Girls basketball: BOLD Warriors stay on track
Warriors follow a familiar formula to knock off United Christian Academy at state, 67-29. Third-seeded BOLD plays second-seeded Hayfield at 2 p.m. Friday in the Class A semifinals at Williams Arena
MINNEAPOLIS — The stage was certainly bigger and brighter than the gym at Olivia. But the performance certainly fit the season.
BOLD’s defense, its quickness and the 1-2-3 punch of Mari Ryberg, Lainey Braulick and Mackenzie Visser proved to be a good fit for the Maturi Pavilion.
The third-seeded Warriors blasted United Christian Academy 67-29 in the state Class A quarterfinals.
BOLD (25-5) advances to play Hayfield at 2 p.m. Friday at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena. The game will be televised on KSTC-TV, Channel 45 in the Twin Cities.
“It’s gonna be fun,” said Visser, who had 12 points, 11 rebounds and three assists Thursday. “(It’ll be on) an even bigger stage now. …“I think as long as we can keep playing the same defense that we have been and work the ball around on offense, I think we’re sitting pretty good.”
“I’d say we’re riding high,” said Ryberg, who had 26 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. “We really just feed off of each other and play well together, so we’ve got to keep going.”
They certainly did all of that against the Thunder (14-12), who were making their second straight state appearance but lost seven seniors and had a multitude of injuries along the way this season.
UCA got off to a slow start and never really caught up. The Thunder scored their first points at 11:21 and were down 16-3 with 9:59 to go in the first half. They trailed 35-14 at halftime.
“We kind of stepped into the whole game having a hard time finding our rhythm,” UCA head coach Peder Eide said. “We needed to put in a complete ball game … The girls always play so hard.”
UCA wound up with 26 turnovers and shot 29.4% from the field, making 10 of 34 shots. BOLD, meanwhile, shot 26 of 55, good for 47.3% and had 14 turnovers. The Warriors out-rebounded the Thunder, 31-17.
The second half ended in running time, with both teams clearing their benches. It made looking ahead to Hayfield a lot easier afterward. The second-seeded Vikings beat Badger/Greenbush-Middle River 63-58 in overtime.
“We’ll have to figure out a game plan to slow them down a little bit,” BOLD head coach Brian Kingery said. “We’ll actually go back to the hotel, have some pizza, get ready and come up with a game plan.”
Also Thursday in the Class A quarterfinals, fifth-seeded Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa beat No. 4 Underwood 60-44 and top-seeded Mountain-Iron Buhl knocked off Minneota 65-50. BBE plays Mountain Iron-Buhl in the other Class A semifinal at noon Friday at Williams Arena.
The state Class A championship is noon Saturday at Williams Arena.
“Yeah, this is a big stage,” said Braulick, the sophomore point guard who had 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals. She was talking about having early nervousness.
“It’s such an honor (to be here),” Braulick said.
Ryberg actually was at state as an eighth-grader, though she rode the bench.
“It’s such a good experience,” she said.
She and the Warriors hope there are more good experiences at state in their near future.
Class A quarterfinals
BOLD 67, UCA 29
UCA (14-12) 14 15 — 29
BOLD (25-5) 35 32 — 67
UCA - Scoring: Olivia Haukoos 9, Kailey Smith 8, Liz Corley 7, Sofia Serafin 2, Elena Williams 2, Megan Welch 1 … 3-point shots: Haukoos 3 … Rebound leaders: Smith 5, Corley 5 … Assist leader: Corley 3 … Steal leaders: Petra Bragg 2, Corley 2, Serafin 2 ... Block leader: Bragg 1
BOLD - Scoring: Mari Ryberg 26, Lainey Braulick 15, Mackenzie Visser 12, Rylee Boen 7, Petyon Sander 4, Layla Pfarr 3 … 3-point shots: Pfarr 1, Braulick 2, Boen 1, Pfarr 1 … Rebound leaders: Visser 11, Ryberg 8, Braulick 8 … Assist leaders: Braulick 5, Ryberg 4, Visser 3 … Steal leaders: Ryberg 4, Braulick 4, Anna Moorse 4 ... Block leader: Visser 1