Feb. 23—The heart of Kidder County girls basketball coach Dan Welder skipped a beat in the second quarter of Monday's Region 3 tournament quarterfinal at the Jamestown Civic Center.
His all-state senior — guard Madelyn Schmidt — took an awkward tumble near midcourt facing the LaMoure/Litchville-Marion Loboes and came up holding her left wrist. One year prior, Welder and the Wolves lost senior leader Brittany Rath to an ACL tear in the region tournament semifinals and would fall to the Loboes two days later in the championship.
"To be honest, I thought it was her ankle because she got stepped on and it looked like it twisted a little differently," Wedler said. "I was like, 'Oh boy, again, here at the regional tournament one of our players is gonna go down.'"
But between grimaces and clenching feeling back into her non-shooting hand, Schmidt buried a 3-pointer on KC's next possession and the Wolves eventually rolled 46-33 over the Loboes. Kidder County will meet up with Carrington in Tuesday's semifinals for a third consecutive year.
Schmidt finished with 21 points — sinking 7 of 8 shots at the foul line — to go along with seven rebounds and four steals.
"She's a gamer," Welder said. "She pops up ... after she nailed that (3), we're like, 'She's fine.'"
Schmidt, committed to play women's basketball at the University of Jamestown, came out of the locker room after the half sporting pink tape on her wrist but appeared no worse for the wear, helping KC's 2-3 zone defense stifle LLM's offense for most of the game.
"I just got tripped up going for a steal, but it's all right," Schmidt said. "The adrenaline was running. I didn't feel it, but I'm sure it'll be a little sore later on."
The Loboes went the first 12 minutes, 17 seconds without a starter scoring the basketball. Freshman Tessa Rassmusson came off the bench to score eight of the Loboes' 12 first-half points, as Kidder County led 20-12 at the break.
The two teams combined to convert just 12 of 51 shots from the field over the game's first 16 minutes. The Loboes nearly doubled their offensive output in the fourth quarter scoring 14, before finishing 11 of 49 from the floor and leaving eight points at the foul line (5 of 13).
"We had some good looks — first half and second half — but just didn't shoot well, and that has something to do with their defense, too," said LLM coach Mitch Carlson. "They have been running that zone for many years and they just do a good job knowing where the shooter's at. They just move well, and they know their spots and they play it well."
LLM junior Molly Musland — who surpassed 1,000 career points at the civic center last week — didn't score until the third quarter and posted nine of her team-leading 12 points in the fourth, prior to KC leading by as many as 22.
"She's a really good player, and she kinda runs their offense," Schmidt said of Musland. "They've got some shooters, so we just kinda said stop her, get out to shooters, and rebounding was a big thing for us."
KC won the glass 42-36, with sophomore Kennedy Harter turning in a double-double of 13 points and 15 rebounds. The Wolves also limited LLM junior Mollie Robbins to two points on seven shots.
"I said we had to contain Musland, we had to contain Rassmusson — she's a good shooter — and we had to contain Robbins, and if we do that we'll have a good chance to win," Welder said. "For the most part, we did that. They kinda got some looks in the fourth quarter, but we knew it'd be a battle."
The Loboes (14-7), the tournament's defending champion, will be returning their entire team in 2021-22.
"I think we're close to getting over the hump," Carlson said. "Just a couple of intangibles that we need to take care of. The dribbling and finding the open girl, that comes with experience."
Tuesday's matchup between Kidder County and Carrington is turning into a Region 3 tournament classic. The Wolves topped Carrington 81-72 in overtime two years ago and snuck past the Cardinals 49-44 last year while losing Rath.
The Wolves and the Cards never met during the regular season, but KC will need to find an answer for Carrington's 1-2 punch in the post of senior Hannah Hagel and junior Sydnie Grager.
Carrington cruised past Medina/Pingree-Buchanan in Monday's quarters, 65-42.
"They're well-coached. They're disciplined and they don't make mistakes very often," Welder said. "Hagel and Grager are a load to take care of so we'll be in for a battle. They're probably wanting to get us back from last year.
"It's a good rivalry that we've got going and we're looking forward to it. Hopefully, the girls are ready."
It's hard to imagine Schmidt — KC's all-time leader in scoring and steals — won't be.
"They're athletic; they're big. We're going to have to rebound even more tomorrow," Schmidt said. "I think we'll pressure their guards a little more, but it should be a good game."
(9) Kidder County 46, LaMoure/Litchville-Marion 33
LLM 5 7 7 14 — 33
KC 9 11 19 7 — 46
LLM — Molly Musland 12, Tessa Rassmusson 11, Rose Wendel 3, Nateal Rodin 2, Abby Haberman 2, Mollie Robbins 2, Anna Sandness 1. Totals: 11-49 FG, 6-17 3-pointers (Rasmusson 3, Musland 3), 5-13 FT, 36 Rebounds (Rodin 9, Robbins 8), 15 Fouls, 12 Turnovers, 8 Steals (4 with 2).
KC — Madelyn Schmidt 21, Kennedy Harter 13, Avery Rath 4, Hailey Pfaff 4, Josephine Braun 4. Totals: 16-54 FG, 3-14 3-pointers (Schmidt 2, Paff), 11-16 FT, 42 Rebounds (Harter 15, Pfaff 8), 17 Fouls (Braun), 7 Assists (Harter 3), 10 Turnovers, 4 Blocks (Harter 3), 7 Steals (Schmidt 4).
Records: Kidder Co. 17-3. LaMoure/LM 14-7.
Region 3 Girls Basketball Tournament
At Jamestown Civic Center
(Tournament seeding in parentheses)
G1: (D6-1) Linton/HMB 60 (D5-4) Edgeley/KM 31
G2: (D5-2) Oakes 69, (D6-3) Napoleon/GS 44.
G3: (D5-1) Carrington 65, (D6-4) Medina/PB 42
G4: (D6-2) Kidder Co. 46, (D5-3) LaMoure/LM 33
G5: Linton/HMB vs. Oakes, 6 p.m.
G6: Carrington vs. Kidder Co., 7:30 p.m.
G7: Winner G5 vs. Winner G6, 7 p.m.