2015: Parshall celebrated double championships
By Jerry W. Kram
2015 was a big year in the history of Parshall Braves basketball. Not only did the Braves girls basketball team win its first ever Region 8 Championship, the boys team followed up with a region title of their own to make the school just the 15th in North Dakota history to send both teams to the state tournament in the same year.
Under the slogan "We Can Do It" this year’s Parshall Lady Eagles took that final leap. With a 20-4 record the Braves faced the 22-1 Watford City Wolves. The Wolves were ranked fifth in the North Dakota Girls Basketball poll and an online computer ranking website had them ranked second and the Braves eighth.
The Braves tried to jump on the Wolves early, putting up a 10-4 lead in the first three minutes of the game. But the Wolves defense stiffened and the Braves had a hard time getting the ball inside to post player Cheyenne Packineau. The Wolves ended the quarter with a 11-3 run and had a 15-13 lead at the first buzzer.
"We had some turnovers, but that’s to be expected be Watford has some good athletes," said Braves Head Coach Mervin Packineau. "We broke their press and stayed composed. We got shook up a few times, but came back and regained our composure. We stuck with our game plan. We had to take a couple of time outs to keep driving."
The Braves inside game was completely shut down in the second quarter while the Wolves Katie Mogen scored eight of the Wolves 14 points. Kiara Packineau kept things close with a three point shot and had five of the Braves’ nine second quarter points. The halftime score was Wolves 29, Braves 22.
The Wolves scored the first three points of the second half, giving them a double digit lead in the second half. With the middle of the paint still congested, Michelle Risan started driving down the lane through traffic. While she only had one field goal in the first three quarters, she drew fouls and six of seven free throws. Kiara Packineau and Aulora Severance also helped the Braves chip away at the lead, and going into the final period the score was still with in reach, 37-31 in favor of the Wolves.
"We kind of sputtered there," Coach Packineau said. "We missed some free throws, they missed some free throws. Finally we kind of got rolling. We were in the bonus so I said to attack the basket and get to the free throw line and that’s what carried us through."