North Star boys silence Turner
It was a rough start for both the 9C Turner Tornadoes and North Star Knights, but somebody had to win.
The Knights entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed taking on the No. 6 seed Tornadoes Thursday night at the Havre High gymnasium. But just as many people expected, no game in the 9C is an easy win this year.
North Star overcame a sluggish start to grab the 63-40 first round win on Thursday. And with the win the Knights will next face Big Sandy at 8 p.m. tonight.
But the game was close for the entire first half. The Knights got off to an early 12-2 lead, but the Tornadoes fought back in the last three minutes to close the gap to 17-10. And in the second quarter things were even tighter as the Tornadoes outscored the Knights 11-9 in the first five minutes to close the gap to just 26-21. But the Knights went on an 8-2 run of their own and took the 34-23 lead at the break.
The Knights eight first half turnovers played a major role in the first 16 minutes. Turner scored eight points off of turnovers in the first half.
"We are definitely looking to play better," North Star head coach Cody Donoven said. "We're going to have to play better against Big Sandy and whoever else the next opponent may be after that0. We got the W, but maybe not the way we wanted to. I am happy with how the kids played, but that was too many turnovers."
It was a little bit of jitters as well as the Turner defense that played a role in the Knights turnovers. The Tornadoes played a tough man-to-man and even showed a full court press at times, resulting in a combined four steals for the Tornadoes' Dusty Mohar and Travis Daniels.
"Their defense was a little different than a lot of the teams we face," Donoven said. "But first games jitters definitely played a role. A lot of our experienced players had some key turnovers.
"I think we just need to calm and get the jitters out of us." Knights' Cody Donoven said. "We need to take care of the ball, especially against Big Sandy, they are a physical team, but we will be alright."
After the Knights settled down and got their style of game going they managed to spread the gap between them and the Tornadoes. The Knights outscored the Tornadoes 14-4 in third quarter and 16-13 in the fourth.
The Tornadoes came out solid in the first half, but struggled in the second. They didn't knock down a bucket until the 2:54 mark in the third quarter.
"We just have to come out in the second half with more intensity." Turner head coach Kevin VanValkenburg said. "And we just have to want it more, that's what it boils down to. They have to come out with more fire, we were too sluggish in the second half."
Jordy Donoven led the Knights with 21 points while Connor Kline pitched in 14 and Zach Anderson add 11. Dylan Crittenden also added nine points.
And for the Tornadoes, Daniels led the scoring with 24 points. Mohar added eight and Dylan Welsh added three. Alton Mathews, Levi Humphreys and Aaron VanValkenburg combined for five points.
Tonight the Knights will face the Pioneers at 8 p.m. And the Tornadoes drop to loser out action and will play Saturday at 9:30 a.m. The 9C tourney runs through Saturday night with the boys title game set for 8 p.m. The top two teams advance to the Northern C.
A good Knight
North Star 63 Turner 40
North Star 17 16 14 16 — 63
Turner 10 13 4 13 — 40
North Star — Cooper Spicher 1-2 0-0 2, Jordy Donoven 11-17 2-2 21, Quinn Spinier 2-2 0-0 3, Connor Kline 6-10 2-2 14, Zach Anderson 5-9 1-2 11, Johnny Meister 0-1 1-1 1, Dylan Crittenden 3-10 3-4 8, Darston Donoven 1-5 0-0 2. Totals: 29-56 9-11.
Turner — Travis Daniels 12-31 2-6 24, Alton Mathews 1-3 0-0 2, Levi Humphreys 1-5 0-0 2, Dylan Welsh 1-7 1-2 3, Aaron VanValkenburg 0-6 1-2 1, Dusty Mohar 4-5 0-1 8. Totals: 19 57 4-11.