Berthold senior forward Adam Knudsvig has matched up with the tallest players opponents have to offer, but he had never defended a player the size of Drake-Anamoose's Tanner Volson.
Knudsvig (6-foot) stood six inches shorter than the future North Dakota State lineman and considerably smaller than the 285-pound Volson.
While Volson recorded 20 points and 15 rebounds, Knudsvig poured in 21 points and grabbed eight boards as the Bombers defeated the Raiders 72-60 in the Region 6 quarterfinals Monday at the Minot State Dome. Tenth-ranked Berthold (20-3) plays No. 1 Rugby tonight at 6 in the semifinals.
Berthold junior forward goes up for a shot in between Drake Anamoose’s Lee Reinowski (22) and Alex Volochenko (10) during the Region 6 quarterfinals Monday at the Minot State Dome.
"It's a really hard battle matching up with somebody that large in size," Knudsvig said. "I just had to work really hard and my teammates helped me on the help side. It was a battle down low the whole game."
The Raiders (17-6) took advantage of their size advantage in the early going as Volson scored eight of his team's 15 points in the first quarter. A 3-pointer by Lee Reinowski gave D-A an 18-11 lead - its largest of the game - in the opening minute of the second quarter.
With the lane clogged by the Raiders' size, Berthold used the 3-ball to get back in the game. The Bombers knocked down four treys in the second quarter - three from senior guard Mitchel White. White's third 3 gave Berthold a 29-26 lead with less than three minutes left in the first half.
"The 3-point ball is part of our basketball game," Berthold coach Chris Brown said. "Tonight we were lucky enough and shot pretty well. When we did have the opportunity to score inside, we did a nice job in there as well."
Alex Volochenko hit a 3 at the first-half buzzer to pull the Raiders even at 31.
Berthold instituted a full-court press in the second half that gave D-A fits. The Raiders turned the ball over 13 times and allowed the Bombers to open the half on an 11-2 run.
"We knew were definitely outsized from the get-go," Brown said. "We knew we had to get the game in a faster pace. We made a few adjustments at halftime and said the first three minutes of the third quarter are the most important. We came out and took care of business and were able to separate a little."
Back-to-back buckets by Volson trimmed Berthold's lead to 44-41, but the Bombers countered with an 8-0 run to push their advantage to 11 with 59 seconds left in the third quarter.
A 3 by junior guard Austin Lee at the end of the third quarter opened another 8-0 run. Lee hit a game-high five treys and the Bombers finished 47.1 percent from behind the arc. Lee's fifth 3 gave Berthold a 63-49 lead before the Raiders closed to within seven with 3:50 left. But a 9-2 run sealed Berthold's trip to the semifinals.
"We knew going into the second half that it was do or die," Knudsvig said. "If we didn't come out with our heads on we weren't going to come back tomorrow and play. We cranked up the intensity and got our heads screwed on right and came out with the win."
Lee finished with a game-high 29 points on 9-of-15 shooting.
Des Lacs-Burlington 64, Dunseith 50
Des Lacs-Burlington broke open a close game at halftime by clamping down defensively, limiting Dunseith to 17 points in the final 16 minutes. The Lakers play Our Redeemer's tonight at 7:30 in the Region 6 semifinals.
The Dragons (13-10) shot just 28.6 percent from the field in the second half and 39.1 percent for the game.
Senior forward Tanner Holte recorded a game-high 14 points and 15 rebounds for the seventh-ranked Lakers (21-2). Holte was the only Laker in double figures as seniors Mitch Medalen and Chris Duke finished with nine points. Four others netted eight points.
DL-B led 22-15 at the end of the first quarter and 39-33 at halftime before Dunseith struggled to make shots. The Lakers grabbed a double-digit advantage at the end of the third quarter, outscoring the Dragons 16-9 during that span.
After hitting six 3-pointers in the first half, Dunseith made just three in the second.
Corey Poitra, Lucas Nadeau and Trenton St. Claire all tallied 11 points to lead the Dragons.
Our Redeemer's 65, TGU 47
The Our Redeemer's Christian School boys basketball team won its first Region 6 tournament game in program history Monday and will play No. 7 Des Lacs-Burlington tonight at 7:30 in the semifinals.
ORCS sophomore guard Josh VanLith led all scorers with 17 points and junior forward Davis Koppinger recorded a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Sophomore John Reiten also finished in double figures with 12 points.
The Knights held a 14-13 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 34-24 advantage at halftime. After scoring just seven points in the third quarter, ORCS responded with 24 in the fourth to pull away from the Titans.
Ethan Bachmeier had 16 points to lead TGU and Luke Bacon added 11 points and nine rebounds.
ORCS made just six field goals in the second half, but were 19-for-29 at the free-throw line. The Knights finished 27-for-38 from the charity stripe.
Mike Kraft covers high school athletics and hockey. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.