Corey's Corner 11/9

Posted 11/09/16 (Wed)

                The funny thing about sports is that we don’t know who’s going to win. Sure you have your favorites, but the underdog always has a fighter’s chance. And as the games get more meaningful, the “upsets” become all the more meaningful. And we had a few huge upsets this past week on the BEK Broadcasting Network.

                First we went to the playoff gridiron, where an upset means do-or-die for the whole season. The Minot Magicians were the top seed in the WDA and they played host to the #3 seed out of the West Bismarck. By standings and polls, the Magi were the favorite. But Bismarck had beaten Minot earler in the year, and seemed to do well whenever they played the squad from the Magic City. And from the start in this one, you would think Bismarck was the higher seed. After each team exchanged punts, Bismarck superstar running back Lucas Butts took in a 76-yd TD on the second play of the Demons’ second drive. Next time out, he’d have a 59 yard score. The unstoppable running back was a theme, as Minot would get a 69 yard score from Manuel Bradford after a whole host of penalties made it seem like they would go scoreless on the drive. Minot also cashed in a couple drives sooner on third and forever where they found Peyton Lamouruex wide open down the middle and he took it all the way home from 68 yards out. However, right at the end of the half Bismarck would change the whole tenor of the ballgame. After essentially just saying lets to go halftime, the Demons got one last shot at the endzone. And sophomore QB Will Madler heaved it up to Tanner Davis, who came down with the touchdown as time expired. A groan from the fans in the Magic City, and the Demons controlled at the break. And that was only the beginning of the Demons’ brand of magic.

                On the third drive of the second half, the Demons should’ve had to punt. Will Madler was basically sacked, but somehow he got away. He fired a bullet to the far side of the field, and it was deflected at the line. It should’ve been incomplete. Instead the contact at the line of scrimmage knocked it straight over the defense, into the waiting arms of the Demons. Absolute craziness. The curse that Minot feels every time they play Bismarck was strong in this one. Still, Minot made things interesting. Lamoureux continued to be great for the Magi, and he set up a 20 yard Eli Wickum score. Magi trailed by five, but couldn’t recover the onside kick. If they had, they might’ve had a chance for one of the biggest comebacks we’ve ever seen (something the Kindred Vikings would pull off the next day.) But Will Madler was excellent for BHS. A few QB “sneaks” that were acutally double digit gains, and a beautiful back shoulder throw on the penultimate scoring drive for the Demons. They’ve got themselves something, and the finished off the W. They’re going to Fargo to take on the reigning champs: the Century Patriots.

                Then the run of upsets came to an end. The St. Mary’s Saints have been favored in every game they’ve played this year, and they showed whey vs. the Burros of Hillsboro-Central Valley. Kurt Dickhut was an unstoppable force at running back for the team from Bismarck, getting over the century mark in the first half. Their first score came through the air though, as John Nordberg ran to the corner of the endzone and came down with the football from QB Cole Gendreau. Then Dickhut would get in on the next drive. St. Mary’s grinding offense took a ton of time off the clock, but HCV finished the half strong defensively. Unfortunately for them, the Saints defense was playing lights out football from the word go. It certainly didn’t help that starting QB Austin Reed was out with a thumb injury, but Ryan Troftbruben filled in admirably. Kyle Henningsgard was crazy explosive, with nearly 100 yards on three plays. But the Saints held strong in the short yardage game. In the second half, Dickhut would pick up two more scores just like the first; SM came out of the gates firing. Troftgruben and company did put up a score at the end, but Saint Mary’s is going to Fargo as well, taking on the aforementioned Kindred Vikings.

                That was the last high school football game for us here at the BEK Broadcasting Network, so we shift the scene back over to the volleyball court; this time in Ellendale. Region 3 is the most competitive region of Class B Volleyball, but there can only be one state tournament team out of South Central (ish) North Dakota. We opened the tournament with the South Border Mustangs taking on the Bison of Barnes County North. BCN was the surprise team of the District tourney, coming in as a seven seed and sweeping the Ellendale Cardinals (much to the displeasure of the hometown Regional fans) and the Rebels of Edgeley-Kulm. But they simply ran into the buzz saw that is the South Border attack. Morgan Schnbel and Amy Jacobson are two of the most gifted hitters in the state. And BCN had no answer. They have some very talented young players including Ashley McFadgen (8th grade) and Clara Wiland. Kennedy Thompson and Ashley Samek were also very good as juniors. But the senior core of the big two also featuring Elisabeth Dalke and Kayla Rohr combined for a dominant showing. 25-17, 25-19 went the first two sets. Then senior Hannah Wilson really got going for the Bison, and they overall started to settle down. For a team without a ton of regional experience, it’s very difficult to come in and compete with a team that could win the whole thing. They challenged the Mustangs, but South Border won it in three with a final of 25-23.Amy continued her nearly perfect offensive pacing, and that’s going to be tough to stop.

                The favorite took home the W in our third game as well. The LaMoure Loboes are the reigning state champs, and they looked the part vs. the Linton-HMB Lions. Linton-HMB always comes out firing, and they did a great job again in the first set. Heidi Jacob and Jenna Bernhardt picked up the offense, and coach Richter’s team once again provides the challenge. But Anna Holen and company were simply too good. An ace to go along with a pair of kills. Kindra Hamlin generated a pair of kill as well, and Kallene Klever provided some invaluable defense to go along with a pair of aces. Then in the second and third Anna Holen would take it to the next level. Nearly double digit points in the second and third set from the junior outside hitter put the LaMoure offense on a roll. Ellie Holen got going as well, with a quartet of kills in the 2nd, and back-to-back aces in the third. Jackie Meikleljon paced the offense with some good passing, and the Loboes won it in three.

                For a look at the rest of the Region 3 Tourney, head on over to Brian’s Monday Morning Rewind.

                The favorites held on in the basketball arena as well. A doubleheader between the Trinity Bible Lions and the Vikings of Valley City State provided some fun action. First for the women’s team, the Vikings got going very quickly. Trinity Bible had a slow start from the field, and that would force them to chase the game the rest of the way. VCSU got right around 30 before TBC managed to find their first points, and their first field goal would come even later. Jill DeVries’ team had a good year last year, and is now looking to improve even more with a developing young core that returns nearly every key piece. Georgia Williams had 9 points right out of the gate, as she continued her super-hot start. She’s the leading scorer for VCSU, and she showed why. Nisja Bass was super effective from downtown as well with four threes. Kennedy Hennigsgard got close to double-digits, and Sara Schwanke completed the backcourt battery for the Vikes. A dominant game for VCSU gives them some momentum going forward into November, and TBC gets battle hardened after facing a good team.  

                The men’s game was a different story. Aaron Stemen is the eldest of the Stemen brothers from LaMoure, ND and he was Stemen hot to start this game. Five three pointers right out of the gate, and Trinity Bible was gonna give VCSU all they could handle. Vesey and Harris were strong ball handlers for the Lions, and that lead to a putback slam. TBC’s lead grew to the double digit area, but Valley City State got going in the later part of the second half. After getting some of their young guys experience initially, Jayden Ferguson took over as he often does. Rashad Satahoo provided some assistance as well with a few key jumpers, and a money performance from the charity stripe. Ellwood Ellenson was great on defense again for the Vikings, and found his way into double-digit scoring as well. The big lead evaporated slowly for Trinity Bible, but it was just a one possession game at halftime. And then VCSU flexed their depth and skill, putting together a strong second half. The final score was 83-61, but this game was closer than that shows. VCSU ended on a run, which is exactly what they wanted to do with a trip to Augustana coming up. Auggie is the reigning NCAA-D2 champ, and that’s going to be a great test for the Vikings. Meanwhile, TBC not only gets a game in vs. a very high quality opponent, but has a lot of good to take away from it as well.