Wildcats end Cardinal season in Regional V upset
By Brenda L. Shelkey
It was a tough way to go down for the Washburn Cardinals girls’ basketball team. Washburn had every reason to believe that the Cardinals would shine and move into the winners’ bracket at the Region V girls’ basketball tournament on Monday. But the Center-Stanton Wildcats pulled a last-minute, breath-stopping rally to win the loser-out game 42-41. In the first quarter, the Cardinals had a hard time finding their footing on the Mandan High School floor. The Wildcats were running an in-your-face defense and the Cardinals found themselves chasing after balls knocked off the tips of their fingers. At the end of the quarter, they were down 9-6 against the Wildcats. Head Coach Keith Jacobson was frustrated by the fact that three of his critical players, Kelcie Beckman, Allison Weisgarber, and Tonya Price were out with the flu. He said, "Kelcie Beckman is a very important part to what we do. She takes the ball out of bounds and handles a lot of the pressure. She is also our best penetrator." In the second quarter, both teams continued to struggle for possession of the ball, but the Cardinals found a few more looks, putting in ten points for the quarter, but still ending on the down-low 20-16 at the half. "We didn’t play very well in the first half," said Jacobson. "In the second half, we played with much more urgency. Unfortunately, we picked a bad time to make bad decisions and not play defense." The Cardinals came out on fire in the second half, shooting 47 percent as opposed to 33 percent in the first half. The girls were hitting their free throws at 53 percent.