After falling 21 points behind early in the second half, the Hettinger-Scranton squad rallied in the final minutes before losing to Glenburn by a narrow 59-55 score Saturday in the seventh-place game at the state girls basketball tournament in Minot.
Samantha Oase, playing in her final prep basketball game for the Night Hawks, finished with 22 points and 21 rebounds for another doublle-double. She hit 11 of 20 in shooting, and was 0-for-2 from long range. Oase also had six steals.
The Black Hills State University recruit was also the high scorer in the game.
The Panthers scored first in the game, but Oase put the Night Hawks on the board and tied it for the only time as Glenburn went on to claim a 13-8 by the end of the quarter.
The Panthers kept rolling in the second quarter, outscoring the Night Hawks by an 18-9 margin to take a 31-17 lead at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, the Night Hawks were on the short end of a 40-19 score after seeing the Panthers go on a 9-2 run since the half.
It was Bailee Pierce who ignited the Night Hawks with her three-point basket with 4:33 left, cutting the gap to 40-22. Beth Lien followed with a trey, cutting the lead to 15 points (40-25) a few seconds later.
After giving up nine of the first 11 points in the third quarter, the Night Hawks held the Panthers to just six more points for the remainder of the period, while scoring 14 – cutting the lead to 46-33 by the buzzer.
The Night Hawk rally continued in the final quarter, with Pierce cutting the lead to nine (50-41) with 5:30 left. Oase followed with a basket, cutting the lead again to seven (50-43).
The Panthers added another basket, but Oase's shot cut it again to seven (52-45) with just under four minutes.
After a three-point basket by the Panthers' top scorer McKenna Rolland, Pierce answered it with a three of her own and cut the lead back to seven (55-48).
After another Panther basket, it was Lien hitting a three with just over two minutes left in the game.
Hettinger-Scranton coach Kelly Pierce called a quick time out with 2:07 on the clock and his team behind by six (57-51).
Another Rolland basket with 1:12 remaining gave the Panthers a 59-51 advantage – but that was Glenburn's final score of the game.
The Panthers lost starter Nadia Post with her fifth foul and 57 left, but Hettinger-Scranton couldn't connect on two free throws.
It was Oase adding a basket – her final points in her prep career – with 44 seconds, cutting the lead to 59-53.
The final Night Hawk score was senior Lien hitting a shot with 12 seconds for her eight point total and cutting the final difference to just four points.
The Night Hawks had outscored the Panthers by a 22-13 margin in the final eight minutes.
The loss dropped the Night Hawks to 20-7 for the season after three straight losses at the state tournament.
Hettinger-Scranton had a 28-20 edge in points from inside the key and a 12-8 edge in second chance points, but the Panthers had a big 32-7 point advantage in the points off turnovers.
Both teams were an identical 9-for-23 in three point shooting.
The Panther also had a slight edge at the free throw line, hitting 4-of-6, while the Night Hawks were blanked (0-for-3).
The victory left the Panthers with a 24-4 season record and a 1-2 run in the state tournament. It was the first time the school had a team make it to the state basketball tournament.
In addition to Rolland's 19 points, the Panthers had three other players in double figures – Deanna Heinze (16), Lorelei McIver (12) and Post (10). Sophie Bachmeier added two points to close out the Glenburn scoring.