Against the best Class B girls’ basketball teams in the state, Samantha Oase was a dominant force during the state basketball tournament in Minot.
It paid off a week later when the senior was named as 2021 Miss Basketball in the state Saturday.
For the entire season, she had put up a daunting package of statistics.
The senior averaged 20.4 points per game.
She averaged 11.7 rebounds.
She also had an average of two assists each game, along with three steals and 2.2 blocks.
She started the week as one of four finalists – with Mackenzie Hughes of Thompson as the only other nominee from Class B girls’ basketball.
The Class A had two nominees – Alex Page of Grand Forks Red River and Ryleigh Wacha of Fargo Davies.
Of the four finalists, Oase had the highest scoring average. Hughes was second with 18.7 points, followed by Page (17.1) and Wacha (16.0).
Oase also had the highest average in rebounds per game (11.7), while Wacha had 10 rebounds per game.
She also had the highest blocked shot average among the finalists.
When the votes were tabulated and announced after the conclusion of the Class A title game Saturday, it was Oase winning with eight first place votes for a total of 67 points.
During the 2019-20 season, the senior averaged 17.4 points-per-game and 11.6 rebounds-per-game. She also tallied 69 blocks, 62 steals and 47 assists.
During the 2021 state basketball tournament in Minot, the team was 0-3.
Individually, the senior was a force in spite of being double-teamed and sometimes triple-teamed’ in the three losses.
Against the top-seed, Cass County, in the tournament opener, Oase finished with 15 points.
During consolation game, Oase took over, scoring 21 points, grabbing eight rebounds and blocking four shots.
In the seventh-place game, Oase dominated with 22 points and 21 rebounds against Glenburn.
Even during the three losses, Oase scored 58 points and had 38 rebounds.
The title of ‘Miss Basketball’ is awarded annually to the state’s top high school senior. Voting is done on a 5-3-1 points system by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, in which voters list their top three choices.
The three-time all-state player is the first from Scranton to win the title of Miss Basketball.
Just a few weeks ago, Oase was lauded after the Region 7 title game as the Region 7 senior athlete of the year in basketball.
According to her coach, Kelly Pierce, the senior deserves every honor coming her way. “Samantha is a tremendous leader, role model, and a player who always puts the team first. She is a very skilled basketball player on the court, and an even better young person off of it,” he said.
He also praised her play and work ethic before the basketball season started. When the senior announced that she would be going to Black Hills State University after graduation, he said she was working hard. “Samantha has worked really hard to expand her game. She can handle the ball really well for a post player and as an extended range shooting and she’s spent a lot of time in the weight room and just developed her body to become really dominant on both ends of the floor.”
She led the Night Hawks to their third straight state tournament berth by defeating a stubborn Heart River squad Feb. 25 to take the team to Minot.