North Border Plays for Third Tonight
North Border's title run ends
By Greg DeVillers, Grand Forks Herald
BISMARCK The size advantage went to North Border. But the lane and with it, a berth in the state championship game belonged to Parshall.
The Braves, using their quickness to create close-range scoring opportunities repeatedly, handed North Border a 65-56 defeat here Friday in the semifinals of the North Dakota state Class B boys high school basketball tournament.
North Border will play Minot Ryan in today's 6 p.m. third-place game, followed by Parshall playing defending state champion Dickinson Trinity for the title.
North Border's Dustyn Chale aims at the basket before shooting as Parshall's Neil Packineu guards him during the North Dakota Class B Boys Basketball in Bismarck.
Parshall was 23-of-52 from the field. Four of those baskets were treys; 15 were in the set offense on layups or short-range jumpers.
"They attacked us," North Border coach Cooter Symington said. "It didn't really surprise us. That No. 5 (Nathaniel Packineau, who had a game-high 25 points) is very good at taking the ball to the hole. He's so quick we haven't run into any guard that quick this year."
The aggressive offense was by design.
"We wanted to keep attacking, to get their big guys in foul trouble," Packineau said. "That didn't work out.
"(But) we set picks on their posts and got around them. (Our quickness) had a little bit to do with it. That's how we've gotten a lot of our points all year, with penetration."
That attacking style was evident early. Parshall jumped to an 18-9 lead in the opening 6:25 behind Packineau. The 6-foot-2 senior guard scored 14 in that run, hitting a pair of treys, scoring on a steal and breakaway layup and challenging North Border's tall frontcourt as he drove into the lane for three more layups.
But North Border cut the deficit to 18-14 after one quarter, then pulled ahead with a 15-4 run in the second quarter.
Senior 6-10 Michael Mathison sparked the comeback with seven points, including a basket from the right post with 2:50 left in the half for a 26-24 advantage. Mike Smith and Dustyn Chale each had a pair of baskets in the run.
After a Mathison offensive-rebound putback gave the Eagles their biggest lead at 31-26 with 1:30 left in the half, the lead evaporated. Rudy YoungBird hit two 3-point shots in the final 34 seconds to give Parshall a 32-31 halftime edge.
"That was a huge momentum swing," Symington said. "They got it from us. It's a big difference, going in down one at halftime instead of up five. I don't think we ever really got the momentum back."
Back-to-back drives into the lane by Packineau built the Parshall lead to 42-35 with 4:13 left in the third quarter. But a 3-point play by Mathison started another Eagles rally and Nick Chaput's putback basket with three seconds left cut the Parshall lead to 44-40 after three.
North Border was still within 47-44 when Parshall had another run, outscoring the Eagles 7-2. Neil Packineau had the final six Braves points in the spurt, which left them with a 56-46 advantage with 3:39 to go. North Border got no closer than six the rest of the way.
Neil Packineau and YoungBird each added 17 points in the Braves' three-pronged attack.
Mathison had a double double with 17 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Chaput added 16 points and Chale 12.
But 18 turnovers overall and 8-for-28 shooting in the second half were too much for the Eagles to overcome.
"We had 10 turnovers in the first half, way too many," Symington said. "We had turnovers on four straight possessions at one point in the third quarter. I thought it would be a battle down to the buzzer, but we couldn't knock down our shots.
"They're a good team. We couldn't afford that many mistakes, shoot that poorly in the second half and expect to win."
Grand Forks Herald Story Link
Braves finally back in title game
By MICHAEL WEBER Bismarck Tribune
It took 32 years, but Parshall finally found its way back to the Class B boys basketball state tournament championship game.Powered by the three-pronged attack of Nathaniel Packineau, Neil Packineau and Rudy Young Bird, the Braves defeated North Border 65-56 in Friday's state tournament semifinals.
Parshall emerged victorious in its last title game appearance, defeating Larimore 54-48 in 1975 for its only state crown."This is awesome ... a dream come true for all of us," Parshall senior Nathaniel Packineau said following the victory at the Civic Center. "All of that hard work paid off. Now we have one more game to go."
The Braves, 22-4, will face defending champion Dickinson Trinity tonight for the Class B title.
"Trinity has a great defense and they've been playing well," Nathaniel Packineau said. "We can't make many mistakes and we have to knock down our shots early. We can't let them take control.
"Nathaniel Packineau is making the state tournament his own personal showcase. One day after scoring 32 points in a 62-54 win over Hankinson, the 6-foot-2 guard poured in 25 to lead all scorers. This time, he had more help as Neil Packineau and Young Bird both connected for 17 points. Neil Packineau recovered from his 1-for-14 shooting effort on Thursday night.
"Neil and Rudy knew they had to pull their weight tonight ... and they did," Parshall coach Ken Hall said. "That made a big difference for us. We need for all of our big three to step up at tournament time.
"Nathaniel Packineau sparked a strong start by Parshall, scoring 14 of his team's first 18 points in an 18-9 first-quarter run. North Border got the deficit down to 18-14 before the frame ended and followed that with a strong second quarter.
After falling behind 22-16, North Border put together an 11-2 run that ended with a Michael Mathison free throw with 2:18 remaining. After a Young Bird basket, Mike Smith and Mathison scored back-to-back to make it 31-26, North Border, with 1:26 to play in the half.Then Young Bird, a 6-foot-5 post, showed his range. The junior drilled a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left to make it a 2-point game.
After a North Border turnover, Young Bird netted another trey to put the Braves ahead to stay at 32-31."Those shots were big. ... They gave us lots of momentum," Nathaniel Packineau said. "That's the great thing about Rudy. He's a post player, but he can step out and hit the three.
"The Eagles got to within six twice (58-52 and 59-53), but never closer.Nathaniel Packineau said the Braves used quickness as a means of offsetting North Border's size advantage.
"They were taller than we were, but we were quicker," he said. "Their big guy (6-foot-10 Mathison) ... we knew we couldn't challenge him right on, but we were able to get around people for good shots."
Bismarck Tribune Story Link