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Blackhawks blow past Hanson in Class B semis

Sanborn Central/Woonsocket’s Rachel Selland, left, eyes the basket as she goes up for a shot against Hanson’s Kynedi Cheeseman, right, during the semifinals of the Class B state girls’ basketball tournament on Friday at Huron Arena. (Mike Carroll/Huron Plainsman

HURON — There were no answers for Shelby Selland Friday night.

The Sanborn Central/Woonsocket senior forward took full advantage of her 6-foot-2 size inside the paint. She scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Blackhawks, who are in tonight’s Class B state girls’ basketball championship, thanks to a 67-46 semifinal victory over No. 2 seed Hanson at the Huron Arena.

“I was just feeling it tonight,” Selland said. “It feels really good to get a team win. Hanson’s a really good team, and we knew that we would have to come out and match their intensity from the beginning.”

The victory sets up a championship game between No. 3 seed SC/W (24-1) and No. 4 seed and defending Class B champion Warner (23-2). The game is a rematch of a battle held Jan. 18 at the Corn Palace, in which the Monarchs dealt the Blackhawks their only loss of the season, 50-40.

On Friday, the Blackhawks made a conscious effort to get the ball inside to Selland at the midpost position and she reaped the rewards, finishing 15-of-23 from the field, often with layups at the basket.

SC/W co-head coach Tim McCain said the team hoped to use Selland extensively inside but wasn’t sure if Hanson’s defense was going to collapse on her, something that Kimball/White Lake did successfully in the quarterfinal.

“(In the quarterfinal), she only had eight points and tonight, that’s the type of gamer she is,” McCain said. “She stepped up and she was a leader and she wanted the basketball. She’s a great finisher at the hoop.”

Much like Thursday night, the Blackhawks (24-1) gained separation in the second quarter. After scoring the last six points to close the first quarter, SC/W scored 12 of the next 13 points — eight of which came from Selland — over the first 6 minutes of the second quarter. Continuing to throw the ball into Selland in the post, SC/W built its advantage to 38-17 at halftime, with Selland responsible for 23 of those points.

Their leading scorer and rebounder all year, McCain was glad to get Selland involved.

“That was definitely our plan,” he said. “That’s been our plan all year."

The first-half gap didn’t close after halftime, as the Blackhawks continued to hit from the field and led by as much as 38 points midway through the third quarter.

It was a cold night shooting the ball for the Beavers (22-3), who made only six field goals in the first half, turned the ball over 20 times and saw their standout sophomore Kynedi Cheeseman struggle from the field. Despite shooting 4-of-15 from the floor, Cheeseman went 10-of-11 from the free-throw line and led Hanson with 19 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double.

For the Blackhawks, who shot 56 percent for the game, Myah Selland finished with nine points and five steals and Morgan Selland finished with eight points in the win. Freshman Tanna Kingsbury, who was recently told she was cancer-free after battling the disease for the last year, scored the final basket of the night for the Blackhawks, drawing huge cheers in the arena. McCain said he had to thank Hanson coach Jim Bridge, who was unavailable for comments after the game, for the opportunity to at least get Kingsbury a shot at the basket.

“She got open and she knocked it down,” McCain said. “It was a cool moment.”

Now one win away from a state title, SC/W is on the verge of capping a season to remember. Standing in the way is the only team to top the Blackhawks this season.

“We’ve been thinking about this for as long as we’ve been part of the co-op,” Shelby Selland said. “Just to be in this game tomorrow, it feels great.”


SANBORN CENTRAL-WOONSOCKET (24-1): Morgan 1-1 0-0 2, Weber 1-3 0-0 2, M. Selland 3-7 0-0 8, R. Selland 2-5 1-2 5, Kingsbury 1-1 0-0 2, S. Selland 15-23 4-4 34, Swenson 2-3 0-0 5, M. Selland 4-7 1-4 9. Totals 29-50 6-10 67.

HANSON (22-3): Brown 0-1 0-0 0, Dodd 3-8 2-2 9, Cheeseman 4-15 10-11 19, Doyle 1-1 0-0 3, Marsh 4-11 0-2 9, Moe 0-1 0-0 0, Kayser 2-3 0-2 4, Kaufmann 1-1 0-0 2, Schroeder 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 15-43 12-17 46.

SCW 19 38 54 67

H 14 17 31 46

3-pointers: SCW 3-5 (M. Selland 2-4, Swenson 1-1), Hanson 4-11 (Brown 0-1, Dodd 1-3, Cheeseman 1-3, Doyle 1-1, Marsh 1-3). Rebounds: SCW 25 (S. Selland 11), Hanson 29 (Cheseman 13). Assists: SCW 10 (M. Selland 3), Hanson 10 (Doyle 5). Total fouls: SCW 15, Hanson 12.