The Tri-State Tigers and the Hankinson Pirates girls teams faced off in a basketball game Monday, Jan. 3. As a regional game both teams were facing high pressure as they tried improving their record.
Tri-State has had a rocky start to the season, with a record of 1-6 overall and 0-3 in the region a win would help them back on track and really show what they can achieve.
Hankinson has been hovering just below the front runners this season and being 3-1 in region and 4-4 overall, they were hoping to push for one of the top spots.
The game started at 7:30 p.m. at Rosholt High School. The stands saw fans from both teams staring across the court from each other and cheering with every basket.
The first quarter saw the game quickly go in the Tiger’s favor. With strong offense putting up 16 points. Defensively the Tigers double teamed Hankinson Pirate’s player Kya Mauch, who has performed very well this season. This lockdown on Mauch kept the Pirates to only eight points going into the second quarter.
With an eight point difference going into the second quarter the teams took to the court again. Still the Pirates were unable to catch up to the strong performance from the Tigers. Again Hankinson saw every point they scored matched by two from Tri-State, with Hankinson scoring 7 to Tri-State’s 14.
Going into halftime the score was heavily in Tri-State’s favor 30-15. The Pirates would need to make some big adjustments in order to be able to get back in the game. Luckily for them, they were able to.
The third quarter saw Hankinson begin moving the ball to other shooting options, and a plethora of points came from across the Pirates’ roster. This time it was Tri-State on the back foot as their shooting did not make up for the lack of adjustment in their defense. The third quarter saw the Pirates more than double their score putting up 19 points to Tri-State’s 11. Just like that, a 15-point lead was cut down to only seven.
The Pirates would need to make another quarter just like the third to happen in order to take home the win. With the team playing well and moving the ball around a good deal they were ready to put up the points, all they needed to do was stop Tri-State’s offense. With the clock winding down to zero, the game closed up to a two point difference at 51-53, with Hankinson just barely behind. A long stretch of scrappy plays and contested shots had put them within reach of a game ender. With less than a minute left in regulation, Hankinson managed to find another two points to tie the game. Tri-State pushed back towards their net as quickly as possible but were unable to get a basket before the clock ran out.
The game would go to overtime, tied 53-53. The team’s passion for the game and determination to win came to the forefront as the game. With this passion came tough play and lots of free throws. Hankinson managed to score seven points in overtime off of only one three pointer and a series of free throws, shooting 4 for 6 from the free throw line. However Tri-State managed to do just a little bit better. With seven appearances at the free throw line the team managed to go 7 for 7, and with another eight points in the form of two threes and one basket from the paint Tri-State was able to edge out the victory, winning 68-60.
With the win, Tri-State rose to 2-6 in the season and 1-3 in the region. Hankinson’s loss put them below .500 with a record of 4-5 overall and 3-2 in the region.
Tri-State’s next home game is Jan. 17 at Rosholt high school. The Pirates will return home Jan. 10 to play the undefeated region leaders Kindred High School.