HASKELL - Jasa Williams scored 13 points and Hannah Weatherford added 12 points to lead the Bismarck Lady Lions to a 34-27 win over the host Haskell Harmony Grove Lady Cardinals on Tuesday night at the Dan Henley Fieldhouse in Haskell.
“In all honesty, I feel like we have found a little bit of a rotation and some of that has to do with me getting comfortable with my other senior who are playing,” Bismarck Lady Lions head coach Chris Oestreich said. “Sierra (Schwartz) and Caryle (Norris), up until this point, I have been concerned with their health and how much I could use them. They showed great mobility tonight. They were able to make some plays that they hadn’t earlier in the year and that was a big difference.”
Schwartz only had one point in the game, but had three rebounds and two steals. Norris put in a basket and had two rebounds. Weatherford led the Lady Lions with six rebounds and three steals. Williams added five boards and four steals, while Haley Vincent put up five points and had five rebounds, four of which came off the offensive glass. Mckenzie Efird had one point, five rebounds and three steals on the night for Bismarck.
“Obviously, having Jasa back from being sick was huge,” Oestreich said. “Mckenzie was steady at the point tonight and we were better defensively.”
Williams put back an offensive rebound for a basket to put the Lady Lions ahead in the first minute of the game. Vincent hit a jump shot and Williams put back in a shot after Vincent got an offensive rebound to make it a 6-2 Bismarck lead midway through the first quarter. Norris put back a missed shot for a basket and an 8-2 advantage, but Harmony Grove scored to make it 8-4 by the end of the period.
The Lady Cardinals closed to within three points, but Weatherford hit a 13-footer and Williams put in a shot after making a steal defensively. Weatherford sank two free throws for a 14-5 Lady Lions lead, but Harmony Grove scored eight straight points to close the gap to one point by halftime, 14-13.
The two teams missed shots and had turnovers in the first two minutes of the third quarter, but Williams scored inside for the Lady Lions and after Schwartz made a steal, Williams scored again to keep Bismarck in front 18-15.
Vincent scored on a short jump shot from the paint then Weatherford made a steal and put in a layup for a 22-16 lead with 1:13 to go in the third period. Harmony Grove sank a free throw and put in a shot with four seconds remaining to make it 22-19.
Two quick baskets by the Lady Cardinals to begin the fourth quarter, put them ahead 23-22, but Weatherford hit a 3-pointer for the Lady Lions and Williams made one of two free throws to keep the Bismarck in front by one, 26-25 with 5:14 remaining.
Williams put in another basket inside for Bismarck and three minutes later, after holding Harmony Grove scoreless, Weatherford made a free throw an put in a basket for a 31-25 lead at the 1:15 mark. Free throws from Schwartz, Efird and Vincent in the final minute kept the lead safe for the Lady Lions.
“You know there at the end of the game, our soft full-court press really slowed them down and hurt them,” Oestreich said. “We didn’t run that over at Ouachita and that was my fault, but I didn’t know we were ready to use that. I thought we exploited them well on the inbounds plays and that was a big factor. Even when we did score, we got great looks and that put pressure on them defensively.”