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Blue Jays and Lakers headed to Region 3 final | News, Sports, Jobs

Kari Gibb/MDN
Bottineau freshman Emerson Marum (4) shoots over Des Lacs-Burlington juniors Jace Crockett (23), Drew Roedocker (11) and senior Paxton Ystaas (4) in semifinal action.

The semifinal action was much warmer than the weather outside the Minot State Dome for the 2024 NDHSAA Division A, Region 3 Boys Basketball Tournament as Stanley and Des Lacs-Burlington move on to face each other in the final while South Prairie-Max will take on Bottineau in the third place matchup.

No. 1 Stanley 52, No. 4 South Prairie-Max 30

The game started slow for both the Stanley Blue Jays boys basketball team and the South Prairie-Max Royals. The initial five minutes of play had the score at 2-1 without much offense in the game. The Blue Jays woke up and began putting the ball into the hoop and held the lead for the rest of the game with a final score of 52-30 for Stanley.

“We had to focus on playing solid defense,” said Stanley head coach Kory Anderson. “We knew that our offense would catch up at some point. We just needed to focus on shutting them down and the rest would take care of itself.”

The Royals held a lead for all of 14 seconds at the start of the game. The Blue Jays held the lead for the rest of the game. There were moments that showed the athleticism of South Prairie-Max could compete with Stanley, but those moments were not enough to overcome the consistent play of the Blue Jays.

After the slow start, Stanley led 11-4 at the end of the first quarter. The flat shooting in the first five minutes of the game began to thaw for the Blue Jays and Stanley took a 25-10 lead into halftime.

At the half, both teams had shot nearly the same amount from the field and three point range, Stanley was hitting 41% from the field and 37% from three point range compared to the Royals at 9% and zero three pointers.

South Prairie-Max improved in the third quarter but still were out scored 18-11 to give the Blue Jays the 43-21 lead going into the final quarter of play.

Stanley had six players score. Senior Josh Hetzel and sophomore Bennett Larson each scored 15 points while seniors Tyler Gjellstad and Tristen Barstad each added eight points in the win. The Blue Jays were 21-51 from the field, 5-16 from three point range and 5-9 from the free throw line in the game. Stanley had 24 points in the paint for the game.

South Prairie-Max had eight players contribute. Senior Cameron Sys led with 12 points while junior Brayden Francis added seven points. The Royals were 10-46 from the field, 2-12 from three point range and 8-18 from the free throw line. South Prairie-Max had 16 points in the paint for the game.

Stanley had the slight edge in rebounding at 40-31 while the Royals had the edge in points off fast break at 10-7 and the rest of the stats were very much the same.

Stanley will face Des Lacs-Burlington in the final.

No. 2 Des Lacs-Burlington 61, No. 3 Bottineau 36

Des Lacs-Burlington Lakers used press defense and an attacking offense to beat the Bottineau Braves in Division A, Region 3 semifinal action with a score of 61-36 and will face Stanley in the final.

The semifinal action between Des Lacs-Burlington Lakers and Bottineau Braves was a shooters matchup from the jump ball. The press defense used by the Lakers gave Des Lacs-Burlington the slight edge at the end of the first quarter for a 17-13 lead and that lead extended in the second quarter to a 34-17 halftime lead.

“We like to pressure all the time,” said Des Lacs-Burlington head coach Chris Brown. “We want to bring the energy to the game through our defense.”

As much offense as the start of the game had, that is how much defense the start of the third quarter had. The Lakers outscored the Braves 7-3 to carry a 41-20 lead into the final quarter of play.

“They (Bottineau) made some good adjustments at halftime,” said Brown. “When the shots are not falling, we try to stay in attack mode.”

The Lakers had eight players score. Junior Jake Schaefer scored 13 points while seniors Braylon Fisher and Paxton Ystaas added 11 and 10 points respectively. Des Lacs-Burlington shot 26-53 from the field, 5-15 from three point range and 4-9 from the free throw line.

Bottineau had nine players score. Freshman Emerson Marum had seven points while senior Talor Chruistenson and sophomore Landon Solberg each added six points. The Braves were 12-40 from the field, 7-18 from three point range and 5-8 from the free throw line.

The Lakers had the edge in rebounding at 37-22 and steals at 6-2 but the largest statistical advantage was in fast break points at 21-0 for Des Lacs-Burlington.

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