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Nighthawks fall to Warriors in semifinals

ABERDEEN--One day after pulling an upset, Tripp-Delmont/Armour almost did it again. But the eighth-seeded Nighthawks dropped a 70-64 decision against No. 5 Castlewood in the semifinals of the Class B state tournament on Friday at Wachs Arena. "It...

ABERDEEN-One day after pulling an upset, Tripp-Delmont/Armour almost did it again.

But the eighth-seeded Nighthawks dropped a 70-64 decision against No. 5 Castlewood in the semifinals of the Class B state tournament on Friday at Wachs Arena.

"It was a great basketball game that just didn't go our way," TDA coach Kristi Allen said. "We got down. We were down nine at halftime and we fought back and no one will deny my girls fight and they wanted it and just a few things didn't go our way."

It was just a few plays down the stretch that lifted Castlewood (22-2) into today's championship game against Hanson. TDA (21-4) plays for third place against Ethan.

The Warriors, who turned heads with Thursday's 54-28 win over Warner, used size, speed and shooting to hold off the Nighthawks.

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But despite an 11-point third-quarter deficit, TDA surged back with a furious third quarter and took its first lead (46-45) on a Brooklyn Brouwer fastbreak layup.

"I thought our defense was a little shaky the first half," TDA senior Erica Koster said. "But I thought we came out pretty aggressive the second half right away. We had some big runs in the second half."

The Nighthawks switched up their defense to a 1-3-1 zone and that helped spur the comeback. TDA outscored Castlewood 21-12 in the third quarter.

"It was a fast-paced game and that's what we wanted," Allen said. "We were able to throw a couple of things at them, like our 1-3-1, I think threw them a little bit."
TDA knotted the score at 50-50 entering the fourth quarter and it remained tight throughout. However, Castlewood pull ahead 67-61 after Alayna Benike hit a pair of free throws. TDA's Mattilynn Reiner drilled a 3-pointer to cut it to 67-64 with 33 seconds left, but the Warriors closed it out at the free-throw line.

Castlewood's Regan Benike finished with 26 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Abbey Strait scored 21 points and drilled six 3-pointers, including a pair of critical ones in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors also capitalized on a pair of late offensive rebounds as they used their size late. Castlewood outscored TDA, 31-28.

"It was a good battle and if we boxed out a little better, then it might have been a little bit different outcome," Allen said.

Reiner powered the Nighthawks again with 19 points and 12 rebounds, but she had plenty of help. Kianna Payer canned five 3-pointers and finished with 15 points. Brouwer scored 14 points and Koster had 10 points, along with seven assists.

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"Matti had a great night last night," said Koster, referencing Reiner's 32 point game in the first round. "But tonight we were back to kind of our even scoring of us four getting double digits."

Allen hopes it continues into today's game against Ethan.

"That's our balanced offense that we know and that got us to where we are right now," Allen said. "That's what they wanted from (Thursday) to redeem themselves a little bit. We are hoping (today) it's the same thing."

Castlewood 70, Tripp-Delmont 64

Castlewood (22-2): Regan Benike 8-17 7-8 26, Abbey Strait 7-12 1-2 21, Morgan Anderson 1-2 0-0 2, Darah DeKam 4-8 4-9 12, Alayna Benike 2-8 4-4 9. Totals 22-47 16-23 70

Tripp-Delmont/Armour (21-4): Ashlee Gerber 2-4 2-2 6, Mattilynn Reiner 6-14 4-5 19, Paige Neugebauer 0-0 0-0 0, Brianna Stoebner 0-0 0-0 0, Kianna Payer 5-11 0-0 15, Karli Marts 0-0 0-0 0, Brooklyn Brouwer 5-11 4-4 14, Erica Koster 3-11 3-4 10. Totals 21-51 13-15 64

C 20 38 50 70

TDA 13 29 50 64

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3-pt FG: C 10-20 (Benike 3-5, Strait 6-9, Anderson 0-1, Benike 1-5), TDA 9-20 (Reiner 3-6, Payer 5-8, Koster 1-6). Rebounds: C 31 (Benike 14), TDA 28 (Reiner 12). Fouls: C 14, TDA 17. Fouled out: none. Technical: none. Assists: C 16 (Benike 6), TDA 14 (Koster 7). Steals: C 4 (DeKam 3), TDA 7 (Koster 3). Blocked shots: C 3 (Benike 1, Anderson 1, DeKam 1), TDA 1 (Gerber 1). Turnovers: C 9, TDA 9.

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