsen 1 0-0 2, Maya Nobles 0 2-2 2, Totals 12 6-8 31.
Ellendale: Morgan Barton 3 0-0 6, Taylor Krege 0 0-2 0, Sydnie Hustoft 0 0-0 0, Abigail Molan 4 1-2 9, Katelyn Dathe 4 4-7 12, Abigail Peterson 0 1-2 1, Totals 11 6-13 28.
3-point field goals: Mobridge-Pollock 1 (Thompson); Ellendale 0. Rebounds: Mobridge-Pollock 26; Ellendale 28. Fouls: Mobridge-Pollock 12 (Henderson out); Ellendale 12. Turnovers: Mobridge-Pollock 15; Ellendale 25.