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December 28, 2011     Sidney Herald
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SPORTS ,, IHI Culbertson boys snap Savage win streak BY STEVE HAMB. SIDNEY HERALD After trailing most of the first three quarters, Culb- ertson rallied in the fourth with an aggressive offensive strategy and tough interior defense to snatch a 50-42 win away from the previously undefeated Savage Warriors Tuesday "The second half we at- tacked the basket," Culb- ertson head coach Cody Steppler said. "We attacked the basket instead of taking outside shots, and we were successful in getting in the double-bonus at the end there, and that kind of saved us with the free throws." Savage led 38-37 with un- der four minutes remaining in the game when Culbert- son's Justin Larsen knocked down a short pull-up jump shot to put the Cowboys ahead 39-38. Kyle Nielsen ex- tended the Culbertson lead with a free throw before Wyatt Hagler made a lay-up to pull Savage within one. A Culbertson turnover created an opportunity for the Warriors to re-take the lead, but Chris Reynolds missed a mid-range jumper and Hagler failed to convert a put-back after an offensive rebound. On the Cowboys' next pos- session, Nielsen drove the lane hard and drew a foul from Reynolds, who fouled out. Nielsen calmly convert- ed both of his free throw attempts to give Culbertson a three-point lead. Let attempted to muscle his way inside the follow- ing Savage possession, but he turned the ball over after drawing hard contact from Culbertson's Nathan Hackley and was called for a loose ball foul and a technical with 45 seconds remaining. From that point on, Savage was forced to foul to extend the game, and Culbertson iced it at the free throw line, knocking down seven of 13 attempts to win 50-42. Savage head coach Bart Haflich said poor offensive execution down the stretch cost the Warriors, as their offense deserted them after a solid first half. "We didn't shoot the ball well down the stretch, and we didn't get to the rim down the stretch either," Haflich said. "We settled for jumpers instead of getting to the rim. "We ran some good sets in the third quarter, then we got down by one point and just freaked out." Savage shot well from the perimeter early in the game. Zach Tunnell-Wilson paced the Warriors in the first half by knocking down three three-pointers. Shad Stanford made two three- pointers and Reynolds converted once from long- range, helping Savage take a STEVE HAMEL I SIDNEY HERALD Culbertson's Ben Bighorn drives the lane against Savage's Shad Stanford Tuesday. 26-22 lead at the break, ing Steppler to pull his big for the guards to penetrate. Defensively Braden Ler men out of the low post to "We wanted to get Let out altered several Culbertson drag Ler out of the lane of there, so if he was going shots in the first half, forc- and open up space inside to block shots, he'd have to come from the weak side," Steppler said. Haflich chose not to coun- ter Culbertson's tactics with a zone defense, because he said he had to respect the Cowboys' outside shooting ability "If we go to a zone, they'll just start casting three balls on us," he said. "Against a team like that, they shoot the ball too well. That's what they want us to do is go to a zone." Regardless of the defen- sive tactics, it was Savage's lack of offense that cost it the game, Hafiich said. "The last five minutes of the fourth quarter, we just started playing rat balL" he said. "We went away from what we had been doing the whole game, what got us the lead." Justin Larsen and Ben Bighorn led the Cowboys with 14 points apiece. Other scorers were Nielsen with 10, Drew Larsen with seven, Hackley and Lane Sherman with two apiece and James Jasper with one. Ler led the Warriors with 12 points. Other scorers were Tunnell-Wilson with 11, Reynolds with nine, Stanford with six and Ha- gler with four. Savage (4-1) does not play again until Jan. 6, when it will travel to Circle. Culbert- son (5-2) plays at Circle on Jan. 7. sports@sidneyherald.com Sidney girls notch first win Cowgirls hand Savage first loss BY Bill VANDER WEELE SIDNEY HERALD A strong night on the offensive boards helped Sidney's gifts basketball squad come away with a 44- 36 home victory over Wolf Point Tuesday The Eagles held a slim 17- 15 advantage in the second quarter until a basket off a rebound by Morgan Thiel, a three-pointer by Lexi Prevost and a hoop off a rebound by Krista Stein- beisser produced a 24-15 margin. Baskets by Thiel and freshman Kortney Mayer in the final 1:09 of the half led the Eagles to a 28-18 lead at intermission. The scoring of Prevost and Elise Torgerson kept Sidney ahead by at least eight points throughout the third quarter. Wolf Point's Amanda Sansaver hit a three-pointer late in the period to pull the Wolves to 35-27. Wolf Point kept chipping away in the fourth quarter and closed the gap to 35-32 on a pair of free throws by Taylor Carey with 4:02 remaining. Drives by Prevost and Mayer increased the margin to 39-34 with 1:53 left. The Eagles pulled away down the stretch on free tosses by Prevost and Steinbeisser. Sidney's top scorers were Prevost with 16, Torgerson BILL VANDER WEELE I SIDNEY HERALD Morgan Thiel looks to take a shot Tuesday against Wolf Point. with nine and Thiel with nine. Steinbeisser added six while Mayer scored four. Leading the Wolves were Sansaver with nine and Emma Gourneau with seven. The Eagles, on the strength of the scoring of Thiel and Torgerson. led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter and by a 15-10 margin at the end of the period. Sidney boys stumble in Wolf Point After opening the season 3-0, the Sidney boys basketball team hit its first road block Tuesday in Wolf Point, as the Eagles lost 50- 46 to the defending Class B state champion Wolf Point Wolves. Sidney trailed 15-9 at the end of the first quarter and 28-20 at half time. The Eagles fared better after the intermission, outscor- ing the Wolves 26-22 in the second half, but that effort was not enough to overcome their eight-point first half deficit. Ryan Sullivan led the Eagles with 17 points on six two-point field goals, one three-pointer and two free throws. Other scorers for the Eagles were Josh Torger- son with eight points, Marcus Mayer with seven. Brad Anvik and Brett Montgomery with six points apiece and Alex Irigoin with two points. Wolf Point received balanced scoring, as four players scored at least nine points. Trevor Toavs led the Wolves with 14 points. Patrick Laney scored 10 and Taylor Hanks and Matthew Weeks each scored nine. The Eagles return to the court Jan. 6 at Plentywood. Lady Rangers defeat Dickinson HS The 19U Lady Rangers hockey team defeated Dick- inson (N.D.) High School 5-1 Tuesday The Rangers held a 33-12 edge in shots and a big ad- vantage in puck possession. "Time of possession was the key to the win, allowing Dickinson very little oppor- tunity to get anything go- ing," Rangers coach Damon McLaughlin said. Jordan Tyler scored an unassisted goal to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first period. Neither team scored in the second period, but the Rangers added a goal early in the third when Maci Hoist scored off a pass from Bryanna Christensen. Tyler followed with her second goal, assisted by Malorie Cvancara, then Hoist added another goal off an assist from Ashley Bjork. Erin Harris scored the final goal for the Rangers in the 5-1 win. The Lady Rangers play at Watford City Saturday BY S11E'VE ~L SIDNEY HERALD Neither Culbertson nor Savage appeared sharp Tuesday night, but the Cowgirls shot well enough from the field to overcome their mistakes and earna 55-41 win over previously unbeaten Savage (4-1). "We didn't come out with as much intensity as I'd like us to, and offensively we got a little bit stale," Culbertson head coach Ashley Sullivan said. "I thought they played hard, but I think we need to put together a complete game." Culbertson (6-1) took advantage of poor Savage shooting to open the game with an 11-0 run, despite turning the ball over six times during that span. "Culbertson tried to give us that game, and we just didn't take advantage." Savage head coach Staci Lange-Rice said. "We just didn't come out fired up and ready to go." Savage finally began to show some life late in the first quarter, when Bridget Rice banked a shot off the glass inside, but Culbert- son answered with good ball movement, eventually working it to an open Allie Crowder on the weak side for an easy lay-up. Hanna Jepsen knocked down one of two free throw attempts and Brittany Smith added a field goal seconds before the buzzer to cut the deficit to 13-5. Rice knocked down a three-pointer early in the second quarter to pull Sav- age within five points of the Cowgirls. But Culbertson pulled away with a 9-1 run, with Bailey Nickoloff con- tributing six points. Culbertson's offense stayed hot late in the second quarter, as the Cowgirls scored three field goals, two by Chelbi Brugh and one STEVE HAME[ SIDNEY HERALD Culbertson's Caitlin Hofman hoists a shot amid a sea of Savage defenders Tuesday. by Nickoloff. in less than a minute to end the half lead- ing 29-15. Rice and Shanae Prevost knocked down three-point- ers in the opening minutes of the third quarter, but Culbertson remained in control of the game. Brugh scored a fast-break lay-up after a steal, then the Cow- girls worked the ball inside to Nickoloff. Tori Kirkaldie and Caitlin Hofman, who each scored to put Culbert- son ahead 42-25 at the end of the period. The Warriors played their best basketball in the fourth quarter, outscoring Culbertson 16-13 in the final frame, but it was not enough to overcome their deficit as the Cowgirls earned a 55-41 victory "Our shots just didn't fall," Lange-Rice said. "De- fensively we were OK. It was more rebounding, where we'd stand and watch, or if there was a loose ball we stood and watched. Those things can't happen." Sullivan was relieved to earn the win, but she thought her team played better in its previous game against Fairview, despite losing that game 52-44 "Against Fairview we came out sharp, and we knew that we had a big test on our hands." she said. "I think Savage should've been the same kind of intensity We didn't come out with the same kind of focus we did against Fairview." Bailey Nickoloff and Brugh led the Culbertson offense with 16 and 15 points respectively Other scor- ers for the Cowgirls were Shelby Weeks with seven. Crowder and Kirkaldie with six apiece. Hofman and Erica Nickoloff with two apiece and Kate Reid with one. Rice led the Warriors with a game-high 20 points, in- cluding four three-pointers. Other scorers for Savage were Jepsen and Smith with five points apiece. Shelby Stanford and Desiree Martell with four each and Prevost with three. Both the Cowgirls and Warriors will take an ex- tended break for Christmas. Culbertson's next game is Jan. 7 at Circle. Savage returns to the court Jan. 6 with a road game against Circle. Fusion boys win, girs lose against Circle The R&L Fusion had mixed results against Circle Tuesday as the boys secured a 50-43 victory while the girls lost 50-16. The R&L boys led 20-18 at the half, before pulling away in a fourth quarter in which they outscored Circle 17-12. Cameron Johnson led the Fusion with a game-high 23 points. Christian Prevost and Chaftie Switzer also tal- lied double-digit points with 11 and 10 respectively Other scorers for the Fusion were Jared Rosaaen with four and tars Kvaalen with two. With the win, the Fusion boys improved to 2-3 on the season. The R&L girls struggled offensively, scoring just 16 points in their loss to Circle. The Fusion scored two points the entire first half before scoring 14 after the break. Freshman Maria Zimdars led R&L with eight points. Alexis Johnson scored six points and Sarah Jensen scored two. With the loss, the Fusion gifts dropped to 1-4 on the season. The R&L boys and girls return to the court Jan. 6 at Bainville.